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Osprey Campaign 80 : Tobruk 1941 : Rommel's Opening Move

After the disastrous Italian collapse in Libya during Wavell's 'Operation Compass' Hitler realised he would have to bolster his ally or risk losing the whole of North Africa. In March 1941 General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the name of the 'Afrikakorps', and in particular that of its commander, would become legendary. In his first offensive which, began on 24 March, Rommel's 21st Panzer Division swept across the desert capturing much of the British 2nd Armoured Division and the epic eight-month siege of Tobruk began. Under political pressure from London, two ill-conceived and premature attempts were made to drive Rommel back and relieve Tobruk. Operations Brevity and Battleaxe both failed, with the British back at their start lines. In the meantime the largely Australian and New Zealand garrison of Tobruk were resisting all attempts to capture the vital port. General Auchinleck had taken command of the British forces and was preparing a more formidable attempt to relieve Tobruk and throw Rommel's Afrikakorps back. It was codenamed Operation Crusader. Text by Jon Latimer with illustrations by Jim Laurier.

    Contents
  • Origins of the campaign
  • Opposing Commanders
  • Opposing Armies
  • Opposing Plans
  • Reconnaissance in France
  • Tobruk Besieged
  • The May Assault
  • Operation Brevity
  • Operation Battleaxe
  • The Rats of Tobruk
  • Aftermath
  • Chronology
  • Bibliography
  • Index

 

Osprey Campaign


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