For 70 years the accounts of the Easter Battle for Tobruk have been incorrect - including details of Ponath's death (ie the action on Easter Monday 1941). He did not die gallantly leading his men to safety in the vicinity of the Australian 2/17 Battalion's front line position as widely claimed, but virtually committed suicide three miles to the north in a ditch near the El Adem Road intersection following his surrender to A Company of the 2/15 Battalion AIF. Having been assured that his troops would be well-treated, he jumped back into the half-dug anti-tank ditch where his company made its last stand and recommenced firing - apparently knowing this would assuredly bring about his death.
In September last year Keith Payne VC, before a general, an admiral, the president of the Australian Returned Soldiers, army officers and 100 members of the 2/15 Battalion AIF Remembrance Club, launched the book which the Australian War Memorial senior historians have acclaimed as the thrue version of that phase in the battle - arguably leading to the first defeat of Geman land forces in World War 2.
See: Tobruk's Easter Battle 1941: The forgotten fifteenth's date with Rommel's champion by John Mackenzie-Smith.
Publisher: Boolarong, 655 Toohey Road, Salisbury, Brisbane, Queensland 4017. Price: $29.95 AUS plus postage and packaging.
Boolarong Publishing also have a website that can be Googled by those terms - for immediate communication rather than by "snail mail".
Hoping the information contained in the book will bring closure to Ponath's family and other supporters of a brave and highly respected soldier (on both sides).
2/15 Battalion supporter