The Info List - Tobruk

or Tubruq (Ancient Greek: Αντίπυργος) (/təˈbrʊk, toʊ-/;[3] Arabic: طبرق‎ Ṭubruq; also transliterated as Tóbruch, Tobruch, Tobruck and Tubruk) is a port city on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border of Egypt. It is the capital of the Butnan District
Butnan District
(formerly Tobruk
District) and has a population of 120,000 (2011 est.).[4] Tobruk
was the site of an ancient Greek colony and, later, of a Roman fortress guarding the frontier of Cyrenaica.[4] Over the centuries, Tobruk
also served as a waystation along the coastal caravan route.[4] By 1911, Tobruk
had become an Italian military post, but during World War II, Allied forces, mainly the Australian 6th Division, took Tobruk on 22 January 1941. The Australian 9th Division ("The Rats of Tobruk") pulled back to Tobruk
to avoid encirclement after actions at Er Regima and Mechili
and reached Tobruk
on 9 April 1941 where prolonged fighting against German and Italian forces followed. Although the siege was lifted by Operation Crusader
Operation Crusader
in November 1941, a renewed offensive by Axis forces under Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel
the following year resulted in Tobruk
being captured in June 1942 and held by the Axis forces until November 1942, when it was recaptured by the Allies. Rebuilt after World War II, Tobruk
was later expanded during the 1960s to include a port terminal linked by an oil pipeline to the Sarir oil field.[4] King Idris of Libya
had his palace at Bab Zaytun. Tobruk
was traditionally a stronghold of the Senussi royal dynasty and one of the first to rebel against Colonel Gaddafi in the Arab Spring.


1 Geography 2 Climate 3 History

3.1 Antiquity 3.2 Modern history

3.2.1 World War II Strategic importance Italian advance British capture of Tobruk German capture of Tobruk British recapture

3.2.2 Libyan Civil Wars

4 Notable people 5 See also 6 Notes 7 External links


An aerial image of Tobruk's harbour.

has a strong, naturally protected deep harbour. It is probably the best natural port in northern Africa,[citation needed] although due to the lack of important nearby land sites it is certainly not the most popular. The city is effectively surrounded by a desert lightly populated with nomadic herdsmen who travel from oasis to oasis. There are many escarpments (cliffs) to the south of Tobruk
(and indeed in all of Cyrenaica, the eastern half of Libya). These escarpments generally have their high sides to the south and their low sides (dip slopes) to the north. This constitutes a substantial physical barrier between the north and south of Libya
in the Tobruk
area. Previously, Tobruk
was some 470 km (290 mi) from Benghazi through the Libyan Coastal Highway, but this distance was shortened to 450 km (280 mi) after the construction of the Charruba–Timimi Road
Charruba–Timimi Road
between the years 1975 and 1985. Construction of the Tobruk- Ajdabiya
road reduced the distance between those two cities from 620 km (390 mi) to about 410 km (250 mi). Because it is approximately 150 km (93 mi) away from Egypt by land, Tobruk
is also an important hub for merchants from both Egypt and Libya, and for travellers between the two countries as well as those from Bayda and Derna. However, Tobruk
suffers a serious saltwater intrusion problem. A factory for the desalination of sea water has been built there. Climate[edit] Tobruk
features a hot desert climate (BWh according to the Köppen climate classification.)

Climate data for Tobruk
(Sunshine 1996-2015)

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year

Record high °C (°F) 25.2 (77.4) 31.5 (88.7) 39.5 (103.1) 42.6 (108.7) 43.0 (109.4) 44.6 (112.3) 41.9 (107.4) 41.8 (107.2) 41.0 (105.8) 38.1 (100.6) 33.5 (92.3) 27.7 (81.9) 44.6 (112.3)

Average high °C (°F) 16.9 (62.4) 17.6 (63.7) 19.5 (67.1) 23.0 (73.4) 24.6 (76.3) 27.1 (80.8) 27.7 (81.9) 28.0 (82.4) 27.5 (81.5) 26.3 (79.3) 22.9 (73.2) 19.2 (66.6) 23.4 (74.1)

