PDA

View Full Version : Australia Desert War Unit Pushed Back Rommel.



aly j
09-26-2008, 11:51 PM
Every ones has been Talking about German army,English army,American army,Russian army,how about the Australian army.
Out of the allies armies ,Australia had hardley no soilders and second hand equiment from england, but yet one of the australian desert war units pushed back the mighty powerful Rommel and his powerful army, with no help from english troops and american troops.
How did this happend?
If you are going to correct me,its youre right to do so.
But be gentle and dont be nastey,please.................

Rising Sun*
09-27-2008, 06:41 AM
Every ones has been Talking about German army,English army,American army,Russian army,how about the Australian army.

On one view, it wasn't the Australian Army.

The Australian Military Forces were the militia, which couldn't go outside Australian territory at the time Australia was involved in the Middle East where the 2nd AIF (2nd - the 1st being in WWI) Australian Imperial Force served as an expeditionary force, being a force raised for service outside the nation for a war in the same way that the BEF - British Expeditionary Force - was raised for early service in Europe in WWI and WWII.


Out of the allies armies ,Australia had hardley no soilders

It had I Australian Corps in the Middle East, composed of three (6th, 7th and 9th) divisions. That is a long way short of hardly any soldiers. Research how many men were in one of the 2nd AIF divisions and you'll find that even one division is a long way short of hardly any soldiers.


and second hand equiment from england

No, its old equipment was mostly WWI Australian equipment because the Australian government, like the British and American governments, neglected their armed services between the wars, partly because of the Depression.


but yet one of the australian desert war units pushed back the mighty powerful Rommel and his powerful army,

Actually, Rommel pushed the 9th Div back to Tobruk, although it was an orderly fighting retreat. At Tobruk the 9th Div, with a brigade of the 7th Div, gave Rommel a bloody nose during the eight month siege.


with no help from english troops

Actually, British artillery, including four 25 pounder regiments, and armour was critical to the Australian success in defending Tobruk, not to mention RN and British merchant ships supplying the fortress during the siege.


and american troops.
How did this happend?

This was probably due to all Australian forces being withdrawn by October 1941, apart from one battalion which was withdrawn after the siege ended on 10 December 1941.

As Germany didn't declare war on America until 11 December 1941, and it took America a little while to organise an army and shipping to go to the Middle East, what with fighting the Japanese in the Philippines and defending Hawaii and the West Coast and so on, America wasn't at war with Germany at the time Australia engaged Rommel, so it can't be blamed for not supporting Australia.

aly j
09-27-2008, 10:10 AM
On one view, it wasn't the Australian Army.

The Australian Military Forces were the militia, which couldn't go outside Australian territory at the time Australia was involved in the Middle East where the 2nd AIF (2nd - the 1st being in WWI) Australian Imperial Force served as an expeditionary force, being a force raised for service outside the nation for a war in the same way that the BEF - British Expeditionary Force - was raised for early service in Europe in WWI and WWII.



It had I Australian Corps in the Middle East, composed of three (6th, 7th and 9th) divisions. That is a long way short of hardly any soldiers. Research how many men were in one of the 2nd AIF divisions and you'll find that even one division is a long way short of hardly any soldiers.



No, its old equipment was mostly WWI Australian equipment because the Australian government, like the British and American governments, neglected their armed services between the wars, partly because of the Depression.



Actually, Rommel pushed the 9th Div back to Tobruk, although it was an orderly fighting retreat. At Tobruk the 9th Div, with a brigade of the 7th Div, gave Rommel a bloody nose during the eight month siege.



Actually, British artillery, including four 25 pounder regiments, and armour was critical to the Australian success in defending Tobruk, not to mention RN and British merchant ships supplying the fortress during the siege.



This was probably due to all Australian forces being withdrawn by October 1941, apart from one battalion which was withdrawn after the siege ended on 10 December 1941.

