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Take these men [Unknown Binding]

Cyril Joly
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (1957)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CJLC4
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,679,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Take These Men 16 Nov 2003
This is without doubt , the best account of armoured warfare in the desert ever published. Although written as fiction , it is firmly based on the personal experience of the author who served as an officer in the R.T.R. with 7th.Armoured Division throughout the campaign in North Africa . I have read this book several times , and look forward to reading it again soon .
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Even though this is written as a work of fiction, the author based it 100% on fact. Presumably the main reason for this decision, I believe, was to protect his incompetent subordinates & fellow officers.

Unlike most of the other soldiers in the to and fro desert war, Cyril Joly served with the Armoured Corps throughout this part of the war. Unlike the other theatres of war, the desert was eminently suitable for armoured warfare. Without the distractions of civilisation such as towns & people, the true potential of armoured vehicles was unleashed.

Apart from the permanent force soldiers like Cyril Joly, who were stationed in Egypt before the Italians invaded the Land of the Pharaohs in 1940, none of the other soldiers were involved in all the battles from the commencement of the war until the defeat of the Germans in Tunisia in May 1943.

The most riveting part of Cyril's saga terminates with his appointment as Brigade Major immediately prior to the battle of Adam al-Halfa in September 1942. From then onwards, he is no longer in the heat of the battle but on its periphery. One almost hopes for his demotion to again see the war at periscope level.

If warfare can ever be classified as civilised & gentlemanly, this is the war to be accorded this distinction. From this testament, one swiftly becomes aware of the real reasons for the Allies inability to defeat the Germans in spite of their numerical superiority.

Undoubtedly, the quality of German forces with their martial Prussian background has plenty to do with it but that was not the only reason. The use of the 88mm anti-tank gun employed as a screen in front of their Panzers probably accounted for the majority of the Allies losses.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Desert Rats 13 April 2010
By Philjoy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Moving, realistic account of tank warfare in the Western Desert, particularly relevant given today's war in Aghanistan. My only criticism is that all the 'men' speak with cockney accents whilst the 'officers' speak Oxbridge English; there were certainly well educated men - or boys - in the ranks who do not deserve to be lampooned in this way - especially those who gave their lives in the conflict. A great shame this book is out of print.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Representation of the Fight Against Rommell 6 Dec 2001
By James E Hailer - Published on Amazon.com
First recommended to me by a professor who actually fought in North Africa, this book is second to none in relaying what it must have been like to be battling not only the Germans, but the flys, sand, and monotony that makes war so unbearable.
It is the inclusion of all characters, not only the day-to-day heroes, but the less than heroic characters who were "fired by promotion" that makes this fictional account so accurate. Highly recommended.
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