Tobruk Battlefield Tour
Tobruk – the most exciting of all battlefield tours to North Africa In 1941 this small town and harbour became the focal point of 14 months of fighting, typified by the doggedness of Commonwealth troops to defend Tobruk and by Rommel, who was equally determined to capture the port. Tales of bravery in and around Tobruk are abundant, numerous Victoria Crosses were awarded, four of which were posthumous, a testament to the severe fighting. When Rommel finally captured Tobruk in 1942 it became his greatest moment in the Desert War, Churchill called it a “national disgrace”. Rommel knew better and it was he that christened the defenders the “Rats of Tobruk” a proud title still worn by veterans and their families today.
Tobruk Day 1 Flight from London or other to Tunis, before flying onto El Adem airport at Tobruk. Which was the famous and often fought over airfield. Check into our hotel for 9 nights. (D) Day 2 Visit to Bardia including the former Afrika Korps HQ at Gambut and the former Italian war cemetery; we also see the mural painted by the artist John Brill. (B L D) Day 3 Operation Crusader Early start as we take 4-wheel drive vehicles along the Rommel Road and Trigh Capuzzo through the minefields to Sidi Rezegh airfield, the site of the Crusader battles of November 1941, and where Jock Campbell, George Gunn, and John Beeley’s actions were all rewarded with Victoria Crosses. We shall also visit the Blockhouse captured in dramatic style by the 2nd New Zealand Division. A picnic lunch will be taken at the Sidi Rezegh Memorial. After lunch we shall drive across the desert to the airfield at Bir el Gobi where the 22 nd Armoured Brigade was fought to a standstill by the Italians. (B L D)
Tour Dates: 20 th - 28 th June Tour Price: TBC Single Supplement: TBC Deposit per person: £ 250 Price includes: Visa and Passport registration**. All transport in air conditioned buses and 4x4 vehicles All hotels All meals (see itinerary, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner) All entrance fees Campaign booklet Battlefield Guide All passports must be valid for a minimum of 6 months. Anyone with an Israeli stamp or visa in their passport will not be allowed entry into Libya.
Sidi Rezegh airfield Day 4 Gazala and Knightsbridge Early start as we make our way to the South African positions astride the Trigh Bir Hakim and above the impressive Bay of Gazala. Then to “Commonwealth Keep” and Sidi Muftah before heading east to the Knightsbridge Memorial and Blockhouse. Returning to Tobruk via Sidra Ridge and Stopcol. (B L D) Day 5 Rats of Tobruk Early start as we examine the Australian defence of Tobruk. Visit to Fig Tree hospital and Hill 209 which Rommel attacked and captured in April/May 1941. Drive along the Tobruk perimeter to posts R32 and R33 where Cpl Edmundson’s action was Australia’s and the desert war’s first Victoria Cross, and where we shall have a picnic lunch. After lunch we shall drive to the other side of the perimeter to Belhamed and Ed Duda, held by the 2/13 th AIF Ed Duda was fought over time and time again and where two more Victoria Crosses were awarded. (B L D) Day 6 Massacre at Tobruk Today we examine the disastrous Combined Operations Raid on Tobruk of September 1942, then we have lunch overlooking the harbour before visiting the war museum, the famous Hotel Tobruk and other well-known sites related to the raid, including the story of the “Lions of Judah” We shall also visit Tobruk war cemetery, the “Lady Be Good” and the war museum. (B L D)
Tobruk War Cemetery Day 7 Visits to Knightsbridge war cemetery and the “White House” the famous German field hospital and the equally well known Acroma and the Rommel Road. (B L D) Day 8 A visit to Rommel’s Headquarters on the outskirts of Tobruk, Prittwitz’s Bridge where Rommel’s first attack came to an abrupt halt., the Indian soldier’s battlefield mosque and the Wadi Auda. (B L D) Day 9 On our last full day in Tobruk there is only one place to go – Bir Hakim – the desert stronghold held by the Foreign Legion. Garrisoned by, as one German General said, “Smugglers and thieves from twenty different nations” (B L D) Day 10 Return flight to UK/Home (B)