The war in Libya and Egypt started when Italian forces attacked British positions in Egypt. The British counter attacked and soon routed the Italians from Egypt and entered Libya in pursuit of their enemy. At the point of collapse, the Italians soon received aid from their German allies. Under the command of General Erwin Rommel, the German Afrika Korps attacked the British lines who were forced to withdraw to the Egyptian border. Soon the port city of Tobruk would be under siege by the Germans. After several attempts the British managed to lift the siege and relieve the exhausted Tobruk garrison. Soon a new German offensive followed and Tobruk was finally captured. The British were forced to withdraw into Egypt, were they established defensive positions at El Alamein.