Eighth Army versus Rommel
Tactics, Training and Operations in North Africa 1940-1942
Author : James Colvin
Not yet published - in Autumn 2020 list
General - Pages : 256 | Images : 36 b/w photos, 11 b/w maps
Hardback - Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781913336646 | Helion Book Code : HEL1290
A riveting account of the Desert War from 1940 through to Montgomery's battle of Alamein in 1942, comprehensively researched and rich in previously unpublished material. It looks at the undertrained and underfunded pre-war British Army, contrasting its leadership with their opposite numbers in Germany, and shows how and why the Eighth Army had difficulties in its first eighteen months against Rommel. It examines the battles from the perspective of the commanders, and looks at the decisions they made through the eyes of the front line soldiers, showing how cultural influences affected tactics and decisions of the British high command. Ultimately, British commanders were as much the product of their military culture and education as Rommel and his commanders were of theirs, but British military culture and education was, for much of this period, markedly less fit for purpose than the German.
Saul David, Professor of Military History at the University of Buckingham and author of 'All the King's Men' and '100 Days to Victory', describes it as: ‘A compelling and highly original study, firmly based on archival research, that explains for the first time the real reason the British and Commonwealth troops struggled to overcome their German and Italian opposition in the Desert War: not because of inadequate generals and equipment per se, but rather because of inherent weaknesses in British military culture.’