The impact of terrain on British operations and doctrine in North Africa 1940-1943

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by davidbfpo, Jan 3, 2021.

  1. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

    The author Neal Dando appears in another thread on forthcoming books in 2013, with an article 'From ‘Jock Column’ to Armoured Column: Transformation and Change in British and Commonwealth Unit Tactics in the Western Desert, January 1941 to November 1942'.

    I expect the article is based on his 2014 PhD thesis ' The impact of terrain on British operations and doctrine in North Africa 1940-1943', with 219 pgs. and available on:;sequence=1

    The Abstract:
    BFBSM and Chris C like this.
  2. MarkN

    MarkN Well-Known Member

    I'm in the middle of a very interesting and informative discussion (via PM) with another member on the wider topic of Battleaxe but specifically the efforts of 7th Armoured Brigade at Pt.208 (Hafid position) on 15 June.

    The failure of that particular effort was placed in no uncertain terms by 7th Armoured Division on the specific terrain at Pt.208. Or, to be more precise, map makers were blamed for not indicating the nature of the terrain adequately and those who had previously fought on the position not describing it in a suitably comprehensive fashion.

    This was, perhaps, a perfect opportunity for Dando to demonstrate precisely the degree to which terrain can effect battlefield results.

    He failed. He failed miserably. Indeed, for a Ph.D thesis with the title he chose, his effort was superficial to the extreme.

    Indeed, the entire section on Battleaxe read more to me as though he was writing an entertaining narrative for the amateur with a passing interest in the subject than making a serious effort to analyse the battle to evidence his thesis.

    Very disappointing.

    However, if his principle objective was to get his Ph.D signed off, and what he produced was the best way to achieve that, then kudos to him.

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