Friday, September 5, 2008

[Image] A Rat in a Hole

August, 1941. Tobruk, Libya.

A Rat in a Red Line hole.

Pvt. J. Collins escapes from German shelling in his doover. Pvt. Collins has been able to scrounge wood and metal to brace the walls and roof of his hole in the ground. Men spent incredible lengths of time laying about in holes just like these. It was not uncommon to have to lie in your slit trench all day in blistering heat with little water, having to relieve yourself in a old fruit tin, any movement above the surface would draw the fire of the Germans.

Pvt. Collins has letters from home in the rafters of his shelter. This is obviously a more long term doover, as one would construct during an extended period in the front lines. This photo was taken during a German artillery attack on Red Line positions. This would keep the Diggers underground for extended periods in cramped, hot and dusty conditions. Depending on the time of the shelling men in the Red Line ran the risk of missing out on their one hot meal a day if the rations trucks were attacked.

image 009513 Australian War Memorial.

I have been unable to positively identify Pvt. J Collins as there were 217 men with that name that served in the Army during WW2. If time permits in the future I will attempt to make a positive identification.

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