The Importance of Tobruk
Tobruk is located on Libya’s eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border of Egypt. (Libya is the fourth largest country in Africa.) Tobruk is a port city which has a deep, natural and protected harbour. The port could never be rendered wholly useless as the result of military bombardment because of these attributes. Also, it had been heavily fortified by the Italians whilst under their control. To the south, there were a number of escarpments and cliffs; these were natural obstacles to any troops advancing on the port over land. This made Tobruk an excellent place to supply a desert warfare campaign. The German’s General, Erwin Rommel commander of the Afrikakorps, saw the importance of Tobruk and all the Libyan ports, as they provided a route of supply and were necessary in order to continue into Egypt and control the Suez Canal. The control of the Port of Tobruk was of great importance to not only North Africa but to the entire war.