Swaab, Jack.


Stroud, 1st ed., 2005. Xiv + 290 pp., photo-plates + 7 maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. FINE. The author joined the veteran 51st (Highland) Division on 3rd January, 1943, as the victorious Eighth Army pursued their German and Italian opponents westwards along the Libyan coast towards Tripoli. He kept a series of diaries over the following two and a half years that described the harsh conditions of campaign life in Tunisia ; the Allied attack of the Mareth Line in mid-March, 1943 ; the Allied landings in Sicily in July 1943 ; his regiment’s preparations in May 1944 for the invasion of Normandy and life in the Allied bridgehead before the break-out. In September 1944 the author’s role changed dramatically as he became a troop commander and forward observation officer but five months later he was wounded in the leg by shellfire. He was again selected for FOO duty during Operation ‘Varsity’, the Rhine crossing, in March 1945, and was Mentioned in Despatches and received the Military Cross. He ended the war as adjutant of his field regiment.

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