The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 15, April 10, 2011, Article 8

THE RATS OF TOBRUK MEDAL

Web site visitor Damien Lewis writes:

I saw this old entry on the net about the Rats of Tobruk medal that was made by the men of Tobruk. I thought I would see if you every found out about it. The only reason I ask is that I have one (my mums uncle was a Rat) and was doing some personal research on it. If you were still interested after all this time I can send you a photo.

This is one of The E-Sylum's unsolved mysteries. As far as I know, we never had a follow-up to the original query. Below is the text of that article, together with an image of Damien's medal. Thanks! -Editor

Rats Of Tobruk Medal

The Sydney Morning Herald this week published a story about a reporter's visit to the Libyan city of Tobruk, which was a focal point for Australian servicemen in World War II. The article mentions a medal created by the soldiers.

"A pilgrimage to the bustling Libyan city turns up poignant reminders of Australian soldiers in the siege of Tobruk, Anthony Ham writes.

"Few names resonate through Australian history like Tobruk. It is a place that has become central to our understanding of who we are as Australians. Like Gallipoli, it is a battlefield where the legend of the Anzacs was forged. And like the Somme it is a place where thousands of Australians lie buried."

"... with the soldiers hunkered down in trenches and in caves such as these, a Radio Berlin announcer dismissed the Australians as the "rats of Tobruk", drawing a parallel with rodents burrowing underground. Designed to bolster German propaganda and destroy Australian morale, the name was instead quickly adopted by the Australians as a badge of honour. One of the most famous photos of the siege shows a Bren gun carrier adorned with the words "Rats to you". The Australians also amused themselves by designing an unofficial medal from the metal of a downed German plane with a rat as its centrepiece."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: RATS OF TOBRUK MEDAL INFORMATION SOUGHT (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v10n16a18.html)

To read the original Sydney Morning Herald article, see: Rats to you (www.smh.com.au/news/africa/rats-to-you/2007/04/18/1176696918167.html)

Wayne Homren, Editor

Google
 
NBS (coinbooks.org) Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

To subscribe go to: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum

PREV ARTICLE       NEXT ARTICLE       FULL ISSUE       PREV FULL ISSUE      

V14 2011 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Copyright © 1998 - 2012 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster
coin