Tobruk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Noticed this when doing a search for my Sister-in-Law. Tobruk was the site of a colony of ancient Greeks, and, later, of a Roman fortress guarding the frontier of Cyrenaica. Over the centuries, Tobruk also served as a waystation along the coastal caravan route. By 1911, Tobruk had become an Italian military post, but during World War II, in 1941, Allied forces, mainly the Australian 9th Division ("the Rats of Tobruk") took the city and prolonged fighting against German forces followed Tobruk was taken initially by the Australian 6th Division troops. The 9th fell back to Tobruk and then held it until Oct-Nov 1941.