Daily mean °C (°F) 12.2 (54) 13.3 (55.9) 15.4 (59.7) 18.3 (64.9) 20.6 (69.1) 23.3 (73.9) 24.9 (76.8) 25.4 (77.7) 24.5 (76.1) 22.5 (72.5) 19.1 (66.4) 15.1 (59.2) 19.5 (67.1)

Average low °C (°F) 8.9 (48) 9.5 (49.1) 11.3 (52.3) 13.6 (56.5) 16.6 (61.9) 19.6 (67.3) 22.0 (71.6) 22.7 (72.9) 21.5 (70.7) 18.7 (65.7) 15.4 (59.7) 11.1 (52) 15.9 (60.6)

Record low °C (°F) 2.1 (35.8) 0.8 (33.4) 5.3 (41.5) 6.1 (43) 7.8 (46) 12.6 (54.7) 16.1 (61) 16.7 (62.1) 15.2 (59.4) 11.5 (52.7) 7.2 (45) 3.4 (38.1) 0.8 (33.4)

Average precipitation mm (inches) 38 (1.5) 25 (0.98) 11 (0.43) 4 (0.16) 2 (0.08) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 1 (0.04) 8 (0.31) 19 (0.75) 36 (1.42) 145 (5.71)

Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 8 6 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 3 7 32

Average relative humidity (%) 66 64 65 64 69 72 74 73 71 67 67 65 68

Mean monthly sunshine hours 232.5 299.5 288.3 246.0 306.9 348.0 350.3 331.7 288.0 257.3 285.0 179.8 3,413.3

Source #1: Deutscher Wetterdienst[5]

Source #2: Weather Online[6]

History[edit] Antiquity[edit] Further information: Marmarica
and North Africa
during Antiquity An Ancient Greek agricultural colony, Antipyrgus (Ancient Greek: Αντίπυργος) was once on the site of modern Tobruk,[4] and the ancient name is still occasionally in use. The name roughly meant "across from Pyrgos", referring to a location in Crete
across the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean Sea
from Antipyrgos. In the Roman era, the town became a Roman fortress guarding the Cyrenaican frontier. With the spread of Christianity, Antipyrgus became an episcopal see. Only one of its ancient bishops is known by name: Aemilianus, who took part in the Second Council of Constantinople
Second Council of Constantinople
in 553.[7] No longer a residential bishopric, Antipyrgus is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular see.[8] Later the site became a way station on the caravan route that ran along the coast. Modern history[edit] The Hotel Tobruk was built in 1937. World War II[edit] Main articles: Western Desert Campaign
Western Desert Campaign
and Siege of Tobruk At the beginning of World War II, Libya
was an Italian colony and Tobruk
became the site of important battles between the Allies and Axis powers. Tobruk
was strategically important to the conquest of Eastern Libya, then the province of Cyrenaica, for several reasons. Strategic importance[edit]

