Rats of tobruk

 The Rats of Tobruk was the name given to the soldiers of the garrison who held the port of Tobruk in Libya against the German Afrika Corps, during the Siege of Tobruk in WW2.

The siege started on the 10th of April 1941 and was finally relieved at the end of November.

The song in the video below is ‘Can You Hear Australia’s Heroes Marching?’

It is a national war memorial song and a tribute to the ANZAC spirit of mateship, courage and sacrifice. The song was recorded March 2001. Over 100,000 Australians have lost their lives in the service and defence of our country. Along with their mates, they’re marching once again, in the towns and cities, across our great land.

Australian troops of the Australian 9th Division and the 18th Brigade of the Australian 7th Division under Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead made up more than half of the Allied presence in Tobruk with a total strength of over 14,000 men.

The rest of the garrison was made up of 12,000 British (the 3rd Armoured Brigade, 4 artillery regiments) and Indian (the 18th King Edward’s Own Cavalry) troops.

During the three moonless periods between August and October the Australian troops and Indian cavalry were withdrawn by sea and replaced by British 70th Infantry Division and the Polish Independent Carpathian Brigade with the Czechoslovak 11th Infantry Battalion under command.

Peter Barnes is the author of ‘Can You Hear Australia’s Heroes Marching?’

You can download the words to the song HERE

Australian Paintings – Series of paintings of Australians in war time by Peter Barnes.