As Germany didn't declare war on America until 11 December 1941, and it took America a little while to organise an army and shipping to go to the Middle East, what with fighting the Japanese in the Philippines and defending Hawaii and the West Coast and so on, America wasn't at war with Germany at the time Australia engaged Rommel, so it can't be blamed for not supporting Australia.
Thanks for being gentle.No im not blamming america for not helping.;)
Rommel calls the australians -The Desert Rats ,cause one part of the war he frought in the desert against the Aussies and the Aussie actually pushed him back.In a couple of movies German soilders went up too aussie soilders and phase them. And history channel had a program on the desert war.but thats all i know.:D

Firefly
09-27-2008, 06:31 PM
Wow, the things you learn here, Desert rats eh!

Timbo in Oz
09-27-2008, 08:58 PM
DESERT RATS? that was the British 7th Armoured Division, and their vehicle insignia was a Jerboa!

The 9th Australian Infantry Division, was named rats by Lord Haw-Haw when holding Tobruk for ten months, and yes it WAS the first western infantry unit to hold and defeat the German army, in their blitzkrieg tactics, and for 10 months. They adopted the title - "Rats of Tobruk". the same divsion was then rested in Palestine.

When the 8TH army was fighting for its life at El Alamein, the 9th were brought back to shore up the line and from the beginning fighting as a proper Division*, with their won artillery and began over again on ripping the guts out of Rommel's panzer and PGdr divisions from July through November the following year - 1942 at El Alamein.

*Dorman-Smith and the other idiots in the Auks circle had got short shrift.

The raw half-trained 9th was put into action, in a panic for GHQ NthAfrica, to replace our 6th - which had fought the Italians taking Bardia and then Tobruk from them was pulled out in the field, and sent to Greece and retreated to Crete and needed months to be rebuilt! That great strategist WS Churchill, again!?

The 9th was thus barely trained at a division level, and had little of the necessary equipment. Its own artillery units back in Palestine were not equipped. Sooo, NO Artillery units - the usual 3 field and one medium regiments of 3 batteries each. Low on MMG's IE the 3 MG Battalions came into Tobruk after the siege began, and SFA A/Tk guns, some 25MM Hotchkiss and about a third of the usual number of 2pders (one AIF RAA A/Tk Bn, instead of 3) and one LAA battery again with captured Breda 20mm.

Despite this, its performance - as individual brigades (each of 3bns like a US Regiment) - in the retreat back into Tobruk, was actually pretty good. They killed a lot more Germans than they lost.

IIRC one of the 4 British artillery's field regiment's battery's, still had 18pderMk1V's!!! and the rest had 25pdrMk1's (18/25pders). IE the Mk2's had the 25pder gun and carriage and platform! ALL though had the clever circular firing platform for direct-fire / anti-tank action! In some of the early actions there was not enough solid shot so they used delay-fused HE!

The artillery units included the two premier regiments of the RA. One regular and one Territorial - the HAC!

The level of respect that this most notorious mob of diggers - when on leave - soon got from the most stuffed shirt arm of the British Army, and vice versa mind, was covered in a good book on the RA in WWI and WWII. "Gunners at War" by Shelford Bidwell.

Even in our army 'the gunners' are the most spit and polish, drill and saluting, mob you'll ever find! The RA are the ROTLine of the British army and regard guardsmen as undisciplined louts.

"The notion of Australian soldiers being brave undisciplined amateurs is quite mistaken. Australians place a Victorian emphasis on manliness and courage. They are blunt to the point of incivility, and have no use for the answer that turneth away wrath: wrath is something they take no pains to avoid. They have no respect for artificial rank or staus unbacked by performance, and invented the coarse word bullshit to describe unprofitable and flatcatching activities, but they are when necessary well-drilled and smart soldiers. They are strongly aggressive and competitive. 'Sportsmanship' in the English sense thay have no use for. An Australian will first read the book of rules and then plans to win: a game lost is not a game enjoyed.

