• 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    The majority of the 9th Australian Division are withdrawn from Tobruk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