Shared Experience: Art and War
Central Square, Tobruk
One of the few works that Hele completed in North Africa, this work was painted only days after Tobruk was captured by the Australian forces from the Italians. When a German and Italian offensive later forced Commonwealth forces to retreat from most of Libya, Tobruk became surrounded. The besieged town was held tenaciously by the so-called “Rats of Tobruk” for eight months in 1941, until the Axis siege was broken by a Commonwealth offensive.