1st ed., 1942. 364 pp., 8 photo-plates. D.j., 22 x 14cm. Insc., + a marginal note; D.j., chipped around edges with a little loss to foot of spine o/w V.G. In the light of Wellington's test of military greatness – to know when to retreat and to dare to do it – the author brilliantly reports and interprets the ebb and flow of Allied fortunes in the Middle and Far East. A retreat, as from Crete, becomes a defeat only if the enemy is left in a position of undisputed advantage in men, material, and above all, of his time schedule. In the author's opinion the genius and greatness of the British Army from the Tommy to the General lies in its ability to withhold from the enemy one or more of the advantages which would, otherwise, turn his momentary gain into a total defeat. The author covered the fighting in the whole of the Middle East and knew the men who, at the time of writing in 1942, were still making history. He brings to life such names as Auchinleck, Wavell, de Gaulle, Abdullah of Transjordan, Farouk of Egypt, Inonu of Turkey, and many others like the anonymous heroes of Pearl Harbour. The author had been through all these fights that were called Axis victories, and he shows that in the full light of history some of them were not such inglorious retreats as they seemed, but were rather strategic retreats to make way for future victory.