Tobruk was a seaport
through which the Allies in World War II supplied their forces in
North Africa. After capturing the Allied commanders, Generals
O'Connor, Neame and Parry on April 7, Rommel put Trobruk under siege.
Constant bombing and probing of the defenses took their toll on the
Allied troops and in September General Sir Claude Auchinleck replaced
the exhausted Australian forces by the Polish Carpathian Brigade of
Lieutenant-General Stanislaw Kopanski, and then the 70th British Division under
Major-General R. Scobie.
On November 18 the new British Eighth Army, comprising
XIII and XXX Corps (perhaps 118,000 men and 724 tanks strong as
reinforcements reached Egypt) commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Alan
Cunningham attacked Rommel at Gabr Saleh. The outcome was uncertain,
but finally on December 8 Rommel retreated and the siege of Tobruk was
The stamp shows the positions of Polish, German and
Italian at Tobruk, and a picture of General Kopanski who commanded the
Carpathian Rifle Brigade during the final days of the battle.