These attributes, all desirable in soldiers, were strengthened by a recent but strong martial tradition. Their discipline was strict, as in all good armies. True, it is doubtful if an Australian private ever asked leave to speak, and in their unbuttoned moments of leisure they tended to give the Provost-martial and his men trouble, but no more than half a dozen British Regiments that one could name.

Only strict discipline and hard, skilled training could have produced so early in 1941 infantry with the qualities the Australian displayed in Tobruk. The Australians, however much they value equality and independence, despise half hearted work and amateurishness.

The Royal Artillery can, therefore, feel sober satisfaction that they earned the respect of this army of pugnacious democrats.

The Australian historian covering the 16th April wrote of "the mutual confidences that in only two days had sprung up between these Australian infantry and the British gunners supporting them."


The 16th April was the first big attack by Rommel, the Diggers of the forward battalion it hit stripped his armour of their infantry, with the gunners shell fire helping, killing many a grenadier/soldat/pionere and pinning the rest down, even getting up out of their positions and going after them. The tanks were allowed to go through - but alone - to be severely mauled by the dug-in field guns at point-blank.

A turkey-shoot, but with the turkeys armoured and shooting back!

A regular Australian air force squadron, 3RAAF also flew support from inside Tobruk, in p40B's / Tomahawks. My father was its Medical Sgt.

Australian soldiers performed well above the average of the US and British Armies and the USMC, in the Western desert, and against the Japanese. For the Kokoda campaign the fighting was a withdrawal, without any allied artillery against a selected special landing unit of veterans from the war in China with artillery, over mountainous tropical terrain worse than the worst in Burma. The 39th BN militia and one AIF brigade of the Seventh div'n, still killed many more Japanese than their own losses. No air support and SFA supplies! And no fire superiority at all.

At Guadalcanal the USMC held ground around Henderson field, but with their own integral artillery in a series of ferocious battles, and got very very ill as all western armies did in the SWP, but theyweren't retreating and fighting. It was an almost entirely static campaign. And except for Tenaru, WITH naval gun-fire support, and air support, and good if not lavish supplies.

Our Prime Minister nearly broke the alliance# trying to get those three 2nd AIF divisions 6th, 7th and 9th back here after Japan attacked. # When he found out that FDR and Churchill had ordered the 6th and 7th sent to a falling Rangoon, without telling him, and he then turned the convoys back around.

I am an Australian, and I still consider myself to be an Australian infantryman, I was also a cathedral chorister for 9 years, among other things - ;-)!

Sooo, I WILL continue to be blunt and outspoken, here!

JBTWay - A recent thread wondering if Australia might have fought FOR fascism, reveals a level of ignorance about Australians, both then and now, that is bathetic.

Like all societies there are a few noisy and gunny crypto-fascists, but Australia is on balance a slightly left-of-centre country, my father's generation supplied men to the Intl Brigades in Spain, and called WWII 'the anti-fascist war'.

Of all the nations who fought in WWII, far more of our population joined up than the %age of Britain's, or the USA's populations, men and women!

EG. The British half of the air war in Europe/Nthafrica/Med would have foundered without them, in RAAF sqdrns and RAF units.

And we still punch above our weight globally, as dry-land farmers, in science, medicine, and in international law jsut as a few examples! Wi-fi is our idea!

I'll get out of your way now, okay!?

;-)!

aly j
09-27-2008, 09:58 PM
DESERT RATS? that was the British 7th Armoured Division, and their vehicle insignia was a Jerboa!

The 9th Australian Infantry Division, was named rats by Lord Haw-Haw when holding Tobruk for ten months, and yes it WAS the first western infantry unit to hold and defeat the German army, in their blitzkrieg tactics, and for 10 months. They adopted the title - "Rats of Tobruk". the same divsion was then rested in Palestine.

When the 8TH army was fighting for its life at El Alamein, the 9th were brought back to shore up the line and from the beginning fighting as a proper Division*, with their won artillery and began over again on ripping the guts out of Rommel's panzer and PGdr divisions from July through November the following year - 1942 at El Alamein.

