Allied troops use a captured Italian bomb to create a "hull-down" position for a A12 Mark II Matilda Infantry Tank during the siege of Tobruk. During the interim between the failed Operation Battleaxe (June 15-17, 1941) and the successful Operation Crusader (November 18 - December 10, 1941) that relieved the garrison at Tobruk, the Australian brigades was removed by sea in a controversial move after the Australian public perceived heavy losses. Replaced by the British 70th Infantry Division, the Polish Carpathian Brigade and Czech 11th Infantry Battalion, the suppression of Rommel's supplies for Panzergruppe Afrika meant that the Axis could not undertake offensive operations. With both sides regrouping, the Tobruk garrison took the time to improve their defenses. Faced with long distances for resupply, Tobruk's Australian and later Commonwealth defenders impressed a lot of captured Italian and German equipment into the defense perimeter.
Photographer's Rank or Affiliation:
1 Army Film and Photographic Uni
Caption ©2007 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain