Like Gallipoli and Kokoda, the siege of Tobruk is an iconic battle in Australia's military history. Under ceaseless attack from Rommel's men, the Australian defense held strong. In Tobruk, Peter FitzSimons relates the personal histories and stories not only of the men who defended the garrison against the German onslaught but of the Desert Fox, Erwin Rommel, and the powers back in both Berlin and Britain.
©2006 Peter FitzSimons; (P)2007 Bolinda Publishers Pty Ltd.
"Gripping stuff." (Sydney Morning Herald)
"A thorough, highly readable, distillation of the overlooked Battle of Tobruk." (The Age)
One of the best audio books I have ever "read". This account reads with an air of responsibility to the memories of the gallant young Australians who so bravely, and selflessly served their country for a much grander purpose. A truly remarkable work by Peter Fitzsimons.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was very impressed by the narration too. Humphrey was able to expertly switch between the contemporary Aussie accent of the time to fluent German at ease. Remarkable accounts of what those magnificent men went through.
I am a sales rep. I spend many hours in the car often travelling to see my parents 16 hrs each way. These books are such an intergral part of travelling for me...
I could never make sense of this part of the war ...you see my mothers uncle survived Tobruk ...but he was British and the Rats of Tobruk were Aussies. Not only does it now all makes sense I actually feel like I have just lived through history and several battles as an eyewitness. Great piece of story telling but more so; Great piece of history telling.
I recommend Peter's book to anybody who "thinks" they understand Tobruk and it's place in the war.
It's very good. I've read a lot of history, and this is told quite differently to a lot of history. Some history books are dry, stale statings of facts. This isn't that. But nor does it attempt to be the kind of telling that is super erudite that might be aiming for a Pulitzer or something. Tobruk aims to be a tale told like your grandfather might have told it to you if he were there. Like someone telling a tale by the fireside. It's told in Australian idiom, rich in Australian humour. And it really excels. As a history nut at first it was a shade jarring - simply because that style is so rare in history books. But I quickly realized that this style is a tremendous vehicle to get this great story across in a super readable, and endearing way. And that means more people will learn of the great story of Tobruk, and the soldiers who fought there.
There are lots. A Bridge too far. The Longest Day. Band of Brothers. But the style of this is quite different to those. I suppose Fitzsimons' other books, but I haven't read those.
He's a great reader. A few times I found myself thinking that Peter Fitzsimons himself was reading - which is probably a sign of the reader doing a great job. He tells the story like a tale.
I don't know if you could call yourself human if this kind of stuff didn't affect you. I laughed with humour and with pride, and I felt tears welling up quite regularly. My own grandfather's squadron is mentioned a few times in a book, so a particular burst of pride for me.
If you're Australian, read it. If you're interested in WWII, or military history in general, read it. And if you're interested in a tale of adversity and mateship where a bunch of blokes are put together and fight to defend a town - you'll enjoy this.
More than anything - if you're someone who finds reading history daunting - this would be especially good for you.
No. While entertaining, I am looking for more insight I. My history reading.
He can cut out a lot of background material to tighten the focus on just the protagonists and their ordeal in Tobruk. We do not need to know about the origin of Nazi germany or other potted history like that.
Fun presenter, like a sports announcer. Playing up the Aussie "bloke" stereotype which can turn someone off.
To look for another more serious treatment on that campaign.
This book is excellent. FitzSimons avoids writing a dry history and instead gives a lively narrative that leaves you with a sense of the what life was like during the siege of Tobruk for the soldiers on the frontline, their commanding officers and their loved ones at home.
Humphrey Bower's performance is exceptional, particularly when it comes to the accents of the various soldiers in the campaign and his delivery of the German phrases and words. Each character in the story is given a life of their own and this is what lifts this from a simple historical account to a story that everyone needs to hear.
I loved this book. I would certainly recommend it to someone who likes the personalization of war. It contains many little details of how the war in North Africa was conducted by individual soldiers, especially the Australian troops. It has a definite Aussie slant.
The portrayal of the "Desert Fox", Irwin Rommel was especially good and well balanced. It did not dress him up and make it look like he did not make mistakes. He certainly did and they are well illustrated in the book.
Not necessarily, it is a book which can be broken into parts and does not suffer from leaving it for a few days.
The book does a great job of balancing the battle for Tobruk between the Australian and German perspectives. The author also adds a lot of language peculiar to the Australian defenders which adds color to the story. There is emotion in the story as the battle inevitably takes its toll on both sides. The author also adds in the political element which overshadowed the British/Australian relationship in the North African theater.
When one of the main characters is killed - it is a moment of great sadness and how it affects the character's family at home is quite moving.
The accent adds much to the story. Being an American I may not know exactly how to relate to a particular saying but the narrator does a great job making it relevant.
Yes. I will most likely still buy the physical book as it is one of the few in-depth accounts i have run into about the siege of Tobruk.
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