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: 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.

Source

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.