For the British, the battle fought at El Alamein in October 1942 became the turning point of the Second World War. In this study of the desert war, John Bierman and Colin Smith show why it is remembered by its survivors as a 'war without hate'. Through extensive research the authors provide a compellingly fresh perspective on the see-saw campaign in which the two sides chaFor the British, the battle fought at El Alamein in October 1942 became the turning point of the Second World War. In this study of the desert war, John Bierman and Colin Smith show why it is remembered by its survivors as a 'war without hate'. Through extensive research the authors provide a compellingly fresh perspective on the see-saw campaign in which the two sides chased each other back and forth across the unforgiving North African landscape....
|Title||:||alamein war without hate|
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||512 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
alamein war without hate Reviews
John Bierman and Colin Smith's joint venture, Alamein: War Without Hate follows hot on the heels of a number of other very good titles covering the Battle of El Alamein (Stephen Bungay's Alamein and Clayton & Craig's End of the Beginning to name just two). This title covers the history behind the desert campaign, the lead up to famous confrontation at Alamein and the results of that pivotal battle (at least in the eyes of the British Commonwealth).In just over 400 pages of tense and illuminating narrative we learn more than just the 'what, why & how' of the battle. As readers we get the chance to have a glimpse into the lives of the soldiers who fought in this campaign. We read about soldiers from all parts of the Commonwealth and their German and Italian enemies and we get an idea why this campaign was known as the "war without hate".The story was presented in a lively and interesting manner and although I have read quite a few books on this battle the story was fresh and retained my interest throughout. I found that at times the authors presented accounts with humor and sometimes a little sarcasm but at all times with fairness to soldiers on both sides of 'no-mans land'. There may not be much that is new here but this book does offer a refreshing and easy to read account of one of World War Two's more famous battles.I also found that at times whilst reading this book I really got caught up in the lives of some of the participants and I was sadden by many of the outcomes. This is the story about the ordinary infantrymen, tankie, gunner, pilot, sailor and civilian, on both sides of the conflict. I really enjoyed the stories from these men and women and it was pleasing to see that the poor old Italian soldier get a fair place in this account. The author's style of writing was captivating and drew me into the narrative with ease, and I enjoyed many of the little snippets of information they provided on a range of subjects and characters.Below is a section taken from the final chapter of the book 'Requiem':"Two Englishwomen, sisters well into their sixties, are making a belated pilgrimage to the grave of their father, Lieutenant-Colonel John Evatt, officer commanding the 21st Anti-tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, a professional soldier who was killed on the fourth day of the battle. His daughters, Judith and Jancis, were four and six years old respectively at the time; a third daughter, fleetingly conceived during Colonel Evatt's embarkation leave, was yet unborn.The Colonel's widow never remarried. The daughter she was carrying when her husband was killed died earlier this year of cancer. At their father's grave, the surviving sisters use a borrowed hotel spoon to dig an inch of two down into the loose sand. Then, into a shallow depression beneath the headstone they tip the contents of a small casket they have brought from England - the mingled ashes of their mother and their sister. These they cover over, to blend in with the desert soil that covers their father. No tears; the daughter of the bygone Empire do not weep."This is a good story, well presented and well written. I am sure that many readers who enjoy WWII history will enjoy this book immensely.
Alamein - War Without Hate is a sweeping overview not just of the famous 2nd battle, but of the whole of the desert campaign, as it ebbed and flowed from 1940 to 1943. The authors don't spend too long on any one battle or go into details of strategy or tactics in any great depth, instead giving a summary of events and a good sense of what life was like for its soldiers. In keeping with the book's title the authors try to be fair to all nationalities, including the Italians who often get a rough deal, although the focus is clearly on the Eighth Army. At times they are almost reverential towards Rommel, but also give Monty some credit (which might not fit with the popular opinion). Overall this is an action packed book, and the authors have a way with words and an eye for interesting and often humorous quotes, making this a lively and engaging read.
Truly top notch effort. Good telling of the stories and histories. Nice maps. Useful detail of the weapons involved. Possibly the best desert war book out there.
