Tobruk Diaries: Look out above!
1941, Tobruk, Tobruk diaries, Second World War, Tobruk, Rats of Tobruk, Siege
Bryant's Diary: Friday, 18th April 1941
Today was quiet and only a little artillery was active. We got plenty of food which is pretty good. There was an issue of Egyptian cigarettes – a gift from King Farouk, but the boys didn’t go much on their flavour; they were too strong.
Cosgriff's Diary: Saturday 19th April 1941
Raided from 1-6 am. Plenty of planes and plenty of 1000 bombs. Several fell in workshops one on road and one on our garage. Jerry used flares to light place up and it was our worst night raid. Direct hit on w/shops shelter – 1 killed 4 injured. Mass uninterrupted. DG Funeral of Jerry this arvo. Had to use grave as shelter. Still quiet on this front – things not so good in Greece. Heard confessions in all wards – not so many. Thos has broken steering column and looks like being a wipe-off. H.Q. direct hit today. Sacley – got a black eye. Only hand injuries.
Cosgriff's Diary: Sunday 20th April 1941
Three Masses – one here and two in Church. John made good job of cleaning church. One raid during first Mass. Many of my blokes attended Eyetie Masses. Quiet night last night Cold lousy today. Adolf’s birthday and Lord Haw-Haw promised demolition of Tobruk. Quiet still on our front and nothing for me to do. Wrote home and Elsa. Approached by English officer re conversion. Daly called today, first time in weeks. Plenty of shipping in the harbour and seemingly unafraid of Fritz.
Bryant's Diary: Monday, 21st April 1941
The weather has become clear again. Today has been very quiet and our only task has been to bury a communication line. The Hun conducted a fair-sized air raid on Tobruk late today, but I don’t think many bombs were dropped. We moved up to the front again tonight to take over from the “B” Coy. They are to go out to attack the enemy at dawn tomorrow. We took over the same posts as previously with my section being in reserve.
Bryant's Diary: Tuesday, 22nd April 1941
We were up at “stand-to” to watch “B” Coy in attack. The stunt started with an artillery barrage and then followed light tanks and the infantry. They went out a fair distance and wheeled right following the barrage. They were not out very long and we learnt that they lost no men. I believe we lost 3 or 4 light tanks. They ran into strong opposition. After the show was over five German bombers escorted by four fighters bombed and machine-gunned up and down our front and a hell of a racket they kicked up too. Suddenly some Hurricanes came on the scene and a dog fight resulted. We could hear them fighting but couldn’t see them.
Cosgriff's Diary: Wednesday 23rd April 1941
Too sick for Mass. Up after air-raid expecting casualties – Dog fights between fighters – four pilots admitted. Horan reckons I have bronchitis and forbids smoking – feeling not so bad but never a cold like this one. Three Jerry tanks brought in – good stuff too. Air-raids all day believe 9 down – oil stocks set on fire. Plenty of Vic papers in – Tobruk victory and what we did to the Eyeties – Oh yeah. Gunner has not appeared for days. Letter from O’Brien, re., transfer.
Cosgriff's Diary: Thursday 24th April 1941
Air raid at 6. Mass as usual. Bronchitis still bad despite cut down smoking. Wrote to Toozes today but problem to get it away. Fierce air-raid this arvo – smoke all over town but it may have been smoke-siren. Few Eyeties and 1 Jerry in today. Fr. Borsorelli – looks after Eyeties. All chaplains well looked after by McIven. John Horan thinks war will be over soon with Jerry winning easily. Tommies sure do not want to fight. Radford – bought the beer at tea. Riley still here. Salter going on hospital ship. Steele Ranks and Eye man to arrive soon.