Bierman, J. & Smith, C.


1st ed., 2002. Xiii + 478 pp., 52 photo-plates + 13 maps. D.j., 24 x 16cm. Minimal foxing to fore-edge o/w FINE. In this study of the desert war, from the Italian invasion of Egypt in September 1940 to the mass surrender of Axis forces in Tunis in May 1943, the authors show why it is remembered by its survivors as a 'war without hate.' Since it was fought mostly over desert terrain, few towns, villages or refugees were caught in the crossfire ; and however bitterly it was fought, it was usually conducted according to accepted notions of 'fair play' and the rules of war - both sides treated enemy prisoners according to the Geneva Convention and a curious camaraderie evolved between men who at the same time were doing their best to kill each other. Drawing extensively on primary sources, battle reports, regimental histories and personal interviews with British and Dominion, German and Italian veterans, the authors provide a fresh perspective on the see-saw campaign in which the two sides chased each other back and forth across the unforgiving North African landscape. The authors shed new light on some little-known aspects of the campaign including, among other things, the truth about Rommel's desert adviser, Almasy, the secret war fought by a group of German Jewish volunteers from Palestine, and the strange tale of the unfortunate US colonel who unwittingly supplied a stream of invaluable intelligence to the Nazis.

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