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Publisher's Summary

In the early days of April 1941, the 14,000 Australian forces garrisoned in the Libyan town of Tobruk were told to expect reinforcements and supplies within eight weeks. Eight months later these heroic, gallant, determined "Rats of Tobruk" were rescued by the British Navy having held the fort against the might of Rommel's never-before-defeated Afrika Corps.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.
©2006 Peter FitzSimons; (P)2007 Bolinda Publishers Pty Ltd.
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Critic Reviews

"Gripping stuff." (Sydney Morning Herald)
"A thorough, highly readable, distillation of the overlooked Battle of Tobruk." (The Age)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Gillian on 05-07-14

'Bloody' Brilliant!

This ain't just for Aussies (though I can see how this book could definitely make them puff their chests out in pride!) What a great book! This covers a battle of World War 2 that I hadn't heard about it, but I must fess up that I'd never been that interested in the war in Africa. I know: Shame on me! And I also confess that at the last minute I changed the Overall to 5-stars. The reason: It was so good that I ran to the computer to use a credit for "Kokoda" because I thought the author was brilliant at making figures of history so real to me and for making the men who fought in the battle men that I desperately wanted the best for.
This is a seamless narrative, great representation of characters, with a drop-dead thrilling "plot." I do, however, get twitchy about narrators, and while Bower was almost flawless, I thought I had to listen at x1.25 speed to get that sense of breathlessness that I desire in something that needs the swift pacing that the story seems to demand.
If you're a war buff, or if you just like good action with lots of humor, give this book a try. Definitely credit-worthy.
My favorite line from the soldiers that I have added to my working dialogue: "If it's stupid and it works... It ain't stupid!"

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

By J B Tipton on 11-22-08

Fair dinkum

This is an entertaining Aussie-eye view of events in World War 2, centering on, but not limited to, the stubborn defense of Tobruk. The book is written in colloquial Australian-English and is well recorded and, as nearly as I can tell, perfectly read. Highly recommended.

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Darren on 02-06-09

Absolutely superb.

Absolutely superb. 23 hours long means no stone is left unturned with this, everything is covered in detail from the world Political situation to the action on the frontline. But it never gets boring with plenty of drama and a healthy dose of humour. The Aussie bloke reading it does it good job too.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

By Lester on 11-09-11


I don't normally write reviews, however this is up there with Jackson's 'storm of war', Evans 'Third Reich' series, and Lord's 'Miracle of Dunkirk'. It's an excellent book.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Scott3ds on 02-04-18


Would you consider the audio edition of Tobruk to be better than the print version?

Yes could listen on the run, in the car etc

What other book might you compare Tobruk to, and why?

Unsure - this was simply fantastic, not sure if anything compares

What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Great Australian twist

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Many times

Any additional comments?

Lovely Australian history, captures perfectly the defiant Australian spirit

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By alicia on 08-31-17

Just wonderful

This is just a fantastic telling of one of our most significant achievements and more Australian's should listen or read.

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