1 September 1939
Germany invades Poland
3 September 1939
Britain, France and Australia declare war on Germany
10 June 1940
Italy declares war on allies
13 September
Italy invades Egypt
3-5 January 1941
Australian 6th Division and British troops attack and capture Bardia from the Italians
21-22 January 1941
Australian 6th Division and British troops attack and capture Tobruk from the Italians
8-9 March 1941
Australian 9th Division under Morshead, take over from the 6th Division on Tobruk
31 March 1941
German and Italian troops attack in North Africa.
10-11 April 1941
'The Siege of Tobruk’ begins with German troops cutting landward communications with Tobruk, besieging 9th Australian Division and 18th Australian Brigade
13-14 April 1941
Germans launch their attack known as the ‘Easter Battle’ and are defeated
30 April - 4 May 1941
Battle of ‘The Salient’. Germans and Italians attack Australians, capture some posts but are again defeated
19 August 1941
Corporal John ‘Jack’ Edmondson is awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his gallant actions on 13 April 1941. He is the first Australian to be awarded the VC during the Second World War
August – October 1941
The majority of the 9th Australian Division are withdrawn from Tobruk
10 December 1941
The last Australian unit, the 2/13 Battalion are evacuated
January 1942
Tobruk is again besieged by German counter attack. The British and South African garrison are forced to surrender