*Dorman-Smith and the other idiots in the Auks circle had got short shrift.

The raw half-trained 9th was put into action, in a panic for GHQ NthAfrica, to replace our 6th - which had fought the Italians taking Bardia and then Tobruk from them was pulled out in the field, and sent to Greece and retreated to Crete and needed months to be rebuilt! That great strategist WS Churchill, again!?

The 9th was thus barely trained at a division level, and had little of the necessary equipment. Its own artillery units back in Palestine were not equipped. Sooo, NO Artillery units - the usual 3 field and one medium regiments of 3 batteries each. Low on MMG's IE the 3 MG Battalions came into Tobruk after the siege began, and SFA A/Tk guns, some 25MM Hotchkiss and about a third of the usual number of 2pders (one AIF RAA A/Tk Bn, instead of 3) and one LAA battery again with captured Breda 20mm.

Despite this, its performance - as individual brigades (each of 3bns like a US Regiment) - in the retreat back into Tobruk, was actually pretty good. They killed a lot more Germans than they lost.

IIRC one of the 4 British artillery's field regiment's battery's, still had 18pderMk1V's!!! and the rest had 25pdrMk1's (18/25pders). IE the Mk2's had the 25pder gun and carriage and platform! ALL though had the clever circular firing platform for direct-fire / anti-tank action! In some of the early actions there was not enough solid shot so they used delay-fused HE!

The artillery units included the two premier regiments of the RA. One regular and one Territorial - the HAC!

The level of respect that this most notorious mob of diggers - when on leave - soon got from the most stuffed shirt arm of the British Army, and vice versa mind, was covered in a good book on the RA in WWI and WWII. "Gunners at War" by Shelford Bidwell.

Even in our army 'the gunners' are the most spit and polish, drill and saluting, mob you'll ever find! The RA are the ROTLine of the British army and regard guardsmen as undisciplined louts.

"The notion of Australian soldiers being brave undisciplined amateurs is quite mistaken. Australians place a Victorian emphasis on manliness and courage. They are blunt to the point of incivility, and have no use for the answer that turneth away wrath: wrath is something they take no pains to avoid. They have no respect for artificial rank or staus unbacked by performance, and invented the coarse word bullshit to describe unprofitable and flatcatching activities, but they are when necessary well-drilled and smart soldiers. They are strongly aggressive and competitive. 'Sportsmanship' in the English sense thay have no use for. An Australian will first read the book of rules and then plans to win: a game lost is not a game enjoyed.

These attributes, all desirable in soldiers, were strengthened by a recent but strong martial tradition. Their discipline was strict, as in all good armies. True, it is doubtful if an Australian private ever asked leave to speak, and in their unbuttoned moments of leisure they tended to give the Provost-martial and his men trouble, but no more than half a dozen British Regiments that one could name.

Only strict discipline and hard, skilled training could have produced so early in 1941 infantry with the qualities the Australian displayed in Tobruk. The Australians, however much they value equality and independence, despise half hearted work and amateurishness.

The Royal Artillery can, therefore, feel sober satisfaction that they earned the respect of this army of pugnacious democrats.

The Australian historian covering the 16th April wrote of "the mutual confidences that in only two days had sprung up between these Australian infantry and the British gunners supporting them."


The 16th April was the first big attack by Rommel, the Diggers of the forward battalion it hit stripped his armour of their infantry, with the gunners shell fire helping, killing many a grenadier/soldat/pionere and pinning the rest down, even getting up out of their positions and going after them. The tanks were allowed to go through - but alone - to be severely mauled by the dug-in field guns at point-blank.

A turkey-shoot, but with the turkeys armoured and shooting back!

A regular Australian air force squadron, 3RAAF also flew support from inside Tobruk, in p40B's / Tomahawks. My father was its Medical Sgt.