The Battle
of Gazala
in May 1942, which was fought in the vicinity of Tobruk

had a deep, natural, and protected harbour, which meant that even if the port were bombed, ships would still be able to anchor there and be safe from squalls, so the port could never be rendered wholly useless regardless of military bombardment. This was of critical importance, as it made Tobruk
an excellent place to supply a desert warfare campaign. It was also heavily fortified by the Italians prior to their invasion of Egypt
in November 1940. In addition to these prepared fortifications, there were a number of escarpments and cliffs to the south of Tobruk, providing substantial physical barriers to any advance on the port over land. Tobruk
was also on a peninsula, allowing it to be defended by a minimal number of troops, which the Allies used to their advantage when the port was under siege. An attacker could not simply bypass the defenders, for if they did, the besieged would sally forth and cut off the nearby supply lines of the attacker, spoiling their advance. But Tobruk
was also strategically significant, due to its location with regard to the remainder of Cyrenaica. Attackers from the east who had secured Tobruk
could then advance through the desert to Benghazi, cutting off all enemy troops along the coast, such as those at Derna. This advance would be protected from counterattack, due to escarpments that were quite difficult for a military force to climb, running generally from Tobruk
to Suluq. Due to the importance of maintaining supply in the desert, getting cut off in this area was disastrous. Therefore, whoever held both Suluq
and Tobruk
controlled the majority of Cyrenaica. Finally, 24 km (15 mi) south of the port was the largest airfield in eastern Libya. This was significant due to the importance of air power in desert warfare. Italian advance[edit] Italian forces (and their native Libyan allies — about two divisions of the latter) invaded Egypt
in early September 1940 but halted their advance after a week and dug in at Sidi Barrani. In early December, British Empire forces — an armoured division and two infantry divisions — launched a counterstrike codenamed Operation Compass. The Italians had previously invaded Albania and occupied part of the south of France, and had now made a military incursion into a British protectorate. British capture of Tobruk[edit] The counterstrike involved the British pocketing two of the Italian camps against the Mediterranean, forcing their surrender. This led to a general Italian retreat to El Agheila. Tobruk
was captured by British, Australian and Indian forces on 22 January 1941. Italy called on her German ally, which sent an army corps, under the name Deutsches Afrika Korps
Deutsches Afrika Korps
(DAK). Italy also sent several more divisions to Libya. These forces, under Lieutenant-General
Erwin Rommel, drove the Allies back across Cyrenaica
to the Egyptian border, leaving Tobruk
isolated and under siege. The defenders of the fortress consisted of the Australian 9th Division, the Australian 18th Brigade and some British tanks and artillery. They were later reinforced and replaced by the British 70th Infantry Division, Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade, a Czechoslovak battalion and a British tank brigade. The siege lasted until December, when Operation Crusader pushed the DAK and Italians back out of Cyrenaica. German capture of Tobruk[edit] Main article: Battle
of Gazala Rommel's second offensive took place in May and June 1942. Tobruk
was taken in an outflanking attack on 21 June 1942, capturing the largest number of British Commonwealth
British Commonwealth
troops after the fall of Singapore earlier in the year, where over 80,000 were captured. Rommel was promoted to Generalfeldmarschall, shortly thereafter and was the youngest in the Wehrmacht
Heer to achieve this rank. The following units were deployed in Tobruk
on 20 June 1942, and most of them were captured by the Axis forces:[9]

2nd South African Infantry Division 4th Royal Tank Regiment 7th Royal Tank Regiment 3rd Battalion, Coldstream Guards 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters 1st Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment 2nd Battalion, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders 2nd Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry 2nd Battalion, 7th Gurkha Rifles 67 Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery 68 Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery 25th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

British recapture[edit] Tobruk
remained in Axis hands until 11 November 1942, when the Allies captured it after the Second Battle
of El Alamein. It remained in Allied hands thereafter. Although not as much a reason for its strategic significance, the British built a rail line from El Alamein to Tobruk
during the course of the war. This rail line was significant both for purposes of supply and as a sense of pride to the Allied troops, as the rail line was built through a little-populated, inhospitable desert. Libyan Civil Wars[edit] At the outset of the 2011 Libyan Civil War, the city quickly came under the control of the NTC.[10] In September 2014 the internationally recognized government[11] of Libya
relocated to a Greek car ferry in Tobruk
harbor.[12] A rival New General National Congress parliament continued to operate in Tripoli.[13][14] In October 2014 they again re-located, to a hotel named Dar al-Salam[15][16] also known as the Al Masira Hotel[17] in Tobruk. In November 2014 that government was declared illegal by Libya's highest court.[18] Notable people[edit] Professor Omar El Barasi (b. 1951), who once managed the Libyan branch of Society of Petroleum Engineers, and later became a deputy of Libya PM Abdurrahim El-Keib[19] is from Tobruk
and gained his doctorate in petroleum engineering from Waseda University, Japan.[citation needed] Abulgassem Tayeb Sharef ( b.1943), who had managed several oil companies and was once the "youngest" General Manager of the international Marketing of oil products in Elbrega Company. (Brussels University "technical chemistry") Eman al-Obeidi, a Libyan woman who was abused by the Gaddafi government during the Libyan Civil War, is from Tobruk. See also[edit]

List of cities in Libya Railway stations in Libya Knightsbridge War Cemetery WW2 British Commonwealth
British Commonwealth


On 1 January 1934, Tripolitania, Cyrenaica, and Fezzan were united as the Italian colony of Libya. However, during World War II
World War II
these names continued to be used.

