The Longest Siege: Tobruk- The Battle that Saved North Africa

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It begins with background on the Italian entry into the war in and the invasion of Egypt. The work follows with the British eviction of the Italian army from Egypt and the invasion of Libya. The British might have destroyed the Italian army in Libya if they had not withdrawn forces from the Western Desert to assist Greece, which was repelling an Italian invasion and would face a German one in April of Enter the Germans. In March, the Germans mounted an offensive that drove the British out of Libya and besieged Tobruk, which the primarily Australian garrison held.

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The British mounted two unsuccessful offensives, Operations Brevity and Battleaxe, before Operation Crusader linked up with the Tobruk garrison. Throughout the siege, the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy ferried supplies and reinforcements, evacuated wounded, and provided gunfire support.

Lyman has a very agreeable writing style. The book is a serious, scholarly work of history, but it has the feel of a page turner because of his style. He does an excellent job of describing how the defenders coped with heat, flies, rats, sandstorms, lack of food and water, aerial bombardment, and boredom. Lyman provides an order of battle for both sides, and he has researched the Allied and Axis sides of the campaign, although the bulk of his work has been done from the Allied perspective.


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I have two quibbles with the book. The first is the amount of space spent on background. The Longest Siege has pages of text. Of those, , or 40 percent, deal with the period from the Italian declaration of war to the beginning of the siege. Other authors, notably Barrie Pitt, have covered the early months of the Western Desert campaign in detail, and the background chapters could have been shorter. That said or written , the background is well written, and I was torn between asking myself why so much of it was provided and enjoying the excess.

My second quibble was with several minor inaccuracies or typographic errors that were scattered through the book.


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The most prominent of these was referring to Friedrich Paulus as Friedrich von Paulus. Paulus was not a member of the German aristocracy and never had the preposition von. These errors mar an otherwise excellent book. I wish that Goodreads allowed reviewers to rate books using half stars as well as whole ones.

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I would have given this book a 4. Therefore, I give it a five-star rating. View 2 comments. Jul 14, Glen rated it really liked it Shelves: history , nonfiction , war. A history about the siege of Tobruk, where a small number of British and Australian forces faced down the Nazis. Good stuff. Has two sections of photographs. Aug 02, Frances rated it it was amazing Shelves: history. A great history book. This author writes in the style of Stephen Ambrose, lots of interviews and research woven into a great pattern with humor, tragedy, heroism, and despair.

Fight for Egypt - WW2 Battle Scenes - Combat Footage - British vs Axis Forces in Africa - 1943

I will definately be looking for other books by this author. Lawrence M Komar rated it really liked it Apr 11, Alister rated it really liked it Sep 11, Then for over two months British and Indian troops counter-attacked to drive the Japanese from the positions they had already captured. The battle ended on June 22 when British and Indian troops from Kohima and Imphal met at Milestone , thus ending the siege.

Biographical Note. Robert Lyman is the author of Campaign Iraq Robert's latest book, The Longest Siege, Tobruk. Robert is also the Chairman of the Kohima Educational Trust www. Peter Dennis was born in Peter has since contributed to hundreds of books, predominantly on historical subjects, including many Osprey titles. A keen wargamer and modelmaker, he is based in Nottinghamshire, UK. You may also be interested in the following product s. Your points will be added to your account once your order is shipped. Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book!

Longest Siege: Tobruk: the Battle That Saved North Africa

The gripping history of one of the Second World War's most pivotal battles Beginning on 10th April , and lasting for days, the siege of Tobruk is a mesmerising tale of human endurance and heroism. It is an epic story of extraordinary resilience as the Libyan port's 24, defenders met increasingly desperate attempts by Rommel's Panzer divisions to break through the hurriedly thrown-up defences. It was a battle of bayonets and grenades against tanks, of David versus Goliath. The eventual allied victory came against overwhelming odds, plus the morale sapping knowledge that the defenders were surrounded on one side by the sea, and on the other by Hitler's men and machines who, only the year before, had brought Western Europe to its knees.

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Tobruk was defended in the main by the Australian 9th Division, followed by the British 70th Infantry Division who then linked up with the advancing 8th Army. The Royal Navy also played an important role in Tobruk's defence.

By December Rommel had been beaten and forced to withdraw his forces from Cyrenaica. The siege was lifted and the exhausted, gallant defenders able to march out in triumph. Help Centre.