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Australia 2011-P Famous Battles in Australian History #2 - Desert Siege of Tobruk Rats World War II 1941 AD $1 Pure Silver Dollar Proof with Color
(You save $40.00)
Remember the "Desert Rats of Tobruk", who halted the Nazi blitzkrieg of Rommel Afrika Korps during World War II, on this military pure silver dollar!
The Battle of Tobruk, during the North African Campaign of the World War II, stared in April 1941, when Tobruk was attacked by an Italian-German force under German General Erwin "The Desert Fox" Rommel. It continued for 8 months. The siege was only a couple of months old when the traitorous renegade Lord Haw Haw, broadcasting from Berlin, said the Allies were "caught like rats in a trap". The Allied soldiers accepted the title and became the renowned "Rats of Tobruk". The Allied troops endured intense bombing raids but held their ground, defying the seemingly unstoppable blitzkrieg of the German war machine. The coins obverse portrays an Australian soldier wearing wearing Second World War Western Desert Campaign military issue. The color image depicts the troops under siege in a desert trench.
Talisman Coins and the Perth Mint are honored to present the new Famous Battles in Australian History Series. Following on the heels of the tremendously well received Famous Battles of History and Famous Naval Battles programs, the Famous Battles in Australian History Series comprises legal tender, Australian, pure silver dollars commemorating five important conflicts that loom large in the consciousness of all Australians. All remember the heroic mettle and stalwart resolve of the Aussie soldiers, often against long odds. Please note that the mintage limit for coins in this program is only 5,000, not the customary 7,500 typical of Australian legal tender proof silver dollars!
Click here for all coins in the Famous Battles in Australian History program!
The "Desert Rats" vs. The "Desert Fox"
The siege of Tobruk was a confrontation that lasted 240 days (8 months) between Axis and Allied forces in North Africa during the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. The siege started on 11 April 1941, when Tobruk was attacked by an ItalianGerman force under Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel and his vaunted (and hitherto undefeated) Afrika Korps, and continued until December, when it was relieved by the Allied Eighth Army during Operation Crusader.
For much of the siege, Tobruk was defended by the reinforced Australian 9th Division under Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead. General Archibald Wavell, Commander-in-Chief of British Middle East Command, instructed Morshead to hold the fortress for eight weeks, but the 9th Australian Division held it for over five months before being gradually withdrawn during September! The Aussie 9th was replaced by the British 70th Infantry Division, the Polish Carpathian Brigade and Czechoslovak 11th Infantry Battalion (East) under the overall command of Major-General Ronald Scobie. The fresh defenders continued to hold Tobruk until they were able to link with the advancing Eighth Army at the end of November during Operation Crusader.
The "Tobruk Ferry Service", made up of Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy warships, played an important role in Tobruk's defense, providing gunfire support, supplies, fresh troops, and ferrying out the wounded.
Maintaining control of Tobruk was crucial to the Allied war effort. Tobruk was home to the only other major port on the African coast between Tripoli and Alexandria (besides Benghazi). Had the Allies lost it, the German and Italian supply lines would have been drastically shortened. Moreover, Rommel was in no position to attack across the Egyptian border towards Cairo and Alexandria while the Tobruk garrison threatened the supply lines of his front-line units.
Tobruk marked the first time that an advance of German Panzers had been brought to a halt. Following Operation Crusader the siege of Tobruk was lifted in December, 1941.
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Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)
ANZAC army formations and units include both Australian and New Zealand troops. The term ANZAC originated as an acronym for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, an army group of Australian and New Zealand troops who fought against the Ottoman Turks in 1915 at the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. This Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was disbanded in 1916 and other ANZAC formations were then formed and fought during that war in the Middle East and on the Western Front. The term ANZAC was used again during the Second World War and the Vietnam War as part of the name of battalions composed of Australian and New Zealand troops.
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Within Australasia, ANZAC came to stand not just for the troops in World War I, but for Australian and New Zealand soldiers in time of war more generally. ANZAC Day is observed annually in memory of those soldiers who died in war. It is celebrated each year by both countries on April 25th, the date of the first landing at Gallipoli in 1915, on a beach known as ANZAC Cove. ANZAC Day now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations. As such, it is very similar to days such as Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Armistice Day, Remembrance Day and V-E Day that are celebrated in the United States, Canada, and other western countries.
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The Siege of Tobruk Silver Proof is the second in the ongoing Famous Battles in Australian History Series, to be released by the Perth Mint. Coins commemorating the following battles are planned:
Gallipoli Campaign, 1915 AD - World War I
Siege of Tobruk, 1941 AD - World War II
Kokoda Track Campaign, 1942 AD - World War II
Battle of Kapyong, 1951 AD - Korean War
Battle of Long Tan, 1966 AD - Vietnam War
+ Five Coin Display Box
Click here for all coins in the Famous Battles in Australian History program!
The Complete 5-Coin Collection consisting of all five different Famous Australian Battles Silver Dollars may be available - click here to see if it is!
The Perth Mint of Australia employs its own proprietary colorization technology, in which the color is actually sealed on the coin. The vibrant hues and precise execution of the technology create a stunning, full-color portrait on each coin.
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The coins obverse portrays an Australian soldier wearing wearing Second World War Western Desert Campaign military issue. The color image depicts the troops under siege in a desert trench. The legend TOBRUK 1941 defines the theme. The Perth Mint's "P" mint mark is near 8:00 on the edge.
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Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in crowned profile facing right. This portrait, featuring Her Majesty wearing a tiara and pearl earrings, was executed by the sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. The legend QUEEN ELIZABETH II and denomination also appear.
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The coin is encapsulated inside a handsome taupe leatherette, clamshell-style presentation case, lined with black velvet and satin, and protected by a full-color outer box. An individually-numbered certificate of authenticity is included.
|Mint||Perth Mint of Australia|
|Year of Issue||2011|
|Face Value||One Dollar|
|Gauge (Thickness)||4.00 mm|
|Finish||Proof with Color|
|Composition||.999 Fine (Pure) Silver|
|Edge||Reeded (milled, serrated)|
|Artist||Wade Robinson (obverse)
Ian Rank-Broadley (reverse)