Australian soldiers performed well above the average of the US and British Armies and the USMC, in the Western desert, and against the Japanese. For the Kokoda campaign the fighting was a withdrawal, without any allied artillery against a selected special landing unit of veterans from the war in China with artillery, over mountainous tropical terrain worse than the worst in Burma. The 39th BN militia and one AIF brigade of the Seventh div'n, still killed many more Japanese than their own losses. No air support and SFA supplies! And no fire superiority at all.

At Guadalcanal the USMC held ground around Henderson field, but with their own integral artillery in a series of ferocious battles, and got very very ill as all western armies did in the SWP, but theyweren't retreating and fighting. It was an almost entirely static campaign. And except for Tenaru, WITH naval gun-fire support, and air support, and good if not lavish supplies.

Our Prime Minister nearly broke the alliance# trying to get those three 2nd AIF divisions 6th, 7th and 9th back here after Japan attacked. # When he found out that FDR and Churchill had ordered the 6th and 7th sent to a falling Rangoon, without telling him, and he then turned the convoys back around.

I am an Australian, and I still consider myself to be an Australian infantryman, I was also a cathedral chorister for 9 years, among other things - ;-)!

Sooo, I WILL continue to be blunt and outspoken, here!

JBTWay - A recent thread wondering if Australia might have fought FOR fascism, reveals a level of ignorance about Australians, both then and now, that is bathetic.

Like all societies there are a few noisy and gunny crypto-fascists, but Australia is on balance a slightly left-of-centre country, my father's generation supplied men to the Intl Brigades in Spain, and called WWII 'the anti-fascist war'.

Of all the nations who fought in WWII, far more of our population joined up than the %age of Britain's, or the USA's populations, men and women!

EG. The British half of the air war in Europe/Nthafrica/Med would have foundered without them, in RAAF sqdrns and RAF units.

And we still punch above our weight globally, as dry-land farmers, in science, medicine, and in international law jsut as a few examples! Wi-fi is our idea!

I'll get out of your way now, okay!?

;-)!

Youre information is great,im learning from youre information;)
I was watching a documentry and found out that aussie diggers pushed back Rommel. For now on Rommel calls aussies Rats,but if i remember correctly Rommel all so calls britts The Desert Rats,Rommel was quite shocked when he found out it was australia,I dont know if its 100% but it did come from a documentry.:)

aly j
10-07-2008, 08:54 PM
Hey R/S- I said that Australian unit pushed back Rommell and i was right.
It says it was class as an Australian unit that pushed back Rommell.

Here you go R/S.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm
Where did i first learn about this information from -History Channel. Cheers.

flamethrowerguy
10-08-2008, 05:59 AM
Hey R/S- I said that Australian unit pushed back Rommell and i was right.
It says it was class as an Australian unit that pushed back Rommell.

Here you go R/S.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm
Where did i first learn about this information from -History Channel. Cheers.

Same problem here: the link leads to an error message!

Rising Sun*
10-08-2008, 06:46 AM
Same problem here: the link leads to an error message!

Hardly surprising, as it's a serious error to think that Australian siege units at Tobruk pushed the besieging German units back. ;)

This may be the link ali j meant to post http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm , which differs from ali's posted link by omitting 'pages-' and which, as with so much of ali's work, neatly avoids presenting the evidence which isn't there to support his / her claims.

Australians did, however, play an important part in pushing Rommel back at Second El Alamein, but overall that victory involved predominantly British forces with substantial assistance from various other nations including New Zealand, India, Greece, South Africa and France.

aly j
10-08-2008, 08:20 AM
Hardly surprising, as it's a serious error to think that Australian siege units at Tobruk pushed the besieging German units back. ;)

This may be the link ali j meant to post http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm , which differs from ali's posted link by omitting 'pages-' and which, as with so much of ali's work, neatly avoids presenting the evidence which isn't there to support his / her claims.

Australians did, however, play an important part in pushing Rommel back at Second El Alamein, but overall that victory involved predominantly British forces with substantial assistance from various other nations including New Zealand, India, Greece, South Africa and France.
Hey sorry about that link dont know what happened there.

http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/ww2/anecdotes/tobruk.html
IT proofs it was aussie soildiers and not british soildiers.
And RS im a HER. cheers

Rising Sun*
10-08-2008, 08:36 AM
Hey sorry about that link dont know what happened there.

http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/ww2/anecdotes/tobruk.html

Yeah, right!

