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The Desert Rats is a 1953 American war film about the World War II siege of Tobruk. It stars Richard Burton and was directed by Robert Wise. In mid-April 1941, during World War II, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (James Mason) and his Afrika Korps have driven the British Army into headlong retreat across North Africa toward Egypt and the vital Suez Canal. Standing in Rommel's way is Tobruk, a constant threat to his supply lines. The 9th Australian Division are asked to hold the port for two months, at which time they are to be relieved. The defending Allied general (Robert Douglas) chooses English Captain "Tammy" MacRoberts (Richard Burton), an experienced field officer, to take command of a company of newly-arrived, green Australian troops. The no-nonsense MacRoberts is disliked by the undisciplined Australians. He is surprised to see in their ranks his former schoolmaster, Tom Bartlett (Robert Newton). Barlett, an alcoholic, later explains that after being dismissed from his job...
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