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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.

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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    13
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Ken
  • Richardson ACT, Australia
  • 05-10-11

Tobruk a great story

A fantastic read detailing many sides to the seige of Tobruk. I picked up the story at every opportunity. Another great effort by Peter FitzSimons. Thank You

  • Overall

Agree with everyone but Alan

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."

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • Fredericksburg, VA, USA
  • 09-09-09

Inspiring

Fantastic account of the Aussie soldiers and their role in holding off Romel's Panzer Division in North Africa.

  • Overall

Nicely told

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.

  • Overall

Genuine Heroes

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.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sean
  • Houston, Texas, United States
  • 09-14-12

Extremely slow start

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.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Skip the first Third, Enjoy the Writing and Readin

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.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jeff
  • Graton, CA, United States
  • 10-27-12

Informative but long-winded

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, but it was just too long.

What did you like best about this story?

The snapshot of Australian life and attitudes from the time period

Which character – as performed by Humphrey Bower – was your favorite?

The common Digger soldiers

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably not. War holds no attraction for me.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Tedoius

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Glen
  • Maple Valley, WA, USA
  • 06-29-09

A good listen

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.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful