Small Libyan seaport west of the Egyptian border; scene of fierce fighting during World War II.
Tobruk had been occupied by General Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps but fell to British forces under General Archibald Wavell on 22 January 1941 during World War II. In April 1941, Rommel's counter-offensive left Tobruk under siege until December, when it was retaken by the British. Rommel's drive into Egypt in May 1942 led to the surrender of 25,000 troops at Tobruk on 21 June, after a oneday assault. Tobruk remained in German hands until liberated by General Bernard Law Montgomery's Eighth Army, after Britain's successful conclusion to the battle of al-Alamayn in November 1942.
In the 1960s, port facilities in the town were expanded to provide links to nearby oil fields. The population of Tobruk in 2004 was estimated at 157,800.
Pitt, Barrie. The Crucible of War. London: Cassell, 2001.
daniel e. spector
Tobruk (tōbrŏŏk´), Arab. Tubruq, city (1984 pop. 75,282), NE Libya, a port on the Mediterranean Sea. It was a fiercely contested objective in World War II (see North Africa, campaigns in). Tobruk was first taken by the British on Jan. 22, 1941. When the Germans under Erwin Rommel drove the British out of Libya (Mar.–Apr., 1941), the Australian garrison at Tobruk was isolated. However, the Australians were provisioned by sea and withstood repeated German attacks. British Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck's drive late in 1941 relieved the siege (Dec. 10). During Rommel's second offensive (begun May 26, 1942), Tobruk fell (June 21) after a one-day assault. The city was retaken by the British on Nov. 30, 1942. The port facilities were expanded in the 1960s to link the city to nearby oil fields.
Tobruk ★★ 1966
American GI's endeavor to knock out the guns of Tobruk, to clear the way for a bombing attack on German fuel supply depots of North Africa in this WWII actioner. 110m/C VHS . Rock Hudson, George Peppard, Guy Stockwell, Nigel Green; D: Arthur Hiller.