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The Heat of Battle: The 16th Battalion Durham Light Infantry, 1943-45 (Second World War regimental actions) Hardcover – 16 Mar 1999

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd; 1st Edition edition (16 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850526906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850526905
  • Product Dimensions: 24.5 x 16.8 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,117,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Hart has worked as the Oral Historian of the Imperial War Museum since 1981. He is the author of several books on the Great War. His latest work is 'Voices from the Front: An Oral History of the Great War'.
A Facebook page has been established to publicise the book and provide links to the source interviews at the Imperial War Museum.
A link is here:

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an oral history at its very best. It is a gripping first hand account in the actual voices of those lucky enough to have survived this brutal campaign. Also includes a wealth of archive photographs which help to bring the account into such clear focus.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9706f558) out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9761d930) out of 5 stars The Veterans Talk 8 July 2008
By Andreas Biermann - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Peter Hart is the oral historian at the Imperial War Museum, and has published three regimental oral histories, of which this is one. This book covers the history of the 16th Battalion Durham Light Infantry (DLI), a unit that served throughout the war in the Mediterranean.

The book contains numerous pictures, including portraits of the main contributors, which is a nice touch. Most of these are from the IWM library. There are a few maps, but my advise is to look for good maps elsewhere anyway.

On the whole this is a very good effort. Peter Hart manages to let the veterans talk, and talk they do. This is a good glimpse into the heart of a British infantry battalion, and a very interesting read. There is little framework given between the quotes from the veterans, so it will be necessary to read up on the general course of the Italian campaign beforehand. What is interesting is the short section on the battalion's service in Greece after the Germans had left - a little known aspect of the war in the Med.

As a historical work analysing combat incidents, or telling us about how a battalion works, or what the 16th DLI achieved in particular, it is not very useful. But my guess is that this was not what it was intended to do, and it achieves its primary purpose, of providing oral history, very well indeed.

The IWM should be commended for getting these books published, because they allow us to hear the voices of the veterans, telling us their story, without any embellishment.
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