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Slim: Unofficial History [Paperback]

John Douglas
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 10.20 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 Jun 2008
Like most members of the professional military freemasonry, Slim came to admire "all the soldiers of different races who have fought with me and most of those who have fought against me." Among the most likable of his enemies were the Wazirs of India's Northwest Frontier. In 1920, Slim took part in a retaliatory raid on an obscure village. It was an unusually easy victory over the canny Wazirs, whom the British took by surprise and escaped from with scant loss. Afterwards, in the casual frontier way, the British sent a message to the Wazirs, expressing surprise at the enemy's unusually poor shooting. The Wazirs replied in courtly fashion that their rifles were Short Magazine Lee-Enfields captured in previous fights with the British and that they had failed to sight the guns to accord with a new stock of ammunition. Now, having calculated the adjustment, they would be delighted to demonstrate their bull's-eye accuracy any time the British wanted. "One cannot help feeling," Slim says, "that the fellows who wrote that ought to be on our side." Slim genuinely enjoyed his virtually blood-free skirmishes with such foes as the Turks, the Wazirs and the Italians in 1940 Ethiopia.

Frequently Bought Together

Slim: Unofficial History + Defeat Into Victory: (Pan Military Classics Series) + Slim, Master of War: Burma and the Birth of Modern Warfare
Price For All Three: 26.28

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (24 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844157911
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844157914
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 15.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 455,547 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by the greatest general 24 Sep 2008
Not a standard generals book, by a far from standard general.

Not only can Slim lay claim to being the best general of the Second War, but he's just the quite of general who wouldn't.

The campaigns he details here are not the most important battles of the war, in fact they're far from the most important ones he ever fought. Iraq, Syria, Persia, leading mainly Indian troops- don't let this put you off. Part of Slim's claim to greatness was that he fought against the odds- not just in terms of a formidable foe but in terms of fighting it with the 'Forgotten Army'. But being the "Cinderalla", in a seemingly unimportant theatre, at the bottom of the priority list for resources started way before his time in the Far East. His time in the Middle East that he details here had similar problems in that respect.

And he solved them using the same leadership that he used later.

This book- to be clear- is a reprint of Slim's own words, and not a book by another author as the Amazon listing is telling us. Slim aimed to write the book in a style quite different to the norm. And he really does, telling us for example how he got in his commanders bad books for sending his precious transport off 600 miles to get beer for his Division. The most striking thing for me about Slim (as someone who lives out the corporate rat race) is his humility towards both his favourites and his those whom you might expect him to owe some approbation.

It's a truly fabulous book by an outstanding, no, one of the most outstanding men.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars William Slim's Unofficial History 28 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for the serious student of Slim's work. What few people know is that Slim subsidized his miliary pay as a writer of fiction and published a number of short stories, primarily in magazines. The book starts out with Slim in someone's outer office and he sees the "Official History" of World War I. So he pulls it out and reads a description of an action he was in (in the Middle East). Then he writes, "this is what really happened...". So you get several stories, primarily in Africa or the Middle East from his perspective as a Battalion or Brigade Commander. He includes a story that must have been very instrumental in developing his leadership skills, and the courage (or the self confidence) to "not listen" to his fears. This is not a book about India or Burma in World War II. He does include a story about the Northwest Frontier in India and you can see a little of Gunga Din's Cary Grant in his character. This book is an easy read and is composed of about a dozen short stories. I recommend it for the student of Slim's military history or anyone interested in British Army life between World War I and World War II. The book is written by Slim, not John Douglas, so don't be mislead by the Amazon product description
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sir William Slim 17 Oct 2009
Excellent read. He write like he is giving an after dinner talk. Intelligent, humourous, and engrossing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read 17 Dec 2010
The General often described as one of the best to emerge from WW2 writes informally and entertainingly about incidents in his long and distinguished career. In his spare time he was known to pen detective novels. He said it takes more talent to be a good writer than a good general. On both counts this book marks him out as one of the best. What shines through is the respect he has for good people of all races and origins, his love of the men and women he worked with in the military and sound sense he exhibited in his management of people and events. Although I first read this book maybe 30 years ago, many of the chapters and even paragraphs in the book remained fresh in the mind - a true measure of its enduring quality.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There are no words. 21 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pity it stopped in Iran. George MacDonald Frazer could not have invented him.Art imitates life.
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