Churchill described El Alamein as ‘not the beginning of the end but perhaps the end of the beginning’, an important point in the war, but with so much more to be accomplished. A relatively modest photo-plate section has avoided the most used images of other books to support a well-researched and nicely presented review of this critical battle of WWII – Very Highly recommended.
NAME: El Alamein 1942, Turning Point in the Desert FILE: R2623 AUTHOR: Richard Doherty PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword BINDING:hard back PAGES: 257 PRICE: £25.00 GENRE: Non Fiction SUBJECT: WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, Afrika Corps, 8th Army, desert warfare, logistics, anticipation, tactics, armour, artillery ISBN: 1-52670-079-4 IMAGE: B2623.jpg BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/y8e5uowu LINKS: DESCRIPTION: Churchill described El Alamein as 'not the beginning of the end but perhaps the end of the beginning', an important point in the war, but with so much more to be accomplished. A relatively modest photo-plate section has avoided the most used images of other books to support a well-researched and nicely presented review of this critical battle of WWII – Very Highly recommended. The author has provided an original view of the battle and the events leading into it. He has described the risks to the Allies and the potential for disaster. He has also described the risks facing Rommel. This makes into a fascinating and fresh account of what may be the most important land battle of WWII. Certainly, the British and Commonwealth troops had been driven back in what was close to a rout. This risked the very real possibility of the Germans reaching Cairo and then expanding out through the Middle East, separating India from Britain and producing a pincer movement to join up with the Japanese troops advancing through Burma to threaten India. However, the situation was not as stark as some assumed at the time. Malta was not only continuing to hold out against the Italian and German air attacks, but sending out submarines and fast patrol boats to attack the essential convoys carrying supplies to the German Afrika Corps from Italy. They were assisted very ably by a steadily increasing force of attack aircraft, including torpedo bombers. As Rommel advanced on Egypt, his supply lines were already becoming dangerously stretched, repeating the story of previous advances and retreats by both sides. To this inevitable consequence of a rapid advance along a narrow front, the attacks from Malta on his convoys from Italy was resulting in diminishing supplies of food, fuel and ammunition. Even desperate attempts by the Luftwaffe to create an air bridge with large gliders and powered gliders were unable to make up for the marine convoys and, in turn, faced attack by aircraft from Malta. Although many have blamed defeat for Rommel at El Alamein on the logistics nightmare, there were two other significant factors that carried greater weight. Rommel initially won by surprise attacks, notably by heading south and coming around the Allied flanks. That tactic was now understood by the British commanders and allowed his intended thrust to finally reach Cairo to be repulsed. This then left him open to massive counter attack by Allied forces that had been resupplied and re-equipped. The author has brought the work to life with the inclusion of direct personal accounts from those who were there. Great read.