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Volume One: 850 Pages A4 Hardback Volume Two: 909 Pages A4 Hardback
The most complete and detailed account of all three Operations
The most detailed combat account from February to May 1941
The background photograph is of a German Wehrmacht-Einheitskanister 'Jerrycan' found and photographed on the ground at Mersa Brega in 1975 and gifted to Armour Publishing Ltd by Mr Andrew J. Pearse, a geologist working at that location.
Reviews of Volume One
This is a HUGE book that will become a must have amongst military history readers, historians and wargamers alike. It has the most detailed accounts of a whole varierty of small battles and firefights as well as more detail concerning the main days of fighting than found in other recent books. The accounts of the fighting at El Agheila, Mersa Brega, Derna airfield, Mechili and Tobruk are stuffed with eye witness accounts and war diary information all the way and its the same throughout the book. The fighting on the Libyan-Egyptian border before operation Brevity was also amazing in terms of fighting I knew nothing about from other sources. It has a large number of contents pages and a huge index that helps find what you want. Lots of maps but not a huge number of photos although I had mostly not seen the photos before either. However there are plenty of photo heavy books out there as well as photos often seen on the internet so their inclusion is not necessary to enjoy this book.
Although I thought the book was a bit pricey at first it contains as much information as you would expect from four or five books stuck together, so in that sense it was not expensive and is a worthwhile buy because it contains so much new content. Its the sort of book you will keep around to read and re-read many times.
Once in a while you discover, by chance in this case, something which grasps you in its claws and leaves a longing for more and more.
In this case it is this enormous first volume of an, for me, unknown author. What a great book!! If you are interested in these early clashes with Rommels Afrika Korps then this is the book for you. But.. Hold on.. Not only these descriptions from diaries, extensive research and know how but also very detailled background information of units, logistics, intelligence ( the chapter regarding the use of Signals Intelligence was for me an eye-opener),weapons left me flabergasted.
I am now in te thick of the fighting chapters and will be reading this to the very end..
Any complaints? Well, it is pretty heavy so be prepared :-) but you will not regret it..
Big salute and bow to the author
All in all this is an amazing 870 page reference work that should be considered in any North Africa aficionados library.
I purchased this book direct from Mr Shales to support research for an upcoming PC war game. I can unequivocally say that this is the definitive work for the early battles of the Afrika Korps and their opponents in North Africa. The text is built up from primary sources; daily reports, diaries and recollections. Both sides are well represented and it is easy to see the various engagement from the protagonists point of view. There were many battles and skirmishes recounted that I have never seen in any other published work.
Additionally, there are a range of reports covering the contemporary weapons and their effectiveness or otherwise. The various strengths of both sides equipment is also well covered.
All in all this is an amazing 870 page reference work that should be considered in any North Africa aficionados library. It is all the more impressive when it is realised this is just the first book in a series - more information can be found at Armour Publishing Ltd
David Freer, Wargame Design Studios
Mr B. A. Singer