Sunday, July 10, 2005

The Tobruk defences

The Italian garrison at Tobruk had half as many men to defend a perimeter that was twice as long as Bardia. The ends of the perimeter were both at the beach. Tobruk, like Bardia, was on the edge of the escarpment. A rough terrain descended to the beach. Tobruk had two lines of concrete emplacements with minefields. There was also a partial anti-tank ditch. Two forts anchored the defences. Fort Pilastrano seems to have been on the highest ground. Fort Solaro overlooked the road to Derna to the west. The first day of the attack took place on January 21st. The 6th Australian Division penetrated the defences just to the east of the El Adem road. By the end of the first day, they had reached Fort Solara and had crossed the Bardia road. This is based on the account in the Official History.

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