Why is it called Rats of Tobruk?

Nevertheless, morale remained high – the Australians adopting the ironic nickname ‘The Rats of Tobruk’, in response to reports that Nazi radio propagandist ‘Lord Haw Haw’ had described them as being caught ‘like rats in a trap’ in one of his broadcasts.

Why are The Rats of Tobruk important?

The defenders of Tobruk did not surrender, they did not retreat. Their determination, bravery, and humour, combined with the aggressive tactics of their commanders, became a source of inspiration during some of the war’s darkest days. In so doing, they achieved lasting fame as the “Rats of Tobruk”.

What does Tobruk mean?

Tobruk in British English (təˈbrʊk , təʊ-) a small port in NE Libya, in E Cyrenaica on the Mediterranean coast road: scene of severe fighting in World War II: taken from the Italians by the British in Jan 1941, from the British by the Germans in June 1942, and finally taken by the British in Nov 1942.

Are there any Rats of Tobruk still alive?

The troops were later the subject of the film The Rats of Tobruk starring Peter Finch and Chips Rafferty. Today, out of 14,000 Aussie Rats that held Tobruk against Rommel’s forces 78 years ago, only around 30 are still alive to tell the story.

What is a desert rat in World War 2?

Desert Rats, byname of the 7th Armoured Division, group of British soldiers who helped defeat the Germans in North Africa during World War II. The Desert Rats, led by Gen. Allen Francis Harding, were especially noted for a hard-fought three-month campaign against the more-experienced German Afrika Korps, led by Gen.

What is Tobruk called now?

It is the capital of the Butnan District (formerly Tobruk District) and has a population of 120,000 (2011 est.)….Tobruk.

Tobruk طبرق
Country Libya
Region Cyrenaica
District Butnan
Elevation 16 ft (5 m)

What was the outcome of Tobruk?

Outcome: The Australian, British and Polish divisions under siege in Tobruk were twice attacked by Rommel’s forces, and both times retained control of the Libyan port. The siege was lifted after nearly eight months.

Did Tobruk fall in ww2?

The surrender was the second largest capitulation by the British Army in the war, after the Battle of Singapore (February 1942). The loss of Tobruk came as a severe blow to the British leadership and precipitated a political crisis in Britain….Axis capture of Tobruk.

Date 17–21 June 1942
Result German–Italian victory

What accolades did the Rats of Tobruk receive?

Medals of a Rat of Tobruk. Official Awarded Medals.

  • 1939-1945 Star.
  • Africa Star.
  • Clasps.
  • Pacific Star.
  • Defence Medal.
  • War Medal 1939-1945.
  • Australia Service Medal 1939-1945.
  • What does a desert rat mean?

    1 : any of several pale-coated active rodents found in deserts (such as the American kangaroo rat or certain southern African rodents) 2 West : one who has lived much on the desert especially as a prospector.

    Is Rat Patrol real?

    The Rat Patrol was based on the exploits of the real-life British Long Range Desert Group and focused on three Americans and a Briton fighting the Afrika Korps in North Africa during World War II. The Englishman was Sgt. Jack Moffitt (Gary Raymond), a demolitions expert, and the crew was commanded by Sgt.

    How many Germans died at Tobruk?

    258 men
    German casualties were 258 men, three tanks destroyed and several damaged. The Italians had 395 casualties, of whom 347 were captured.

    What did the rats of Tobruk do in World War 2?

    The Rats of Tobruk were soldiers of the mainly Australian garrison that held the Libyan port of Tobruk against the Afrika Corps, during and after the Siege of Tobruk in World War II. The siege started on 10 April 1941 and was relieved on 10 December. The port continued to be held by the Allies until its surrender on 21 June 1942.

    Are there any rats of Tobruk still alive?

    There are only a small number of surviving Australian Rats of Tobruk. To the best of our knowledge there were 17 Australian ‘Rats’ still enjoying life as at the end of 2020, most of whom have reached their centenary year.

    When was the Siege of Tobruk finally relieved?

    The Siege of Tobruk was finally relieved on 10 December 1941 in the later stages of Operation Crusader. The Rats of Tobruk hold an identifiable place within the ranks of returned servicemen, particularly in Australia, where there is the Rats of Tobruk Memorial, Canberra .

    What did Georg Schweinfurth say about Tobruk?

    After visiting the harbour in 1883, the influential German botanist Georg Schweinfurth predicted that it would assure no less than the “supremacy of the Mediterranean”. Tobruk’s allure even encouraged Lord Kitchener to annex it for neighbouring Egypt until barred by the British Foreign Office.

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