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Siege of Tobruk Plaque / March 2013
Siege of Tobruk Plaque / March 2013

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

Plaques commemorate the "Rats of Tobruk" who gave their lives during the Siege of Tobruk which lasted 241 days.

The Siege of Tobruk was a confrontation that lasted 241 days between Axis and Allied forces in North Africa during the Western Desert Campaign of World War Two. The siege started on 10 April 1941, when Tobruk was attacked by an Italo–German force under Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel and continued for 241 days up to 27 November 1941, when it was relieved by the Allied 8th Army during Operation Crusader.

The “Rats of Tobruk” was the name given to the soldiers of the garrison who held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the Afrika Corps during the Siege. 

The garrison, commanded by Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead, consisted of the 9th Australian Division (20th, 24th, and 26th Brigades), the 18th Brigade of the 7th Australian Division, four regiments of British artillery and some Indian troops.

It was during this siege that Corporal J.H.Edmondson of the 2/17th Battalion became the first Australian soldier during World War Two to win the Victoria Cross. When the siege was lifted on 10 December 1941,  Australian casualties were 559 killed, 2450 wounded, and 941 taken prisoner.


Address:Wharf Street, Memorial Walkway, Chris Cunningham Park, Tweed Heads , 2485
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -28.17
Long: 153.544172
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event STart Date:11-April-1941
Actual Event End Date:10-December-1941


Front Inscription

                            “ Siege of Tobruk ”

In Memory Of The Rats Of Tobruk – The 9th Australian Division
Who Gave Their Lives During The Siege, Which Lasted 242 Days.
It Was Here That Corporal J.H. Edmonson Of The 2/ 17th Battalion
Became The First Australian Soldier During World War Two
                        To Win The Victoria Cross.
The Defence Of Tobruk By The Australian Imperial Forces , The
Royal Australian Navy And The Armed Forces From Britain And
The Polish Brigade Was The First Successful Resistance Of
             German Land Forces In World War 11.



Left Side Inscription

North Africa- Middle East                     April 10th 1941 to Dec 7th 1941
                                                                     242 Days
                                "No Surrender "
 Tobruk, A Port On The North African Coast, Was The Scene Of
     The Longest Siege In British Military History. Allied
      Casualties Were 776 Killed 2057 Wounded. The Overall
  Commander Was Major General Moreshead And The British
   Traitor And German Propagandist Lord Haw Haw Likened The
   Garrison To "Rats Caught In A Trap." The Troops So Liked The
         Phrase That They Now Proudly Bear The Sobriquet
                  "THE RATS OF TOBRUK "


Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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