Tobruk: The Great Siege 1941-42

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9780752445014: Tobruk: The Great Siege 1941-42
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The siege of Tobruk was the longest in British military history. The coastal fortress and vital deep-water port of Tobruk was of crucial importance for the battle for North Africa as the key that would unlock the way to Egypt and the Suez Canal. For more than a year, the isolated garrison held out against all attempts to take it. For both sides it assumed a propaganda role that outweighed even its great strategic value. Goebbels referred to its defenders as rats, which in characteristic British fashion the whole army proudly adopted as their title thus Desert Rats” and the port became a symbol of resistance when the war was going badly for Britain. When it fell and 25,000 men surrendered to an armored assault on June 21, 1942, Churchill said it was one of the heaviest blows I can recall during the war.” This startling new account, drawing extensively on first-hand testimony from veterans on both sides, is the most comprehensive history of the epic battle and is sure to become the standard work on the subject.

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About the Author:

William F. Buckingham is a leading expert on the Second World War. He teaches history at the University of Glasgow. His other books include D-Day: The First 72 Hours, Arnhem 1944 ('Buckingham leaves the reader in no doubt that British army politics, inexperience and incompetence led to this tragedy of errors' THE GUARDIAN; 'Startling... reveals the real reason why the daring attack failed' THE DAILY EXPRESS) and Paras. He lives near Glasgow.

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