Books on Africa

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by penderel, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. penderel

    penderel Junior Member

    If anyone has any suggestions on good books on North Africa just post them up here. I have ready quiet a few and am always looking for more.

    Most recent was one on Rommel.
     
  2. Jaeger

    Jaeger Senior Member

    Pendulum of war. Niall Barr
     
  3. Gerry Chester

    Gerry Chester WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Hi Penderel,

    A few suggestions:

    The Battle for North Africa
    Author: Major-General Sir William Jackson
    Publisher: Mason/Charter Publishers Inc.
    Copyright: 1975, 500 pp.
    Although much of the book is about the 8th Army, the role that 1st Army played in achieving final victory is well covered. The NIH receives an honourable mention!


    The Path to Victory
    Author: Douglas Porch
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York
    Copyright: 2004, 799 pp.


    War Without Hate
    Authors: John Bierman & Colin Smith
    Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd., London
    Copyright: 2004, 478 pp.
    Reprint of 2002 edition entitled The Battle of Alamein


    Fighting the Desert Fox
    Author: John Delaney
    Publisher: Cassell & Co., London
    Copyright: 1998, 160 pp.


    A Noble Crusade
    Author: Richard Doherty
    Publisher: Sarpedon, Rockville Centre, New York
    Copyright: 1999, 368 pp.


    Kasserine Pass
    Author: Martin Blumenson
    Publisher: Cooper Square Press, New York
    Copyright: 2000, 341 pp.


    The Bloody Road to Tunis
    Author: David Rolf
    Publisher: Greenhill Books, London
    Copyright: 2001, 320 pp.


    An Army at Dawn
    Author: Rick Atkinson
    Publisher: Henry Holt & Company, New York
    Copyright: 2002, 681 pp.


    Brazen Chariots
    Author: Major Robert Crisp
    Publisher: Bantam War Books, New York
    Copyright: 1959, 233 pp.


    Stirling's Desert Raiders
    Author: Virginia Cowles
    Publisher: Bantam War Books, New York
    Copyright: 1958, 306 pp.


    The War in the Desert
    Author: Richard Collier and the Editors of Time-Life Books
    Publisher: Time-Life Books, Alexandria, Virginia.
    Copyright: 1977, pp.208
    Well illustrated and, despite the title, covers the campaign in Tunisia.



    Cheers, Gerry
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    War Without Hate
    Authors: John Bierman & Colin Smith
    Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd., London
    Copyright: 2004, 478 pp.
    Reprint of 2002 edition entitled The Battle of Alamein
    I second this one, a very 'readable' book.
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Member

    'The Foxes Of The Desert - The Story Of The Afrika Korps' by 'Paul Carell' ( Macdonald, 1960 and reprinted in paperback and by Schiffer since ).

    It is of course biased, but it gives some interesting first-hand accounts from the German combatants point-of-view.
     
  6. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    Tank Combat in North Africa, the opening rounds by Thomas L. Jentz (1998)
    With Pennants Flying, the immortal deeds of the Royal Armoured Corps by David Masters (1943)
    Tanks Across the Desert, the War Diary of Jake Wardrop ed. George Forty (1981,2003)
    Desert Rats at War by George Forty (1975, 1977)

    ...does anyone notice a theme developing?
     
  7. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    After finally getting a really overdue salary raise, I embarked myself on an Amazon shopping spree, trying to increase my rather small war-book collection, and am now looking for a really good work on the Western Desert.

    Some years ago I got hold of Wolf Heckmann's "Rommel's War in Africa", and the way it covers the whole deal between El-Agheila and "Tunisgrad" through the use of personal accounts and anecdotes, set an standard for me on the way I want to read about the African struggle; the closer to the front-line, the better.

    Any recommendations on something that would do the trick, but from the Allied point-of-view? I already have an eye on "War Without Hate", by John Bierman; "Battle for North Africa", by John Strawson (Pen & Sword); and "Desert War", by Allan Moorehead, but, will any of these work? :unsure:

    Thanks in advance, inhabitants of the nuthouse ;)
     
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Warlord
    from the Canadian "Nuthouse" - you have a great book of Strawsons there - BUT the very best of all that I have read are the three volumes of Barrie Pitt - "The Crucible of War" -

    I have his orginal big book but also have his newer three volumes in which he covers each of the three Commands of Wavell - Auchinlek and Monty - long before Rommell made his entrance after Beda Fomm - never tire of reading them as they are in great detail of all the battles from the first move by 11th Hussars to the Wire as the Italians started to move towards Egypt, December 1940 through to Tunis in May 1943.....the coverage of "Totensontag" and "Tobruk" spells out the deficiencies in our tactics and the very bad Armoured lack of thought and tactics - until Mareth when we finally came up with the British Blitzkrieg - they STILL accuse Monty of being slow ....! They should look at Lumsden's leadership - or lack of same !

    Pitt's coverage of Sidi Rezigh and Jock Campbell's V.C. actions are classic as is his death accidently by Roy Farran - the action which gave Rommell his second bloody nose at Alam El halpha is also well worth the few Pounds/Dollars you might spend on the trilogy - I can't recommend it high enough.....as the Telegraph notes -

    ""Masterly and lucid in its descriptions not only of the fighting and strategy, but of the political machinations"" - meaning the interference of both Churchill and Eden !

    Rommell had no chance after Gazala - he just thought he did and as for his excuse that he had no fuel - according to his boss Kesselring - with tongue in cheek -"he produced a miracle in getting his Afrika Corps back as far as Medenine" - where he was finally beaten to a pulp and was fired !

