On this day: Australians under siege in North Africa

 AustraliansAtTobrukAustralian troops occupy a front line position at Tobruk. Between April and December 1941 the Tobruk garrison, comprising British, Australian and Polish troops, was be

This photograph, dated the 13th of August, 1941 shows Australian troops on the frontline in North Africa in the Second World War.

Some 14 000 Australian troops spent 241 days under attack from combined Nazi and Italian forces in the Siege of Tobruk, Libya. Control of the harbour town was crucial to Allied interests in the region.

The Australians involved became known as the Rats of Tobruk.

On this day: Italian Prisoners of War

Italian_soldiers_taken_prisoner_during_Operation_CompassA column of Italian prisoners captured on Bardia, Libya, march to a British army base on 6 January 1941. Australian Second World

6th January 1941: A column of Italian soldiers, captured after their defeat by combined Australian and British forces, are marched to an army base after the Battle of Bardia in Libya.

Bardia was the first battle planned and commanded by Australians in the Second World War. Italy was aligned with Nazi Germany in the war.

On this day: Italian defeat in Libya

Wrecked_Italian_aircraft_at_Tripoli_1943Wrecked Italian Fiat CR.42 and G.50 aircraft at Castel Benito airport, Tripoli, Libya, in 1943. 10th March 1943. Second World War. World War Two.

From the collection of the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Early in the twentieth century Italy took control of the North African nation of Libya. The country became known as Italian Libya after their victory in the Italo-Turkish War of 1911-12. However the Italians, aligned with Nazi Germany, began to lose ground in Africa as they were pushed back by the Allied troops in the early 1940s.

Many Muslim Libyans chose to fight with Italy during the Second World War, but by February of 1943 the Axis powers were forced out of the country, ending decades of Italian control.

The photograph above is dated the 10th of March, and was taken by the Australian armed forces as they advanced on Axis territory. It shows wrecked Italian aircraft at the destroyed Castel Benito airport in the capital city, Tripoli.

On this day: Australian Troops in Libya

Tobruk Libya 22 January 1941. Members of C Company Australian 2-11th Infantry Battalion having penetrated the outer defences of Tobruk, assemble on the south side of the harbour after at

Australian troops photographed by Frank Hurley in Tobruk on the 22nd of January, 1941.

The harbour town in Libya became the focus of a 241-day siege a few months later. 14 000 Australians – known as the Rats of Tobruk – fought a combined force of Nazis and Italians. Control of the town was crucial to Allied interests in North Africa.

On this day: Australian Soldiers in Egypt

Group portrait of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force posing on the Great Pyramid of Giza on 10 January 1915, prior to the

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10th January 1915: Members of the Australian 11th (Western Australia) Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade, Australian Imperial Force pose for a group photograph on the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. The Australians did a lot of their training in the country.

In April of the same year they would take part in the infamous landings at Gallipoli in the Ottoman Empire (modern-day Turkey). 378 men in this battalion were amongst the 26 111 Australian casualties, which included 8141 deaths.

On this day: Italian sailors arrive in Libya

Landing_of_Italian_sailors_on_5th_October_1911The first detachment of sailors landing underneath the Konak in Tripoli on 5th October 1911. Libya. Africa.

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This photograph shows Italian sailors arriving in Tripoli, the capital of the North African land of Libya, on the 5th of October, 1911.

Italy and Turkey fought a war in the region from late September, 1911 until October, 1912. The conflict resulted in an Italian victory, and the Kingdom of Italy captured what was to become known as Italian Libya.

Italy lost control of Libya in 1943, when losing ground to the Allies in the Second World War.

On this day: work on the Uganda Railway begins.

This image was taken on the 30th of May, 1896, when construction on the Uganda Railway began.

The project was started in British East Africa, and many of the workers were brought over from India. Several thousand chose to stay on in Africa after the work was done.

Despite its name, the railway was in in what is now Kenya, with Uganda being the destination.

Uganda_railway_first_work First day of work in the Uganda railway, 30th May 1896.

On this day: the murder of Hulda Stumpf

Hulda_Stumpf

American missionary Hulda Stumpf was murdered in Kijabe, Kenya on the 3rd of January, 1930.

Stumpf, who had spoken out in opposition of Female Genital Mutilation, a widespread and often life-threatening tradition performed across Africa to this day, and practiced in the region of Kenya where she lived, was found dead in her home on the morning of Friday the 3rd. She had been brutally beaten, and then strangled.

Hulda_Stumpf,_Africa_Inland_Mission_conference 1917

Stumpf sits on the bottom left of this 1917 photograph

In the end, no strong conclusions could be drawn about her death.

 

Theodore Roosevelt’s Safari

Theodore Roosevelt became the United States’ 26th President on the 14th of September, 1901.

Once he finished his presidency in 1909 he went on an eleven-month safari where he trapped or shot over 11 000 animals, including this rhinoceros. The hunting was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.

After serving as US President, Theodore Roosevelt went on a safari and trapped or shot over 11 000 animals.