|June 20th, 1942|
Fall of Tobruk
In 1941 the Australians had held Tobruk for 9 months, until Rommelís withdrawal to the west. That winter, the Middle East Command in Cairo had decided that without naval support it would be impossible for the Tobruk fortress ever to be held in isolation. At length, a compromise was reached. Tobruk was to be temporarily invested while a new strike force was built up near the frontier. The main part of the garrison was to be formed by the 2nd South African Division. Rommelís zero hour was 05h20 on 20 June 1942. As the first rays of sunlight began to creep over the desert, the long black lines of tanks, trucks and infantry slowly started to move forward. By dawn on the 21st of June, Tobruk was a pile of ruins.