2015 50c Uncirculated Coin - Australia at War -Tobruk
The popular Australia at War series continues with this uncirculated coin, paying tribute to the Australian soldiers in the Second World War affectionately remembered as the ‘Rats of Tobruk.’ This coin will be cherished by military historians, coin collectors and those whose families have served in conflict.
HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE
In 1941, Australian and Allied forces sought to defend Egypt and the Suez Canal from the German and Italian Axis forces. To achieve this, it was vital that the Allies hold the fortified port of Tobruk on the Libyan coast. Not only would this delay the Axis’ advance, but would also force their troops to carry the many supplies overland across 1500 kilometres of desert.
British and Commonwealth forces successfully captured the Tobruk fortress and held it against besieging Axis troops for eight months. With
the Allies’ extensive network of trenches and underground tunnels, Nazi propagandist William Joyce tried to discredit them by labelling them as the ‘Rats of Tobruk.’ This nickname was reclaimed by the defending soldiers who wore the name with pride.
From 1 March 1941 until 15 December 1941, a total of 832 Australians made the ultimate sacrifice, 2177 were wounded and 941 taken as prisoners of war. Their efforts are forever remembered as a vital part of this strategic victory.
FEATURES AND DESIGN
• Part of the Royal Australian Mint’s Official Anzac Centenary Coin Program and Australia at War Series
• Produced in collaboration with the Australian War Memorial
• This coin pays tribute to the bravery of the ‘Rats of Tobruk’
• Uncirculated coin in a presentation card
• Reverse design features moving imagery of soldiers engaged in battle
• Obverse features Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II effigy sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley
• Australian legal tender