Fall of Tobruk OOB

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King Maker
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Fall of Tobruk OOB

Post by King Maker » 26 May 2006 11:56

Please anyone help give me the information of the OOB of the British and South Africa forces in Tobruk when it fall? Like names of units and the commander.

Thanks.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 27 May 2006 09:27

Check this thread:
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 585#734585

You might also try the search function. There may already have been other discussions on this subject as it is pretty popular.

Michael

Jon G.
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Post by Jon G. » 27 May 2006 19:40

The principal Commonwealth formation at Tobruk was the 2nd South African Infantry Division under maj gen Klopper. His command was reinforced by a number of Indian Army formations, the 201 Guards Motor Brigade and the 32nd Tank Brigade, as described in Michael's link.

Here's an okayish narrative of events leading to the surrender.

Kokoda
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Post by Kokoda » 01 Jul 2006 05:58

The Australians, supported by numerous British and Commonwealth units, held Tobruk from April to October 1941 with basically 12 infantry battalions (for whom it was their first campaign), a Pioneer battalion, one field regiment, one anti-tank regiment and two anti-tank companies, four companies of engineers, British tanks and artillery (field, anti-tank and anti-aircraft) and an Indian cavalry regiment.
The outer perimeter posts were initially held by 6 infantry battalions, with 6 in reserve. By early May the Indians had taken over the extreme northwestern sector, and the Australian Army Service Corps (AASC) the extreme northeastern sector - the last being the "quietest" sectior". At the same time the rest of the outer perimeter was held by 7 Australian battalions, with 5 in reserve.
By 13 April, disposed around Tobruk were 3 Italian divisions and 1 ("light") German division, with numerous artillery, machine-gun, engineer and reconnaissance units attached. These Axis forces changed in size and composition during the siege, but always outnumbered the Australians
The only real gain made by the Germans was the "Salient" in the southwestern corner, where they captured a number of posts in the oter perimeter. Despite Australian attempts - at heavy cost - to regain this lost ground, it remained in German hands until the end of the siege.

The "offensive defence" instituted by Gen Morshead is illustrated no better than in the 9th Division intelligence summary for 15 April: "1 Bn, 62 Regt, Trento Division - completely captured" - by an Australian infantry platoon supported by a section of Bren-gun carriers.
At night, "No-Man's Land" became "Australia Land", which kept the Axis forces permanently on the alert against Australian patrols, which were of two types - reconnaissance and offensive. The former gave Morshead precise information on Axis dispositions, while the latter caused many casualties and the capture of personnel and weapons.

That is why it amazes me that 33,000 defenders were over-run so easily in the end by two German Panzer Divisions, one Italian Armoured Division and one Italian Motorized Division - all at reduced strength owing to previous fighting.

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