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Tobruk Audiobook

Tobruk

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Publisher's Summary

In the early days of April 1941, the 14,000 Australian forces garrisoned in the Libyan town of Tobruk were told to expect reinforcements and supplies within eight weeks. Eight months later these heroic, gallant, determined "Rats of Tobruk" were rescued by the British Navy having held the fort against the might of Rommel's never-before-defeated Afrika Corps.

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.

What the Critics Say

"Gripping stuff." (Sydney Morning Herald)
"A thorough, highly readable, distillation of the overlooked Battle of Tobruk." (The Age)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (378 )
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Story
4.5 (264 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cody Sheppard 05-11-17
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    "amazing book"

    absolutely incredible story that was expertly written. The reader did a great job with both the German, Aussie, and British accents. I highly recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Dollar Smith 03-25-17 Member Since 2013
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    "author & narrator superb, a rdr of many war books"
    Would you listen to Tobruk again? Why?

    Yes, I'd probably listen to it again, because the narrator speaks so clearly and has, for me the right accent (an American reviewer), and more importantly because the author's account is so well informed, in depth and complete, even following many of the key characters after the war until their deaths.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Tobruk?

    When the author describes an Aussie outpost, which I take to mean a cramped, dark, underground room near the front in which a roughly 20-30 Aussies are taking shelter. Shockingly a German soldier suddenly bursts into the outpost and is as surprised to see so many Aussie soldiers as they are to see him. The German soldier quickly grabs a grenade and threatens to pull the pin. The Nazi soldier knows this would kill him, but would also take out many of the Aussies. One Aussie soldier says something like, "C'mon, mate. You don't want to blow that grenade," and gestures peacefully to the Nazi soldier. For a few seconds all stand quiet and tense. Then the German soldier takes his finger off the pin and gives himself up as a prisoner. Several Aussies smile, pat him on the back and praise him for his action.


    Have you listened to any of Humphrey Bower’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Am quite sure I have not listened to other audible performances by Humphrey Bower.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Never before a re-creation of a battle that shows expertise, perseverance and courage of soldiers more vividly.


    Any additional comments?

    I've read many war books in my life (am now 71), spent 2 years in the Army during Vietnam era (though I wasn't sent there), have been a college English prof for 45+ years. During that time have taught three special topic courses on war literature.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sasha 03-23-17
    Sasha 03-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great tribute."

    Loved it, especially after Bengazi event of 2012. Narrator's voice is perfect for this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin 01-31-17
    Justin 01-31-17 Member Since 2017
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    "this is a diamond "

    When I first saw this book it was on sell and I saw sure why not . I honestly did not have high hopes for this book but after listening to it for a few hours I was completely sucked into this book. it is really good and tells the history of this famous battle in a story like way which in my opinion helps draw people in. moreover getting to hear accounts from the diggers, the Africa korps , the Italians and others brings out more meaning. I must say brilliant call on the narrator, having an aussi read this book adds so much more value to it.

    rest in peace to all those men and women who lost their lives during the WWII and may the lord bless all those who survived. it has been a long time since the war but those brave souls who fought will never be forgotten.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diane L. Welch 01-29-17
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    "A real rrvelation."

    A real revelation. enjoyed every word. the narration was like sitting at the feet of a barf.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    graeme Lambert 07-07-16
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    "a heavily researched piece"

    strong emphasis on the human experience. I now have an understanding of what it must have been like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean 07-20-15
    Sean 07-20-15
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    "Simply excellent"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Clair 02-19-15
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    "Slow start"

    The book has a slow start but very good overall . I feel the book made me more and more curios about WWII in Africa and it's overall influence . D.C.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Quakers Hill, Australia 10-05-14
    Paul Quakers Hill, Australia 10-05-14

    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...

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    "The Rats come alive"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Stevenson Houston, TX, USA 09-19-14
    James Stevenson Houston, TX, USA 09-19-14
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    "A great story, told like a fire-side yarn"
    Where does Tobruk rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    What other book might you compare Tobruk to and why?

    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.


    What does Humphrey Bower bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.<br/><br/>More than anything - if you're someone who finds reading history daunting - this would be especially good for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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