MyStory - WWII Tobruk: Rommel and Churchill

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  • Interviewee name: Ronnie Carroll

  • Date of event: 1 Jan 1941

  • In 1939, Ronnie joined the Royal Marine Commandos and in this story he recalls a serving in Tobruk, fighting in the deserts of Egypt, encountering Rommel's forces in the Egyptian deserts and Churchill visiting the troops in Cairo. Firstly, Ronnie recalls being positioned in Tobruk and being directly involved in the raids at the time. Two large ships were launched from Alexandria and sent out to execute a raid on Tobruk, only to come under unexpected fire from the enemy following the news being leaked to the Axis Forces! Ronnie and his Commandos continued on their mission to circle Tobruk in their endeavour to secure the precious harbour. Ronnie describes trudging through the unforgiving desert terrain of Tobuk and meeting enemy soldiers face-to-face, however with the enemies with their backs to the Commandoes they did not shoot but relinquished their artillery and sent them on their way,. Ronnie also excitedly recalls the responsibility given to him to accompany a Hurricane pilot whilst fighting in the desert as means of locating the exact position of where Rommel's troops were positioned and advancing from. Despite the undoubtedly frightful situation asked of Ronnie he obliged and carried out his mission, returning unscathed and with the necessary information gathered which subsequently aided in unearthing Rommel's advancement tactics. Following from this, Ronnie recalls a few days of a lull in the fighting in which his squadron were given a couple of days leave to visit Cairo, the capital city of Egypt. Unbeknown to the troops at the time, this also coincided with a Churchill's trip out to The Middle East, and consequently Churchill formally addressing Ronnie and the Commandos stationed there. After what Ronnie recalls as the briefest of announcements, comprised of general commandments on how well all the British Troops were performing out in the desert, Churchill and his safeguard soon disappeared, much to the muted jeers of a number or Ronnie's Commandos!

  • Egypt second world war ww2 invasion WWII 1940s MyStory cairo seige

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