^ "Tubruq - Wolfram-Alpha". wolframalpha.com. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ Der Spiegel, 2011 Aug 23 ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach, James Hartmann and Jane Setter, eds., English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 3-12-539683-2 CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link) ^ a b c d e "Tobruk" (history), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2006, Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, Concise.Britannica.com BC-Tobruk Archived 2008-01-02 at the Wayback Machine.. ^ "Klimatafel von Tobruk
/ Libyen" (PDF). Baseline climate means (1961-1990) from stations all over the world (in German). Deutscher Wetterdienst. Retrieved 28 March 2016.  ^ http://www.weatheronline.co.uk/weather/maps/city?FMM=1&FYY=1996&LMM=12&LYY=2015&WMO=62062&CONT=afri&REGION=0011&LAND=LY&ART=SON&R=0&NOREGION=1&LEVEL=162&LANG=en&MOD=tab ^ Michel Lequien, Oriens christianus in quatuor Patriarchatus digestus, Paris 1740, Vol. II, coll. 633-634 ^ Annuario Pontificio 2013 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2013 ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1), p. 834 ^ Agar-Hamilton, J. A. I. & Turner, L. F. C. (1952). Crisis in the Desert: May - July 1942. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.  Appendix C ^ "Gaddafi defiant as state teeters". Al Jazeera. 23 February 2011.  ^ "Greek oil tanker bombed in Libyan port of Derna". BBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ Chris Stephen. "Libyan parliament takes refuge in Greek car ferry". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ "Libya's Islamist militias claim control of capital". Associated Press. The Washington Post. 24 August 2014. Archived from the original on August 25, 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2014.  ^ Chris Stephen (9 September 2014). "Libyan parliament takes refuge in Greek car ferry". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2014.  ^ Ulf Laessing (2 October 2014). "Insight - Libya's runaway parliament seeks refuge in Tobruk
bubble". Reuters UK. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ "Libya's government holed up in a 1970s hotel". BBC News. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ "Al Masira Hotel". tripadvisor.co.uk. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ "Libyan court rules elected parliament illegal". aljazeera.com. Retrieved 26 December 2015.  ^ Libyan Transitional Government-Bureau Of Prime minister (defunct)

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Tobruk.

Tobruk: Australian toughness beats Rommel Tobruk
War cemetery - video

v t e

Butnan District, Libya



Towns and villages

Jaghbub Bardia Gazala Musaid Acroma Al Adm Bi'r al Ashhab Zawiyat Janzur Kambut Gasr el Jadi

v t e

Administrative seats of the districts of Libya

Ajdabiya Al Jawf ‘Aziziya Bayda Benghazi Brak Derna Gharyan Ghat Hun Khoms Marj Misrata Murzuk Nalut Sabha Sirte Tripoli Tobruk Ubari Zawiya Zuwara


v t e

Largest cities or towns in Libya [1][2][3]

Rank Name District Pop.


Benghazi 1 Tripoli Tripoli 1,250,000



2 Benghazi Benghazi 700,000

3 Misurata Misurata 350,000

4 Bayda Jabal al Akhdar 250,000

5 Al Khums Murqub 201,000

6 Zawiya Zawiya 200,000

7 Ajdabiya Al Wahat 134,000

8 Sabha Sabha 130,000

9 Sirte Sirte 128,000

10 Tobruk Butnan 120,000

v t e

Libyan Oil-ports

Gulf of Sidra

Sidra Ra's Lanuf Brega Ez Zweitina


(El Hariga) Zawiya

Authority control

GND: 4060288-6 BNF: cb15035535q (data) MusicBrainz: 5e661259-d1d4-4f40-b39c-