Tobruk Besieged

In the crazy back and forth fighting across the Libyan coastal plain, one battle was more static, but no less brutal. The port of Tobruk, taken from the Italians in January 1941 was subsequently besieged by Axis forces from April until December. At over 240 days it is the longest ever siege endured by British forces.

The models are all 15mm from Battlefront; mostly metal although some of the vehicles are resin.

All three armed services were critical to the successful defense of Tobruk. The Navy, RN and RAN, kept the garrison reinforced and supplied and allowed the evacuation of wounded soldiers. The RAF and RAAF, some based inside the perimeter, kept the Luftwaffe at bay and supported the troops. The bulk of the defenders were made up of the 9 Div AIF, who relieved the by then veteran 6 Div just before the German advance out of Tripoli triggered the Torbruk Handicap that led to the Great Siege.

This is a selection of my Western Desert force. While it could be used to represent many of the battles in 1940-41, it is motivated mostly by the 9 Div and supporting elements from the British 3rd RTR, 3rd Hussars, 51 Field Regiment RA and 1st Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers (a specialist machine gun unit).

A 25pdr of 51 Regiment RA in a stone sanger
Battalion HQ staff officers c0-ordinate the defense
2pdr a/t were outclassed later in the war, but at this stage were more than a match for Italian tanks and could even stop the Panzers of the 5 Leichte Division, although often at great cost to the gunners
Cruiser tanks from the 3rd Hussars; 7 RTR were also present (with Matilda tanks)
An aerial view

Not sure when these will reach the table, but it is bonza to be close to finishing this army after so many years incomplete. Now I’m thinking I need an Axis force to oppose them, but there is always another project.

8 thoughts on “Tobruk Besieged

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s