An absorbing account of an aspect of the war that sometimes gets forgotten about. My Grandad was in the 8th Army as part of 7th Armoured Division, this book shows how the likes of LRDG, the SAS and PPA were able to support 8th Army by acting as its eyes and ears hundreds of miles into the desert and also sowing 'alarm and despondenecy' into the enemy. It also reminds us the work that 8th Army did continually fighting from 1940-1945 - an amazing achievement for a military force. This is an often detailled account of the foundation of the force, the logic behind it, written in an understated way. His portrait of individuals is well done and his views on various groups and nationalities is forthright, although in todays world may deemed a little 'unPC'. The work they did in Italy was actually far more important in a way, although this is dealt with at quite lick in relation to the Africa portions of the book. This forms the basis of my quibble with the book, when you consider the extent of the work PPA did, through looking at other accounts, especially in Italy many of these are not mentioned, one wonders if this is because of the fact that it was written so close to the war and he may not have been able to include it. It does feel that having discussed Africa in a leisurley way, the author felt he needed to get a move on with the Italian section. This does not take away from an outstanding war memoir. A shame he died as early as he did in 1951 of a brain tumor, he would have had a great writing career ahead of him if this book is anything to go by.