    Everyone should buy these as it cuts out all arguements...
    Cheers
     
  9. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    "War Without Hate"

    I was going to say you can have mine but then I remembered you're not in the UK.
    It's on my bookshelf, read it once.
    Can have it if you like.
     
  10. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Barrie Pitt's "crucible" has this strange reputation nowadays of being "dated", in some way old-fashioned....but I've never found it so! Particualrly Wavell's Command as a study of events 1940-41 in the Eastern Med.

    Apart from anything else - he's very readable! Which is always an advantage with history. For instance, I've never liked Beevor's writing style, and James Lucas writes his sentences as if they're little soundbites. You can have just too much "short and pithy" inside a single paragraph...
     
  11. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Warlord
    from the Caanadian "Nuthouse" - you have a great book of Strawsons there - BUT the very best of all that I have read are the three volumes of Barrie Pitt - "The Crucible of War" -
    Cheers

    What´s exactly the scope of vol. 2? Sorry, but I´m not exactly an expert on the Western Desert... :blush:

    "War Without Hate"

    Does it fit into the "lots of personal accounts and anecdotes" category?
     
  12. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Does it fit into the "lots of personal accounts and anecdotes" category?

    er can't remember , few years ago I read it.
    Suggested by someone on here.
    read it then forgot it all.
    :(
     
  13. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Warlord -
    Volume two is all about when Auckinlek took over from Wavel - all the way through to the day Monty took over in August of '42 after the Gazala Gallop- I'll send you a page and you can make up your own mind...later...

    Owen -
    "The War without hate" thingi - I half read and gave it to our local Library - I think thay put it outy of it's misery !

    Phylo - it's probably got a bad reputation as it does dwell of Monty's success -and we musn't have any heroes to-day now must we ...? .....like too many more - I am always astonished that Nelson is still on that pillar- look at the fuss over Dowding - Harris et al - and sheeesh - how about Enoch Powell ? His work for 8th Army intelligence sorted out a lot of problems - not to mention his famous Birmingham speech ....he was right - it would appear ??? - I Have true copy of that one !
    Cheers
     
  14. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Merged with a similar thread, and pinned into the Africa section.
     
  15. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Warlord -
    having trouble sending a page for you ---- BUT--- if Phylo still has the Auchinlek volume II - I would ask him to send you pages 84-85 about the Sidi di Rezigh battle and Jock Campbell's actions...
    Cheers
     
  16. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Very Senior Member

    Tom, sadly not - I was only ever lent II and III for reading after picking up Wavell's Command for myself in a 2nd hand bookshop :(
     
  17. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Warlord -
    having trouble sending a page for you ---- BUT--- if Phylo still has the Auchinlek volume II - I would ask him to send you pages 84-85 about the Sidi di Rezigh battle and Jock Campbell's actions...
    Cheers

    Tom, sadly not - I was only ever lent II and III for reading after picking up Wavell's Command for myself in a 2nd hand bookshop :(

    Mates, I just found in Amazon a different edition of this "Crucible" series, made up of 2 books instead of 3:

    "The Crucible of War: Western Desert, 1941" and "TCoW: Year of El Alamein, 1942"

    Both of which are (so it looks to my pocket :D) very appealling bargains at less than US$7 each, so unless someone comes up pronto with a Western Desert-book panacea, I´ll stick with your advice.
     
  18. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Warlord -
    you have - as you say - done very well to get three books into two for less than $7:eek:o........however....what we have here is not a failure to communicate but an Americanised method of communication - as in actual fact - the "1942" version is all about" Monty's Command" whereas the one entitled "Auchinlek and Montgomery" is - again in actual fact the "Auchinlek Command" - IF you look further down the Amazon list you will find - amongst many crucibles of war items - that of Barrie Pitt's "Wavell's Command" - and THAT is the one which you really should buy and start reading FIRST in order to fully comprehend the North African Desert battles - for another $7:eek:o- as opposed to the other end of Africa where the American II corps was involved which is dealt with in the "War without Hatred" which is perhaps yet another $7:eek:o...
    So good reading
    Cheers
     
    Warlord likes this.
  19. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    I Agree with Tom the Crucible of war is a must, so is the Desert Generals by Correlli Barnett others are Together we Stand by James Holland covers both sides of the allied war from torch & Alamein to the conclusion.
    For an overview try S Bungay's Alamein, also Strawson's book is a good read.
     
  20. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Warlord -
    you have - as you say - done very well to get three books into two for less than $7:eek:o........however....what we have here is not a failure to communicate but an Americanised method of communication - as in actual fact - the "1942" version is all about" Monty's Command" whereas the one entitled "Auchinlek and Montgomery" is - again in actual fact the "Auchinlek Command" - IF you look further down the Amazon list you will find - amongst many crucibles of war items - that of Barrie Pitt's "Wavell's Command" - and THAT is the one which you really should buy and start reading FIRST in order to fully comprehend the North African Desert battles - for another $7:eek:o- as opposed to the other end of Africa where the American II corps was involved which is dealt with in the "War without Hatred" which is perhaps yet another $7:eek:o...
    So good reading
    Cheers

    I already read "Beda Fomm", by Kenneth Macksey, already ordered (actually on its way to my P.O. Box in Miami :)) "An Army at Dawn", by Rick Atkinson, and am downloading "From Bardia to Enfidaville", from the New Zealand Electronic Text Centre, so with your help - and Philo's, and Oldman´s, and Owen's - I will get to fill the gap.

    Thanks a lot.
     

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