Like Gallipoli and Kokoda, the siege of Tobruk is an iconic battle in Australia's military history. Under ceaseless attack from Rommel's men, the Australian defense held strong. In Tobruk, Peter FitzSimons relates the personal histories and stories not only of the men who defended the garrison against the German onslaught but of the Desert Fox, Erwin Rommel, and the powers back in both Berlin and Britain.
The story of a bunch of Aussie cobbers doing battle in terrible conditions against numerically stronger forces on Australia's doorstep and coming out the victor does resonates strongly with this reviewer.
It s early 1918, and after four brutal years, the fate of the Great War hangs in the balance. On the other, now that America has entered the war, it means that two million American soldiers are also on their way, to tip the scales of war to the Allies.
While Commandeur Francisco Pelsaert decides to take the longboat across 2,000 miles of open sea for help, his second-in-command Jeronimus Cornelisz takes over, quickly deciding that 250 people on a small island is unwieldy for the small number of supplies they have.
On 19 July 1916, 7000 Australian soldiers - in the first major action of the AIF on the Western Front - attacked entrenched German positions at Fromelles in northern France. With his extraordinary vigour and commitment to research, Peter FitzSimons shows why this is a story about which all Australians can be proud.