18 Mar 1941

Libya
  • British armed boarding vessel Rosaura, carrying Italian prisoners of war, hit a mine and sank off Tobruk, Libya. 14 crew, 5 guards, and 59 Italians were killed. ww2dbase [Tobruk | CPC]
2 Apr 1941

Libya
14 Apr 1941

Libya
  • Australian infantry outside Tobruk, Libya reported the sighting of a number of "long-barrelled guns on strange carriages". This was the first indication that the Germans were deploying the dreaded 88-mm anti-tank gun in the Western Desert (although on this occasion the guns were soon withdrawn when German infantry failed to create a gap). ww2dbase [8.8 cm FlaK 18/36/37 | Tobruk | AC]
21 Apr 1941

Libya
  • 24 German bombers escorted by 21 fighters attacked Tobruk, Libya, sinking 2 ships and damaging another 2. RAF Hurricane fighters of No. 73 and No. 273 Squadrons shot down 4 German aircraft. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Tobruk | CPC]
22 Apr 1941

Libya
  • Australian troops raided Axis positions surrounding Tobruk, Libya, capturing 455 Italian prisoners of war and destroying a number of field guns and anti-aircraft guns. 27 Australians were killed and 28 were wounded in this action. From above, German aircraft bombed Tobruk harbor, hitting British hospital ship Vita, forcing the 437 patients, 6 doctors, and 6 nurses to be evacuated. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Tobruk | CPC]
23 Apr 1941

Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille scored his 8th kill, a British Hurricane II fighter, over Tobruk, Libya during the morning sortie. In the afternoon sortie, he was shot down and safely landed in German territory. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]
24 Apr 1941

Libya
  • Italian infantry attacked two points of the Tobruk, Libya defenses at 0700 hours; the attacks were halted within an hour with heavy casualties and 107 captured. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Tobruk | CPC]
28 Apr 1941

Libya
  • At 0600 hours, German bombers attacked Tobruk, Libya. During the day, German Deputy Chief of Staff Friedrich Paulus ordered Erwin Rommel to delay the planned ground assault on Tobruk. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Tobruk | CPC]
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 8th kill, a British Blenheim light bomber, over the water off Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]
1 May 1941

Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down his 10th and 11th kills, two British Hurricane fighters, while escorting German Stuka dive bombers to Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]
16 May 1941

Libya
  • Italian sappers cleared barbed wires and mines near Tobruk, Libya. The subsequent attack on Tobruk, Libya by the Italian Ariete Armoured Division saw the Italians capturing several bunkers, but the assault was deemed unsuccessful. 90% of the division's tanks failed mechanically before the main action was engaged and the division was moved back to Gazala to refit and regroup. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Tobruk | CPC, AC]
20 Sep 1941

Libya
  • British minelaying cruiser HMS Abdiel and destroyers HMS Jervis, HMS Kimberley, and HMS Hasty delivered 1,000 troops and 120 tons of supplies to Tobruk, Libya after sundown. They departed for Alexandria, Egypt 30 minutes after arrival. ww2dbase [Siege of Tobruk | Tobruk | CPC]
12 Feb 1942

Libya
  • Eduard Neumann lifted the grounding order against Hans-Joachim Marseille, and Marseille was able to participate in a mission that led to the scoring of four kills northwest of Tobruk, Libya, consisted of 1 Hurricane and 3 P-40 fighters, bringing his score to 44 kills. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]
13 Feb 1942

Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down a Hurricane fighter at 0920 hours and another at 0925 hours east of Tobruk, Libya, which were his 45th and 46th kills. He later met his 46th victim, South African pilot Lieutenant Le Roux, after the engagement. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]
23 May 1942

Libya
  • Hans-Joachim Marseille shot down two Baltimore bombers over Tobruk, Libya at 0720 and 0730 hours. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]
13 Jun 1942

Libya
  • German 21st Panzer Division, 15th Panzer Division, and 90th Light Division surrounded British troops in the Knightsbridge box near Tobruk, Libya, eventually forcing the British to fall back after sundown. The heavy fighting and the resulting heavy casualties caused the British troops to name this day "Black Saturday". ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Tobruk | CPC]
20 Jun 1942

Libya
  • Axis troops launched what would be the final attack on Tobruk, Libya, preceded by a heavy artillery and air bombardment at 0530 hours. At 0700 hours, 100 German and Italian tanks rushed through a gap in Tobruk's southeastern lines. The port facilities were captured by 1900 hours, and British troops destroyed stocks of fuel and supplies to prevent capture. ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Tobruk | CPC]
21 Jun 1942

Libya
  • At dawn, Allied troops attempted a breakout from Tobruk, Libya, but was met with failure. At 0645 hours, South African minesweeping whalder HMSAS Parktown was disabled by four Italian MAS torpedo boats just outside the harbor, killing many; Parktown would be scuttled after all survivors were rescued. At 0800 hours, the 35,000-strong Allied garrison (19,000 British, 13,400 South African, and 2,500 Indian) surrendered. ww2dbase [Battle of Gazala | Tobruk | CPC]
22 Jul 1942

Libya
  • B-17 bombers of US Middle East Air Force attacked Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Tobruk | CPC]
25 Jul 1942

Libya
  • US B-17 bombers attacked Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Tobruk | CPC]
12 Aug 1942

Libya
  • British submarine HMS Porpoise laid mines just off Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Tobruk | CPC]
22 Aug 1942

Libya
  • Italian torpedo boat Generale Antonio Cantore struck a mine and sank 5 miles west of Tobruk, Libya; the mine was laid by British submarine HMS Porpoise on 12 Aug 1942. ww2dbase [Tobruk | CPC]
14 Sep 1942

Libya
  • HMS Sikh (Captain St. J. A. Micklethwait) was sunk by shore batteries during the raid on Tobruk, Libya. ww2dbase [Tobruk | AC]
22 Oct 1989

Libya
  • A pyramid-shaped grave marker with a special plaque was placed at Hans-Joachim Marseille's grave in Tobruk, Libya. The ceremony was attended by his former servant and friend Mathew "Mathias" Letulu, among many others. ww2dbase [Hans-Joachim Marseille | Tobruk | CPC]

Timeline Section Founder: Thomas Houlihan
Contributors: Alan Chanter, C. Peter Chen, Thomas Houlihan, Hugh Martyr, David Stubblebine
Special Thanks: Rory Curtis




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Famous WW2 Quote
"All that silly talk about the advance of science and such leaves me cold. Give me peace and a retarded science."

Thomas Dodd, late 1945