|Collection type||Digitised Collection|
Second World War, 1939-1945
|Copying Provisions||Copy provided for personal non-commercial use, permission from copyright holder must be sought for commercial use|
Volume III – Tobruk and El Alamein (1st edition, 1966)
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This volume's main theme is the 9th Australian Division's contribution in 1941-42 to the defeat in North Africa of the German and Italian Army commanded by Field Marshal Rommel.
In March 1941, soon after its formation, the division was sent untrained and without its artillery to Cyrenaica as part of a garrison force which, within a few weeks, took the brunt of a surprise advance by Rommel's newly-arrived armoured force. Retreating to Tobruk the division withstood, with the support of British armoured, artillery and machine-gun units, several assaults and a long siege, and maintained a threat on the flank of Rommel's long line of communications to the Egyptian frontier.
Before the siege ended the division was withdrawn by sea but in the succeeding year it was recalled to the front as Rommel's forces were approaching the El Alamein defences, only 70 miles from Alexandria. In General Auchinleck's counter-offensive in July 1942 it captured the Tel el Eisa ridges and other important positions near the coast and later under General Montgomery took a leading part in Rommel's defeat in the battle of El Alamein.
As well as recording the exploits of Australian soldiers, the book examines the actions of the generals who successively commanded the Middle East Forces and the Eighth Army - Wavell, Auchinleck, Cunningham, Ritchie, Alexander and Montgomery. The inter-governmental differences concerning the 9th Division's withdrawal from Tobruk and its later return to Australia are also related.
An appendix recounts the experiences of Australian prisoners of war in Europe.
- Contents, Illustrations, Maps, Sketch Maps and Diagrams, Preface, and List of events (pages i - xx )
- Chapter 1 – The “Minimum Possible Force” Guards Cyrenaica (pages 1 - 23 )
- Chapter 2 – Defence Based on Mobility (pages 24 - 51 )
- Chapter 3 – The “Benghazi Handicap” (pages 52 - 110 )
- Chapter 4 – At Bay – The Easter Battle (pages 111 - 158 )
- Chapter 5 – Striking Back (pages 159 - 194 )
- Chapter 6 – Assault Withstood (pages 195 - 235 )
- Chapter 7 – Midsummer in the Fortress (pages 236 - 304 )
- Chapter 8 – Last Counter–attack and a Controversial Relief (pages 305 - 383 )
- Chapter 9 – Parting Shots and Farewell Salutes (pages 384 - 417 )
- Chapter 10 – Ed Duda (pages 418 - 513 )
- Chapter 11 – In Palestine, Syria and The Lebanon (pages 515 - 541 )
- Chapter 12 – At El Alamein Under Auchinleck (pages 542 - 602 )
- Chapter 13 – Alam el Halfa and “Bulimba” (pages 603 - 638 )
- Chapter 14 – Launching the Battle (pages 639 - 676 )
- Chapter 15 – The Dog Fight (pages 677 - 754 )
- Appendix 1 – Prisoners of the Germans and Italians (pages 755 - 822 )
- Appendix 2 – The Haifa–Beirut–Tripoli Railway (pages 823 - 829 )
- Appendix 3 – Abbreviations (pages 830 - 832 )
- Index (pages 833 - 854 )