October 24, 1941: Czechoslovaks in the Siege of Tobruk

On October 24th 1941 members of the 11th Czechoslovak infantry battalion assisted the defenders of Tobruk in North Africa.

Czechoslovak troops in Tobruk | Photo: Tango5,  Wikimedia Commons,  public domain

The Czechoslovaks helped defend the most endangered western section of the fortress, alongside British, Australian and Polish divisions. Fourteen members of the Czechoslovak battalion died in the fighting, 26 were severely wounded and 55 sustained lighter injuries. The siege of Tobruk lasted for ten long months. With the victory at Tobruk, Nazi troops suffered another big blow, which led to their final defeat in North Africa. On March 28, 1942, the Czechoslovak battalion became part of the 4th British Anti-Aircraft Brigade. In April, the brigade was replaced by South Africans and the Czechoslovak soldiers left Tobruk. For Czechoslovak troops, it was the largest military operation in the Middle East and North Africa.