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The Bloody Road to Tunis: Destruction of the Axis Forces in North Africa, November 1942-May 1943 Hardcover – 15 Mar 2001

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Greenhill Books; 1st Ed. (U.K.) edition (15 Mar. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1853674451
  • ISBN-13: 978-1853674457
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 0.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 707,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

David Rolf is a respected historian specialising in the military operations of World War II. He researched the book in British, American and German archives. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Tunisian Campaign in 1942 and 1943 was a key campaign in the outcome of the Second World War in Europe and the Mediterranean. It was the first campaign where the British Army and American Army fought alongside each other, and where several of the key individuals who were to play a role in the campaign in North West Europe first worked together. This campaign also exposed the personalities of these key individuals, some of whom prospered and others waned. The campaign was also long, bloody and resulted in the deaths of many men.

This book is the best book to provide an overview and details of the whole campaign. It is well written and contains some good photographs and information tables. It has maps to provide context of key battles. This book is thoroughly recommended to anyone who had a relative who fought in this campaign, or anyone interested in military history during the Second World War.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. J. Ellis on 26 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a well research and written book, that is beyond doubt. The reading style is fairly easy as well, which obviously makes this book much easier to read. But sadly for all the effort David Rolf fails massively with this book, which is so annoying. This book has the potential to set a mark for an area of the second world war that is mostly cover in one chapter in most books. It appears that many authors or publishers of military history make this mistake and you would think they [the authors or publishers would learn]. What i am talking about is maps, good, well detailed maps of an operation for example. Chapters 5-6, pages 48-70 is an example, the author talks about 'Longstop' and Chouigui pass and Tebourba gap or even the important river Medjerda, the book fails to provide a map of any real substance when the author talks about these places. On page 151 a map is provided that is in greater detail, topography wise, this is. This, is the map that should of been replicated much earlier in the book. But a good enough map is still not provided for Longstop, an important battle lost on 22/23rd of December 1942 or the full back by the allies in December when Armin counter attacks. And what is even more annoying is having to hunt for a map that is provided in the book. Either have a map that is related to the chapter within the chapter itself or have it at either end of the book. Hopefully, the author will learn that what makes a book 'great' is getting the reader to understand what has been written or even believe that the author is in the room reading to them. Therefore, this book sadly scores three stars, a harsh decision, but good detailed maps with operations shown would of made this a very readable book. Instead it has become a challenge to decipher who is where and where they are coming from or going to, what a pity.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Paul Young on 4 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I chose this rating for many reasons. The book was a great price, arrived promptly and very well packed indeed. Having recently returned from Tunisia I wanted a book that gave me a greater insight into the country's role in WW2. This certainly met all my criteria
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A good reference work 10 Jun. 2002
By Shawn P. Rife - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A straightforward, blow-by-blow account of the Allied effort to eject Axis forces from North Africa with discussion of both the Montgomery-led British drive against Rommel out of Egypt and the Eisenhower-led drive with Allied forces from the west. The focus is primarily on the "what," "when" and "where" from a military (primarily land forces) perspective. Rolf wastes no time getting readers into the action, beginning with the Allied landings in Operation Torch. I was hoping to see more details on the planning and preparation of this operation, to include an analysis of the strategic situation late in 1942 and a better look at forces/resources/equipment & training of both sides, but Rolf apparently considered more details here to be outside the scope of his work.
Another complaint is that the narrative is frankly rather dry, although the use of diary/memoir/letter/personal interview excerpts from the highest ranks to the lowest keeps the book from sinking into a "this happened, and then this happened, and then this happened..." recitation. Still, the book is decidedly lacking in "color commentary". For example, there is not much discussion of the individual backgrounds and personalities beyond that immediately applicable to the campaign--e.g., a more intimate look at how and why Eisenhower, a man with no actual combat experience, was picked to lead Torch, would have been interesting.
Obviously, Rolf intended to maintain a more narrow focus. The book does highlight the difficulties in early Anglo-American cooperation, terrain, and logistics, and helps show why North Africa was a necessary proving ground (for the Allies in general, and the Americans in particular) before a successful invasion of the continent could be made good. An outstanding ground forces order of battle is provide for both Allies and Axis in an appendix. Maps are for the most part good, although there could have been more, especially detailing operations at the operational/tactical level described in the first third of the book.
I can't help thinking that Mr. Rolf missed a chance to write the first real "definitive" account of this campaign in World War II. There is precious little on the strategic debate that led the Allies to adopt a North African campaign or the political and strategic considerations that drove Churchill to push it and Roosevelt to acquiese. There could have been a lot more about the political turmoils and conflicting loyalties between Free French and Vichy that featured so prominently at the outset. Finally, from my own perspective and biases, the writing style is clearly meant to inform more than entertain. Certainly, the former is most important in writing history--which is why this IS a worthwhile book, even if as nothing more than a reference--but scores of writers have shown that objective historical accuracy AND entertainment value are not incompatible. I was not expecting this author to be on the McCullough/Ambrose/Tuchman/etc. plane, but for a subject that I have a lot of interest in, I found reading Mr. Rolf's account to be more of a chore than I would have expected.
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