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Tobruk(tōbro͝ok`), Arab. Tubruq, city (1984 pop. 75,282), NE Libya, a port on the Mediterranean Sea. It was a fiercely contested objective in World War II (see North Africa, campaigns inNorth Africa, campaigns in,
series of military contests for control of North Africa during World War II. The desert war started in 1940 and for more than two years thereafter seesawed between NE Libya and NW Egypt.
..... Click the link for more information. ). Tobruk was first taken by the British on Jan. 22, 1941. When the Germans under Erwin Rommel drove the British out of Libya (Mar.–Apr., 1941), the Australian garrison at Tobruk was isolated. However, the Australians were provisioned by sea and withstood repeated German attacks. British Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck's drive late in 1941 relieved the siege (Dec. 10). During Rommel's second offensive (begun May 26, 1942), Tobruk fell (June 21) after a one-day assault. The city was retaken by the British on Nov. 30, 1942. The port facilities were expanded in the 1960s to link the city to nearby oil fields.
a small port in NE Libya, in E Cyrenaica on the Mediterranean coast road: scene of severe fighting in World War II: taken from the Italians by the British in January 1941, from the British by the Germans in June 1942, and finally taken by the British in November 1942