The Rats of Tobruk Memorial, Anzac Parade, Campbell.
Photographed by Dom Northcott.
This memorial commemorates the historic siege of Tobruk, Libya, from April to December 1941 where Australians, British, Indian, Czechoslovakian, Polish and other allied troops held off a larger German force. Of the garrison of 22,000 about 14,000 were Australian. The name derives from German radio propagandist, Lord Haw Haw, who referred to the troops as ‘rats who would be smoked out of their holes’. The Australians made this name their own.
The memorial is based on the one in the Tobruk War Cemetery, built by Royal Australian Engineers during the siege. That memorial has since been destroyed. The original marble inscription stone was brought back to Australia after the war and is incorporated in the obelisk. The Eternal Flame was installed in 1984. A time capsule was placed in the step below the marble stone on 17 April 1991, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the siege.
Click here to learn more about Anzac Parade and its memorials.
Acknowledgement of Country
Our work is on the land of the Ngunnawal People, Ngunnawal Country. We pay our respects to their Elders – past, present and emerging.