TOBRUK BATTLEFIELDS TODAY

Mohamed ALabede's Photo Collection

We are extremely fortunate to have as a friend and Life-Member of our Association Mr Mohamed ALabede.

Mohammed and his family have been caretakers of the Tobruk War Cemetery for many, many years.

Mohamed retired  in 2018 but his work making sure our soldiers rest peacefully is continued

by his wife Ghania and their sons Ahmad (Tobruk) and Morad (Knighstbridge-Acroma)

The Fig Tree

The Fig Tree

Near Derna Road West of Tobruk

Fig Tree (AWM Image)

Fig Tree (AWM Image)

1941 The Fig Tree Regimental Aid Post

The Fig Tree

The Fig Tree

The famous Tobruk Fig Tree marked the entrance to an underground network of caves. During the Siege these caves were used as a makeshift hospital by the Australian troops.

The Fig Tree Cave Entrance

The Fig Tree Cave Entrance

This lonely fig tree was the only feature in a desolate rock strewn desert and was clearly visible from miles away . Unfortunately that also meant it was an easy target for German artillery and was shelled for several hours a day.

Fig Tree (AWM Image)

Fig Tree (AWM Image)

Inside the Caves (1941)

Stone Map of Australia

Stone Map of Australia

Difficult to still make out but this group of stones were laid out by the RATS during their stay near the Fig Tree. Our lads left their mark wherever they went

Map showing entrenchments

Map showing entrenchments

Map showing the R & S trench positions and the Blue line. Note that majority of the entrenchments etc were constructed by the Italians who had ample time to build during their period of control of the area.

Mohamed with Aussie visitor

Mohamed with Aussie visitor

Mohamed and an unknown Australian man who came so far to see the place his father perished during the siege.

Ras el Medauuar - Hill 209

Ras el Medauuar - Hill 209

Ras el Medauuar - Hill 209

Ras el Medauuar - Hill 209

Mohamed standing atop of Hill 209 scene of some bloody and prolonged battles as it was the ideal spot to command the area.

Road approaching Ras el Medauuar - Hill 209

Road approaching Ras el Medauuar - Hill 209

Strewn with rocky desert any approach was bound to be difficult under the view of gun emplacmenets

R Trench nameplate

R Trench nameplate

R Trench - all trenche position had elaborate naming engraved in them that was retained by Axis and Allied troops alike

R Trench beside Hill 209

R Trench beside Hill 209

Trench ""R" at the western side of Hill 209 the front line of defence against attacks on the hill

Italian naming on wall

Italian naming on wall

The majority of the Tobruk entrenchments were put in place by Italian troops who prior to the defeat and occupation by Australian troops, had plenty of time for construction

S1 Trench

S1 Trench

S1 Trench with Hill 209 in background. One of the locations so savagely attacked in early May by Afrika corps armour that resulted in many of the 2/24th being forced to surrender.

S2 Trench wall

S2 Trench wall

Names carved into the S2 Trench wall believed to be mostly 2/48th Battalion personnel

S3 Tank traps

S3 Tank traps

S3. Another of the fortifications around the perimeter of Hill 209. A nice wide tank trap.

R6 Trench

R6 Trench

R6 trench looking a little worse for wear and battle

R7 trench identification number

R7 trench identification number

Inscription on the wall identifying Trench R7

R7 trench eastern entrance

R7 trench eastern entrance

Eastern entrance to R7 trench network

R7 trench - Morad ALabede

R7 trench - Morad ALabede

Morad ALabede (caretaker at Knightsbridge-Acroma) examining what is left of possible round wall sign indicating directions in the maze of trenches

R7 trench maze

R7 trench maze

A veritable maz of concrete trenches zig zagging their way through the desert floor. Quite an amazing feat.

R7 trench underground passage with X Leg

R7 trench underground passage with X Leg

R7 Underground entrance bearing the words X Legio Bolonga. This is denoting the Italian Royal Army (Regio Esercito) unit 10th Legion from Bologna, Italy which is a rather a famous unit designator as it dates back to Julius Caesar's Roman Empire.

R7 trench

R7 trench

R7 Trench definitely planned out and executed well

R7 trench Entrance

R7 trench Entrance

Entrance to R7 Trench

R7 Anti Tank trench

R7 Anti Tank trench

A deep anti tank trap at R7

R7 trench area

R7 trench area

Still laying where it landed, an unexploded mortar bomb R7 trench area

R7 - remnant Beer Bottle

R7 - remnant Beer Bottle

The RATS left their mark wherever they went. Beer bottle remains in trench R7

R7 trench to post position

R7 trench to post position

The end is that-a-way ! R7 trench leading to the outermost position.

R7 trench - end of the line

R7 trench - end of the line

That's it ! The end of the line, fortified gun post/listening position at the end of R7 trench.

R8 Trench Inscription

R8 Trench Inscription

Inscription on the wall identifying Trench R8

R8 trench

R8 trench

Trench R8 zig zagging across the desert

R7 Anti Tank trench

R7 Anti Tank trench

A wide and deep anti tank trap at R7

R8 trench

R8 trench

Anti tank trench at R8

R8 trench barbed wire entaglement remnan

R8 trench barbed wire entaglement remnan

A mass of barbed wire still in place around trench R8

R8 looking out

R8 looking out

The view towards the desrt at Trench R8

R8 area - barbed wire still lying where

R8 area - barbed wire still lying where

Another view, the rusting barbed wire still lying where it was some 80 years ago

R32 Entrenchments and water well on left

R32 Entrenchments and water well on left

R32 Trench entrance, valuable for its water well visible in the picture on the left

R32 entrenchment

R32 entrenchment

Entrance to R32 Trench once ordained with elaborate Unit insignia or emblem of some sort.

R32 entrance

R32 entrance

Elaborate entrance to R32 trench. Taken as a souvenir or torn down ?

R32 Entrenchments

R32 Entrenchments

R33 Anti Tank trap

R33 Trench

R33 Trench

R33 Trench weaves its way across the open desert sand and rocks

R33 Post (Edmondson VC)

R33 Post (Edmondson VC)

R33 Post where Cpl John Edmondson served his country and died for its freedom.

John Edmondson VC

John Edmondson VC

In April 1941 German infantry breached the defences at Tobruk, establishing machine-guns, mortars, and field-guns. A seven-man section, including Edmondson, charged the position. Although wounded in the neck and stomach, Edmondson continued to advance under heavy fire, killing one German with his bayonet. He later killed another two Germans, saving the life of his platoon commander, but he succumbed to his wounds soon after the German attack was defeated.

Blue Line

Blue Line

The barbed wire entaglements of the Blue line. Waiting, watching

PO Box 3389

VICTORIA POINT WEST Qld 4165

Australia

© 2020 by Descendants of the Rats of Tobruk Association Inc                                                      Proudly created with Wix.com  

This website and the information it contains would not be possible without the work of our many researchers behind the scenes, descendants and friends of the Rats. Special mention to Owen Carlton and Roger Murphy who have tirelessly worked for years verifying and documenting the Rats roll, Pierre Sellier (FR) for his artistic work creating the logo for the Association and banners, and others too many to mention who work towards keeping this story alive for the benefit of future generations. Much of the information reproduced has been sourced from the Australian War Memorial records, Battalion records, private memoirs, NAA and DVA service records and online documentation on events, places and people. All attempts possible have been made to verify its correctness and that due credit is acknowledged where known to the source. 

  • Black Facebook Icon