Books on Africa

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

  1. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Warlord -
    Since you are already familiar with "Beda Fomm" - by starting with Wavell you will get the full background of that excursion of the five days raid which wiped out a whole Italian Army quickly followed by the disappointing loss of 4th Indian Div to Ethiopia and the Kiwi's to Greece and Crete - which left Wavell with very little to stem Rommell from El Agheila except the newly landed 2nd Armoured Div which was rounded up with little action made at Mechili with the stores going to Rommell !-then the loss of O'Conner - Neame - Combe - to join Carton De Wiart in captivity !

    But it was Wavell who set up the base for all future victories in the Desert. Lots of people dismiss that effort - we could not have won but for that base in Egypt !
    Cheers
     
  2. telegraphist

    telegraphist Junior Member

    pendere best book i have read is the [THE 11TH AT WAR ] 11 Hussars 1939 to 1945 i think it obtainable from local libary on request
    telegraphist
     
  3. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    "arms on armour clashing bray'd. Horrible discord and the madding wheels of brazen chariots rag'd; dire was the noise of conflict" Milton Paradise Lost

    This is the introduction to Maj Robert Crisps account of "Crusader" November-December 1941

    My knowledge of Bob Crisp centres around two points one of which I know and the other is legend(?)

    My father Capt JB Smethurst was Crisps 2 i/c of A squadron 1 RTR as at D day and he took over as OC when Major crisp was injured in July 1944.

    Legend is the book Brazen chariots was handed to Israeli tank men on passing out as an example of desert tank warfare.

    Who else has heard of or read this book. Must say my copy cost me £40 on amazon a few years back!
     
  4. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Susan -
    Me ! - a long time ago and am sorry to say that I no longer have a copy - but Stu Hamilton's - "Armoured Odessey" and Cyril Joly's "Take These Men" come close to Crispy's saga - all good tank stuff !
    Cheers
     
  5. Susan Smethurst

    Susan Smethurst Senior but too talkative

    Hi Tom-am waiting for delivery of my Barrie Pitt trilogy as per your expert recommendations. Just getting myself into the mood by reading Chariots again. Crisp tells a funny story of moving up to begin Operation Crusader when in the desert miles from anywhere a carrier pigeon landed on his shoulder-when they opened the message tied to its leg it read "B***er you. Leave me alone". Ha Ha. Apparently suspicion fell on the "Tech Sergeant" as pulling a trick.
     
  6. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Susan - we were never short of comedians - even in the worst times - good to learn that you have Pitt's trilogy on the way as now you can learn the facts of what was done against great odds - the Beda Fomm excursion should be better known amongst the annals of great battles - and it's tragic aftermath of losing O'Conner,Neame and Combe as well as the Ethiopian and Grecian adventures - all great stuff !
    Cheers
     
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    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

    It took me a while to work out what was going on when I picked up one volume cheap and wanted to complete the set. If it can help anyone else:

    Crucible of War was first published in hardback as two volumes, subtitled:
    Western Desert 1941
    Year of Alamein 1942

    The later paperback reprint was in three volumes:
    Vol I: Wavell's Command
    Vol II: Auchinleck's Command
    Vol III: Montgomery and Alamein

    Each set totals around 1000 pages though I don't know if there were any cuts or corrections between editions.
     
  8. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Idler - as always - quite right as the first volume "Western Desert 1941 " was published in 1980-1982 - by Jonathon Cape - then the three volumes were published in 1986 by Papermac.

    The first American editions were by Paragon house in 1989 - then for K.S. Giniger Co. Inc.
    Cheers
     
  9. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    The Desert War By Adrian Gilbert or Afrikakorps By Dan McGuire
     
  10. kingarthur

    kingarthur Well-Known Member

    Also Rommel's Army in Africa By Dal McGuirk
     
  11. spider

    spider Very Senior Member

  12. Some Chicken

    Some Chicken Member

    If you can find a copy, I highly recommend "The Diary of a Desert Rat" by R L Crimp (ISBN 0 85052 039 8) for anyone interested in the perspective of a private soldier in North Africa.

    The author served in a motor battalion (2nd Btn Rifle Brigade) and arrived in Egypt as part of a replacement draft during July 1941. His diary covers the period to May 1943 and is full of (to me at least) very interesting detail of the nitty gritty of infantry life in the desert. It is also very well written.

    Unfortunately it is out of print. I was lucky to pick up an ex-library copy but it is well worth searching out.
     
  13. sivoodoo

    sivoodoo Junior Member

    Tobruk by Anthony heckstall smith, it has a few personal accounts, I enjoyed it.
     
  14. Dean G

    Dean G Junior Member

    hi

    check one old book by Desmond young, the title is " Rommel " i like it very much.

    Dean
    aizanbooksreview.com
     
  15. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

    Must-haves:
    Rommel papers, edited Liddell-Hart
    With Rommel in the desert by Heinz Schmidt
     
  16. leccy

    leccy Senior Member

    Through Mud and Blood - Infantry/Tank Operations In World War II
    by Brian Perrett

    Limited in scope really to the part played by the I Tank units but a good place to start learning about the thinking and use of this branch of the Armoured Corps and the part they played in the grand scheme of operations.

    Covers from the BEF to N Africa, Italy, D Day to 1945.
     
    squeeth likes this.
  17. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Marryggwater
    see my posting of # 8 back in 2010 which caused Warlord to rush out and buy all three books - which he is now wending his way through Vol 2 and the derring deeds of Jock Campbell V.C. at Sidi Rezigh and his death after ascending to the command of 7th Armoured Div...
    Cheers
     
  18. Otto

    Otto GröFaZ Admin

    Hi Tom,

    Apologies on Marryggwater, it was a spam account which has now been removed. I'll be taking steps to make it more difficult for these spammers to register.
     
  19. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Otto - thanks for that - I thought it was just another poster who invariably fails to note what has gone before - they do try and are very trying I am sure - as if you haven't enough trouble with that wind whistling down State Street .....happy days helicoptering over to Palatine from Soldiers Field - and waving to all the office girls at the 20 storey level ....and keeping both eyes open taking the short cut over O'Hare- and happily missing all the DC 8's
    Cheers
     
  20. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Marryggwater
    see my posting of # 8 back in 2010 which caused Warlord to rush out and buy all three books - which he is now wending his way through Vol 2 and the derring deeds of Jock Campbell V.C. at Sidi Rezigh and his death after ascending to the command of 7th Armoured Div...
    Cheers

    Even though you were answering to a machine (at best :D), this post gives me the chance to say that I just finished the lot, Tom. As comprehensive as it gets!
     

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