City of Tobruk is located in the far northern Africa. Yet the residents, after long 75 years, still remember the the brave defenders from Czechoslovakia, who protected them from the Nazi aggressors. Not only to them, but to all heroes, who left their mark in the red-hot sands, belongs the third gold coin from the collectibles miniseries War year 1941 of the Czech Mint.
The Axis troops composed of Germans and Italians encircled Tobruk in April 1941 and the Libyan city remained alone in hostile territory more than 100 kilometers behind the front. The cut off British, Australians and the Polish defending the major port, also has joined the 11th Czechoslovak infantry battalion with more than six hundred men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Karel Klapálek. The members of Rommel's Afrikakorps dubbed their enemies ‘the rats’, but Allied soldiers embraced this derogatory label proudly as their own. The continuous patrolling in harsh desert conditions, firefights with the enemy, air raids and shelling were taking their toll on lives and the psychological state of the defenders. It was necessary to act and in November was therefore launched the operation Crusader. The coordinated attack from inside and outside caught the Nazi blockade off guard and after a series of battles they were forced to withdraw. When the following year they attempted a counteroffensive, once again our heroes were in the way.
The gold coin was designed by Asamat Baltaev, DiS., who is the author of the visual image of the entire miniseries. The reverse side of the Smart coin bears a war scene - the Allied artillerymen face the attacking German tanks accompanied by the dive bombers. In the background is Tobruk with the architecture typical for northern Africa and the inscription in Arabic حصار طبرق - Siege of Toburk. The Smart coins come under the license of the issuer, which is the island of the Commonwealth Niue. The obverse side carries the name and portrait of Queen Elisabeth II., the year of issue 2016 and the nominal value of 5 DOLLARS (NZD).
The "Desert Rats" are remembered on these gold coins and also by the collector's etue, which holds the entire war miniseries. You can find it in the menu of the Czech Mint.