It's easy to mis-type http://www.diggerhistory.info/-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm
at #7 for http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/ww2/anecdotes/tobruk.html at #10.

Entirely understandable mistake, anybody could easily confuse those two in typing or copying and pasting a web address. :rolleyes:


IT proofs it was aussie soildiers and not british soildiers.

Your assertion at #7 was that Australian soldiers pushed Rommel back, yet your limited references are to Tobruk, which was a siege.

Precisely when did Australian soldiers break out from the siege and force Rommel back from Tobruk?

aly j
10-08-2008, 08:55 AM
Yeah, right!

It's easy to mis-type http://www.diggerhistory.info/-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm
at #7 for http://www.anzacday.org.au/history/ww2/anecdotes/tobruk.html at #10.

Entirely understandable mistake, anybody could easily confuse those two in typing or copying and pasting a web address. :rolleyes:



Your assertion at #7 was that Australian soldiers pushed Rommel back, yet your limited references are to Tobruk, which was a siege.

Precisely when did Australian soldiers break out from the siege and force Rommel back from Tobruk?
Hey RS- cause Rommel stated that the aussies where rats with teeth and they were a strong force that push him back,im not saying auusie beat him, im saying they push him back. All the information was in the first address i did, but i should of put faq and not ***, i spelt one word wrong thats why it didt work.

Rising Sun*
10-08-2008, 09:01 AM
Hey RS- cause Rommel stated that the aussies where rats with teeth and they were a strong force that push him back,im not saying auusie beat him, im saying they push him back. All the information was in the first address i did, but i should of put faq and not ***, i spelt one word wrong thats why it didt work.

How many kilometres, rounded to whatever figure you like, did the Australians push Rommel back after breaking out of the siege?

aly j
10-08-2008, 09:09 AM
How many kilometres, rounded to whatever figure you like, did the Australians push Rommel back after breaking out of the siege?

RS- Im trying to proof a point about aussies pushing back rommel and that the aussies were in deed called the deserts rats by Rommel, not how far or kilometers. Hey are you a defence lawyer? cheers.

Rising Sun*
10-08-2008, 09:13 AM
RS- Im trying to proof a point about aussies pushing back rommel and that the aussies were in deed called the deserts rats by Rommel, not how far or kilometers.

If the Australians pushed Rommel back from Tobruk, the distance would be known.

How far was it?

To the nearest 10k will do.

Also, how did the Australians manage it before the 9th Div 2nd AIF was taken out without, according to Australian records, doing anything more than maintaining the fortress during the siege?

aly j
10-08-2008, 09:25 AM
If the Australians pushed Rommel back from Tobruk, the distance would be known.

How far was it?

To the nearest 10k will do.

Also, how did the Australians manage it before the 9th Div 2nd AIF was taken out without, according to Australian records, doing anything more than maintaining the fortress during the siege?

I go and get the right address, i typed the wrong address.
Hey are you a defence laywer?

aly j
10-08-2008, 09:45 AM
http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm
Go right down of the bottom of the page.

Rising Sun*
10-08-2008, 08:46 PM
http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm
Go right down of the bottom of the page.

There is nothing there about the Australians pushing Rommel back at Tobruk.

Probably because they didn't.

aly j
10-08-2008, 09:43 PM
There is nothing there about the Australians pushing Rommel back at Tobruk.

Probably because they didn't.

Hey RS It proofs it was Aussie soildiers and not british soildiers, and it proofs that they hold of the Germans, and it proofs that Rommel did called the Aussies soildiers the Dersert Rats which i was wrongly acussed of.
But i must apolised to you, got my information wrong about pushing Rommel back. Truce, Cheers.
Hey RS- Are you a defence laywer?