Tobruk Fortifications

Background

In preparation for the attack on Tobruk, Division z.b.V. Africa issued a number of detailed drawings of the Tobruk fortifications to the assault troops, to help them in overcoming these. The fortifications were built by the Italian army.

Fortification Diagrams

Diagram 1: Schematic outline of the fortification line in the breakthrough sector.

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  • Concrete works at terrain level
  • With 1-2 AT guns and 2-4 MG
  • All round fortifications
  • Continous and anti-tank ditch in forward line
  • With partial wire obstacles and some minefields 
  • ‘Angreifer’ = attacker

Diagram 2: Cut Diagram of the AT ditch.

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  • ‘Querschnitt’ = cross section
  • ‘betonierte Steilwand’ = concrete vertical wall
  • ‘wechselnd’ = changing

Diagram 4: Top-Down View of a Combat position of the forward line.

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  • ‘Befestigungswerke in ebenem Gelände mit 3 M.G. Ständen’  = fortified works in flat terrain with 3 MG positions
  • ‘Sockel fuer Fliegerbeschuss’ = fixation point for AA fire
  • ‘M.G. Stand’ = MG fighting position
  • ‘Treppe’ – stairs
  • ‘Unterstand für Mannschaften u. Munition’ = covered position for men and ammunition
  • ‘Breit’ = breadth
  • ‘Lageplan’ = overview map
  • ‘Masstab 1:200’ = 1:200 Scale
  • ‘Unterstand fuer Bedienung und Munition’ = covered position for operators and ammunition
  • ‘Wasserbehaelter’ = water tank
  • ‘Zentraler Unterstand m. Eisenbetondecke 1m Stark’ = central covered position with reinforced concrete roof 1m thick

 

Diagram 4: Detail of work of the forward line.

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  • ‘hinteres drahthindernis’ = rear wire obstacle
  • ‘betonierter Graben’ = concrete ditch
  • ‘z. Tl. getarnt, oder mit Stacheldraht ueberdeckt’ = partially camouflaged or covered with wire
  • ‘Übergang’ = crossing
  • ‘durchlaufender Flandernzaun zwischen den Werken’ = continuous wire/fence installation between works.
  • ‘Tiefe’ = depth
  • ‘vorderes Drahthindernis (versenkt) vermutl. mit S-Minen versehen’ = forward wire obstacle, dug in, probably with added anti-personnel mines
  • ‘Querschnitt des vorderen Drahthindernisses’ = cross section of forward wire obstacle

Diagram 5: Combat position of the rear line.

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  • ‘Befestigungwerke in ebenem Gelände mit 2 M.G. Ständen und 1 PAK Stand’ = fortification works in flat terrain with 2 MG and 1 AT gun fighting position
  • ‘PAK – Stand’ = AT gun fighting positon
  • ‘Wasser’ = water
  • ‘Befehlsstelle’ = Command Post
  • ‘Beobachtungsloch’ = Observation hole
  • ‘Eingang zum Unterstand’ = Entrance to covered position
  • Others as forward line translations.

 

Diagram 5: Combat position with one MG fighting position.

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  • ‘Linke Stellung’  left fighting position
  • ‘Verbindungsgraben’ = communication trench
  • Other translations as before

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