In the spirit of Stephen Ambrose, Mr. Fitzsimsons Tobruk tells a great story of the men who bravely held and fought for stronghold. Good story telling! I recommend it.
This is an account of the men, particularly Australians, who stopped the much better equipped German army, led by General Rommel, in its long siege of Tobruk. The story is gripping , but was slightly marred for me by the author's use of dated slang in describing the action.
Say something about yourself!
The author found it necessary to recount all the major events of the war before Tobruk in depth, including WWI, the Versailles Treaty, and the Rise of Hitler, interspersed with mundane details about the private lives of the soldiers.
Seriously, I'm 1/3 of the way into this Odyssey, and Rommel's just now arrived in Africa.
This author needed an editor to force him to cut it down to size.
You can skip the first 27 minutes, which is the author's acknowledgments. You can skip the next two hours, which mainly cover the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party in the 1920's and 30's. Then skip the next thee hours, until the Aussies get to Tobruk. And then skip ahead another hour until Rommel and the Germans get to Africa. So now you're seven hours into this book, and at chapter seven. That cuts the reading down by 70% of the running time.
The author does over-rate Gen. Rommel, and claims he was the most popular man in the Third Reich after Hitler himself. I don't believe this was true, but just an attempt by the author to inflate the importance of the enemy.
The author also blames General Archibald Percival Wavell for the later loss of Singapore, when it was actually General Arthur Ernest Percival who surrendered that island, admittedly under the distant command of Gen. Wavell. Not that Wavell was a great leader; just not as bad as the author claims.
I actually liked the reading. It was quite jocular and in character with the text of the book. I've seen other comments that criticized the reading and the style of writing, but I enjoyed them.
Sixty years young. Surfer, Kayaker, Abalone diver, Backpacker. Rabid reader/listener. I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy.
I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, but it was just too long.
The snapshot of Australian life and attitudes from the time period
The common Digger soldiers
Probably not. War holds no attraction for me.
A wonderful story, with all of the aforementioned reviewers adjectives. My dogs got extra-long walks so I would not have to put the book "down."
Pluses for other reviewers were annoyances for me. The attempt at novelization, in conjunction with the seemingly random insertion of "personal stories," detracted from the actual account of the Defense of Tobruk. The continuous employment of superlative and antiquated colloquialisms were enough to make the my stolid eyes roll in exasperation. Descriptions of fortifications, unit arrangements, opposing commanders, strategic and tactical planning, gave way to whole sentences of unquoted feel-good blustering and mirth. If you want to hear an history made nice, this audiobook is for you. If you want an concise account, sans the tummy rub, it probably is not for you.
This was a well written and read book. I enjoyed the background and personal stories that went into this telling of a battle often overlooked in history.