Osprey's examination of one of the epic battles of the desert war of World War II (1939-1945). In March 1941, with Wavell's British troops having routed the Italians from Cyrenaica, General Erwin Rommel arrived in Tripoli to command the Deutsches Afrikakorps. Over the next two years the Afrikakorps and its commander would become legendary. In his first offensive, Rommel swept across the desert, driving the British back to the Egyptian frontier and capturing much of the 2nd Armoured Division in the process. One thorn remained in his side - the vital port of Tobruk continued to resist. If it could hold out Rommel's offensive might be halted. Wavell instructed General Morshead and his garrison of 30,000 determined Australians to hold at all cost.