... Advancing west along the Libyan coast, the 6th Australian Division captured Tobruk from the Italians on 21-22 January 1941 and the town became a garrison for the Australian and British forces. In early March, one of Hitler's best generals, Erwin Rommel with his Afrika Korps, came to the aid of their Italian allies in Libya. By April, German forces had begun to cut off and surround Tobruk. For eight months, from April to December 1941,Tobruk was besieged and Australian forces, notably the men of the 9th Division, the 18th Brigade of the 7th Division and RAN ships of the famous 'scrap iron flotilla' played a prominent role in the town's defence.
The year 1941 was a dark one for the Allies. The Germans conquered all before them but Tobruk held out against Rommel and stood in the way of his advance towards Egypt and the Suez Canal. The defiance of the defenders of Tobruk raised morale in the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth. Those who served there became known as the 'Rats of Tobruk', so-called because the German radio propaganda broadcaster 'Lord Haw Haw' described them as rats living in the ground... (read more at: http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/scrapiron/)
- TOBRUK, LIBYA. 1941-09-11. GUNNER JEFF COOMBE OF LAUNCESTON (TAS) BEHIND HIS TANK ATTACK GUN. HE SERVED WITH THE 3RD ANTI-TANK REGIMENT, 9TH DIVISION.
- TOBRUK, LIBYA. 1941-09-08. AUSTRALIANS OF THE 3RD ANTI-TANK REGIMENT BEHIND THEIR GUN.
- TOBRUK, LIBYA. 1941-09-11. A GUN CREW FROM THE 3RD ANTI-TANK REGIMENT IN POSITION AT POST R 27.
- TOBRUK, LIBYA, 1941-01-22. THIS AUSTRALIAN ANTI-TANK UNIT WAS AMONG THE FIRST TO ENTER TOWN