I was shocked to learn that I had never read a single volume about the war in North Africa in its entirety, so I dug through my gigantic collection of Military History titles and found this title buried near the bottom. I had never read it, and was amused to find the original receipt of its purchase (back in 2004) within the pages. This was a quick, easy read that was a good British centric overview of the fighting in the North African deserts during the Second World War. The North African theater was vital to the British war effort. Axis control of the region would have opened up the oil fields of Arabia and the larger Middle East to German and Italian control, not to mention outflanked the Soviet Union. Loss of Egypt would have been incredibly damaging to Britain's war effort both on a logistical basis as well as politically. The Egyptians were already simmering under British authority and when Rommel's army approached the El Alamein position, not far from Alexandria, the streets of Cairo erupted with pro German Arab demonstrations. Then again, and this is something some don't really consider, had the Italians done better in their own invasion of Egypt in late 1940, Rommel might never have become a household name in the States and Europe. The Italian invasion of Egypt was a case study in how caution can ruin military fortunes. O'Connor, the British 8th Army commander, badly outnumbered and heavily outgunned by the Italians had no choice but to fall back while refusing to get sucked into a major battle. When the Italians dug in only about 60 miles inside Egypt, O'Connor took the opportunity to take the initiative and launch an offensive that completely undid the far larger Italian army. Chasing the Italians all the way back to El Agheila inside Libya (hundreds of miles away), the British all but destroyed the Italian army and won their first significant victory of the entire war. Hitler, no doubt fuming, had no choice but to send German troops to shore up his unfortunate allies. They would be commanded by a still only marginally well known middle ranking German General by the name of Erwin Rommel. While the fortunes of the desert war would shift back and forth Rommel, always at a numerical and material disadvantage, would run rings around his British opposition, winning an especially huge victory at Gazala which culminated in the fall of the port city of Tobruk and the capture of over 30,000 British and Imperial prisoners. Despite this great victory, however, Rommel could not destroy the larger British force and was forced to chase them into Egypt, stopping at the El Alamein position. I thought, personally, that the authors were a bit hard on Auchinlek, he did, after all, deliver a sound thrashing to Rommel in the First Battle of Alamein. The authors also gave a rather formulaic nod to the genius of Montgomery. While Montgomery is still reviled by most Americans (I am one, so I feel free to comment), I don't see him as such a dupe that most of my countrymen do. However, I do not in any way see him as Rommel's equal, then again I didn't gather that the authors felt that way either. The book does a credible job with the main battle of El Alamein, the true turning point of the war (it happened a full three months before the end of Stalingrad) and they do a nice short overview of the fighting in Tunisia where, briefly, the Germans, once again, displayed their superior martial skills (especially against the Americans). All in all a good book, though almost entirely lacking in any kind of analysis. But that's not all a bad thing, the books main import was to tell the story's of the men, especially the British/Imperial ones, who fought the war. And in that it excels. The authors did a good job at pointing out the heroism of the non British troops involved in the British effort: South Africans, Indians, and the awesome New Zealanders and Australians. The book also tried to be fair to the Italians, who get an unduly harsh rap most of the time from military historians, and I feel as though they succeeded. There were enough first person Italian viewpoints to relate at least some of their story and the authors gave them credit where it was due. The Italians, however, were not the poor bumpkins that most Americans think they were. They were good soldiers who suffered under poor leadership, poor equipment, iffy logistics, and their hearts simply weren't in the war. The average Italian never shared Mussolini's ambitions, especially as they would have to bleed for it. While the American side got largely ignored, this is forgivable as the Americans didn't even show up till November of 1942 and didn't even fight Rommel's veterans till February the next year. The Americans were smashed by the Afrika Korps veterans in their first several encounters and took a while to rally. Also, the books focus was 8th Army. So, in the end, I didn't really mind so much.Still, a very good book to serve as an introduction into the war in North Africa. Recommended.
An excellent account of the desert campaign of world war 2, covering the entire story, not just Alamein. Very readable, it holds the reader's interest throughout, unlike some military histories which can be a bit dry. An excellent source book for anyone who wants to know what happened in the desert of north Africa.
An easy, pleasant read covering just about everything associated with the war in North Africa. Once we get to El Alamein, the detail deepens and we get the view from the eyes of small unit commanders and their men on both sides. I appreciated learning more about the role played and suffering endured by Malta. There are good maps, or, as good as you're going to get when you're trying to follow a swirling tank battle.
A strong review of the fighting in North Africa, this is an illuminating book that goes all the way to Tunisia. It covers a lot of ground (in a lot of pages) but does a good job mixing details with overview. I enjoyed it.
the authors are pretty good story tellers I enjoyed the book.