Imatge de l'autor

Chester Wilmot (1911–1954)

Autor/a de The Struggle for Europe

7 obres 430 Membres 4 Ressenyes

Sobre l'autor

Obres de Chester Wilmot


Coneixement comú

Nom oficial
Wilmot, Reginald William Winchester
Altres noms
Data de naixement
Data de defunció
Lloc d'enterrament
Porto Azzurro, Elba
Lloc de naixement
Brighton, Victoria, Australia
Lloc de defunció
Mediterranean Sea
University of Melbourne
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
British Broadcasting Corporation
Biografia breu
died in a plane crash.



I don’t usually read military history, but I couldn’t resist this latest release in the Text Classics series. Tobruk 1941 interests me because The Offspring had a great-uncle who was a Rat of Tobruk. Uncle Doug Allan, who died in 1985, was a gentle, kind-hearted soul, generous to a fault and with the typical laconic Aussie sense of humour, but this apparently ordinary Aussie Bloke was also a hero, the like of which we’ll never see again.

Early in 1941, Australian troops captured Tobruk from the Italians: it was an important victory because it was Mussolini’s stronghold on the Libyan Coast. Bordered by pitiless desert, Tobruk was a strategic fortress because it had a deep-water harbour on the eastern Mediterranean. Rommel’s Afrika Corps quickly arrived to reclaim it and so began a 241-day siege beginning in April and not lifted until November of that year. Germany had successfully stormed through Europe using Blitzkrieg tactics, and the Afrika Corps had never been defeated. Tobruk was the first time they were repulsed and it wasn’t just Rommel who was outraged, the German High Command was livid. They were especially galled to discover that their crack troops had been stymied by a bunch of volunteers. As a captured German diary showed:

Our opponents are Englishmen and Australians. No trained attacking troops, but men with nerves and toughness, tireless, taking punishment with obstinacy, wonderful in defence. Ah well, the Greeks also spent ten years before Troy. (p 186)

The defenders comprised 14,000 Australian soldiers commanded by Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead, about 5000 men in four regiments of British artillery, and about 500 Indian troops under the command of the British. For both sides, Tobruk was critical because the Allies wanted to keep Rommel tied up in Libya while they regrouped after their defeat in Greece, and the Axis Powers wanted to get on with having control of the oil fields.

Chester Wilmot was an embedded war correspondent with the AIF, and he wrote this landmark text during 1943 while he was becalmed in Sydney. (He’d lost his accreditation because he’d offended General Blamey with criticism of the high command supplying the troops in New Guinea). With the war still raging, Wilmot used this time to write a unique military history of the Siege of Tobruk.

To read the rest of my review please visit
… (més)
anzlitlovers | Apr 20, 2017 |
Most of the battles I have read of before. Gives short shrift to the war in Italy and elsewhere and focuses on the battle for France and the Soviet invasion of Eastern Europe. Well written though and illuminates people although low profile tipped the scales in the Allies favour. Adds more what if questions about the war. What if the allies had focused more on invading Germany through Yugoslavia and Greece, rather than France, would post war Europe have looked different?
charlie68 | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Oct 25, 2011 |
One of the most outstanding accounts of the battles in the Western theater of the Second World War, that were published a few years just after the conflict. Be warned that it is Anglo centered as the author was an English war journalist.
marcares | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Apr 17, 2010 |
Written from a 1951 perspective, well before the warring parties had declassified such materials as the Enigma cypher saga, etc., this is nonetheless a very readable history, focused on the Western front. For this reader, a valuable and treasured introduction to the subject, now obsolescent in the details, but with enduring relevance on many salient items.
mayreh | Hi ha 2 ressenyes més | Jun 23, 2008 |



Potser també t'agrada


Pedres de toc

Gràfics i taules