Libya is home to many World War II sites from cemeteries to forts and memorials to parachute schools. Thousands of visitors from around the world flock to Libya each year to pay their respects to soldiers that lost their lives during the war.
During World War II Tobruk changed hands several times and was the focus of some of the most prolonged fighting in the North African theatre of operations. The British captured the port from the Italians in January 1941, taking 25,000 prisoners in the process. The British were then forced by the Germans to withdraw to the east, leaving Tobruk an isolated British garrison that was periodically besieged by the Germans (March 1941–June 1942) when the Germans captured the city, taking about 35,000 Allied troops prisoner and capturing immense quantities of matériel. The British finally recaptured Tobruk on Nov. 13, 1942, after their Al-Alamein offensive.
Tobruk was subsequently rebuilt and became the residence of Libya’s former king, Idris. It was expanded in the 1960s by the building of Marsā al-Ḥarīqah (Marsa al-Hariga), a port terminal linked by pipeline to the Sarir oil field, 320 miles (515 km) south. The British base at Al-ʿAdam to the south was evacuated in 1970. British, French, and German war cemeteries are nearby. Tobruk lies on a coastal highway that connects Tripoli with Banghāzī and Cairo.
El Tag is a holy site within the Libyan Desert but is also home to an Italian built World War I style fort which was built in the 1930’s and today is a historical site that is visited by thousands.
Tobruk is a very popular place to visit for those wanting to visit the World War II cemeteries. Here you will find the cemeteries of the French, Germans, British and Commonwealth along with a number of monuments.
This area was built as a parachute school for the Italians and ran from the 1930’s through to the 1960’s before it closed down. You can still visit the school and soak up a bit of the history of this war.
Benghazi is a busy city and also where you can visit one of the British World War II cemeteries. Many people arrive here each day to pay their respects.
Beda Fomm is a beautiful coastal town in Libya and also displays an Australian War Memorial which is also a popular tourist stop for those in the area.
Libya isn’t only about the World War II experiences, this country has a lot to offer holiday makers from spectacular beaches to the golden dunes of the desert. Libya is becoming a top tourist destination with its warm climate, spectacular coastlines and stunning natural beauty.
From the city centers to the quaint coastal towns, there is fun and activities for the whole family when visiting this North African country.
Libya witnessed many of the World War II battles in 1941 and 1942. Most of the battles were seen in the north west areas of the country, this has lead to many sites remaining from Italian, British and Australian descent.
The deserts of north Africa were an important battleground in World War II. Controlling north Africa would give the Allied forces a base from which to attack occupied Europe, across the Mediterranean. There were also major oil fields in the Middle East that were vital to fuel their tanks, planes and motorised transport. Control of oil supplies was often a deciding factor in winning battles.