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Tobruk is a port city in Libya, close to the Egyptian border. Due to its good harbour, it was of considerable strategic importance during the North African campaign of World War II.

Captured by British forces from the Italians in 1941, it was then besieged by the newly arrived German Afrika Korps. British forces mounted Operation Compass to raise the siege in December 1941, but was then taken by an Axis surprise attack in June 1942. An equally long siege by the British forces lasted until November, and the city was only recaptured with the surrender of German forces in Africa.