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The Longest Siege: Tobruk- The Battle that Saved North Africa

The Longest Siege: Tobruk- The Battle that Saved North Africa [Kindle Edition]

Robert Lyman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Product Description


'A thoroughly interesting and informative read, pitched to the right level with a good balance between the details and story.' -- Soldier magazine

'A timely reminder that wars are fought by ordinary men who are turned into soldiers by the force of circumstance.'
-- BBC History Magazine

'Attractive and readable account of the 242-day siege of Tobruk in 1941.'
-- RUSI Journal [Royal United Services Institute]

'Gripping narrative...provides a soldier's eye view of the bitterly contested siege, using a range of eye witness accounts.' -- BBC History Magazine


'Attractive and readable account of the 242-day siege of Tobruk in 1941.'

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1707 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Unabridged edition (18 Mar 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SOJ3ZC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #279,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Dr Robert Lyman was born in New Zealand in 1963. Following schooling at Scotch College, Melbourne, he spent twenty years as an officer in the British Army, during which time he picked up degrees from the universities of York, Wales (Aberystwyth), Cranfield and London (King's College). His PhD is from the University of East Anglia. He has been passionate about history ever since he can remember. He writes (and reads) for pleasure. He is Chairman of the Kohima Educational Trust, which provides educational support to young learners in Nagaland. He is represented by Charlie Viney of The Viney Agency.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pounding in the sand 10 Aug 2009
This is an easily readable book but has all the 1941 detail you could want. I was disappointed that it did not follow on with what happened in 1942 when Rommel surged back (no siege then)and subsequently was finally thrown out. The British-Italian battles are very interesting - a part of WW2 often ignored.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly readable and compelling account 11 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If only all military history could be as readable as this as perhaps I could get through the piles of books awaiting attention on my shelves in half the time! I'm always slightly weary of saying that I `enjoyed' any work about warfare as the subject matter isn't meant to entertain; however some works are made all the grimmer by colourless prose and dull lists of unit numbers, dates & times and other military jargon. Robert Lyman manages to strike a near perfect balance of enough detail and facts to keep the military buffs happy whilst peppering his narrative with many well chosen personal accounts that enhance the human element to the story. In addition, at least for the first half of the book, he doesn't lose sight of the wider strategic picture and the reader can appreciate the reasons for the sacrifices needed.

This work doesn't just cover the 1941 siege of Tobruk but gives a pretty extensive account of the Western Desert campaign from its beginnings with the Italian invasion of Egypt in 1940 up to the end of the siege with Operation Crusader. The book covers the 70th Division's breakout contribution to Operation Crusader in some detail but only lightly touches upon the wider parts of the operation by 8th Army's other units.

If it came down to sheer readability this would get the full five stars, however reluctantly I have to knock off a point for some omissions. The work is mainly drawn from a British and Australian perspective and in this the British artillery, armour and anti-aircraft units get an equal share of the limelight with the Diggers. There are some German voices included but the Italians are noticeable by their absence.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent as ever 23 Jun 2011
By Mr. Pj Williams VINE VOICE
I am biased in writing this in so much as having read previous work by the author and being hugley impressed with his work. this book reinforces my belief that Lyman is an writer of greater talent than he is being ackknowledged for, but only for the time being. I have read many books on the desert campaign and aspects of it , some good, some arduous, some that wouldnt go amiss as a sleep aid. Tobruk was a joy to read,an absolute pleasure. not only for its excellent reserch and lay out ( I am quite capable of returning to maps at the front of books without finding it a chore) but more for the mans style. so many book, especially history books are padded. the author will get worried about what to put in and what to leave out and so puts in everything, which usually turns a great story into a turgid morass of data that in the end overwhelms the reader. Lyman is succint and totally to the point. You get the feeling he self edits his work as its flow is very natural yet authortive and confident in his subject matter. Its a bit like having that beloved history teacher in the room who knows how to keep you spell bound and not try and compress the whole of world war two into an hour. What needs to be said he writes, and whatever has been covered previously he mentions breifly ( yes people you have to read more than one book on a subject to get the full picture on any subject) but never leaving you without enough of an explanation. his use of first hand testimony is well crafted into the story alongside a proffesional understanding of strategy, and the operational art and how all these factors effect one another ( the devil is always in the detail ). all whilst managing to weave a clear deffined narrative that keeps you interest until the end. A fine window into the siege of tobruk.

A great book and he gets better, have already bought his book on SLIM and look forward to all his next books
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to read on the beach... 25 May 2009
By Bobby Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase all that sand provides a perfect backdrop for this, an account of the siege of Tobruk.
It may be a cliche but one can really smell the bully beef, the sweat, the tepid water, the stale urine, from reading this book. Short of hopping on a plane and walking through the battlefield, this is the nearest a reader can come to stepping in the feet of those brave English and Australians, who fought for freedom 68 years ago. I loved this book - with its descriptions of constant air attack and camaraderie against the Italians, the Afrika Korps and the constant flys and fleas that attacked all - whatever their nationality. This is a superb work of military history, that blends fact with human interest accounts into a supreme work of literary genius. If you liked books such as Alamein: War without Hate then you will finish this book in double quick time. A top read from an author developing into an authority on WW2 - imagine a younger Sir John Keegan and you won't be far wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good book about the North Africa campaign 13 Jun 2010
This is a very readable book, very good but not excellent; for an excellent book about the North Africa campaign "War Without Hate" is 5 stars.

The only real improvement that could be made is the maps; they are all together at the start of the book which requires going back and forth when tracing progress, retreats, etc. Having one map set in the relevant chapter would be much easier on the reader.

I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the North Africa campaign and (obviously) the Tobruk seige.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a siege
Great book. First part not really about Tobruck, but more about the wider (earlier) North African fighting against the Italians - which is just as interesting as the siege, as it... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Garrick Fincham
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Tobruk
Tobruk became something of a legend during World War Two, and was used as a symbol of British resistance. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Neil Lennon
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good
This was a good book for me. Not complete military history to the extent that someone like me gets bored. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Nico
4.0 out of 5 stars Readable Account Of The Siege
The author has pieced together recollections from many combatants on both sides to put together a very readable account of this long lasting siege,The bravery of the men was... Read more
Published on 2 Nov 2011 by Wingate
3.0 out of 5 stars The Longest Siege
I bought this because my father was Italain and was taken prisoner in North Africa. Being young I never asked him much about his experience there, so thought this book would help. Read more
Published on 23 July 2011 by Mapochia
3.0 out of 5 stars Recommended.
An informative description of the comings and goings across North Africa during WW2, concentrating on the siege of Tobruk, which helped to break Rommel's Afrika Korps. Read more
Published on 10 July 2011 by Shupi
2.0 out of 5 stars Australians, British... fighting for freedom...
Kindly, do not forget the Polish Carpathian Brigade....For many months there were more polish soldiers in Tobruk than english...(Austrialians, obviously, were most numerous). Read more
Published on 27 April 2011 by thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent purchase from Amazon
Bought this book for Christmas present as it was an excellent price. It arrived in plenty of time and in excellent condition.
Published on 15 Jan 2011 by Julie45
3.0 out of 5 stars an unneccessary campaign
The Ultra decrpyts sent to Churchill stated quite clearly that Rommel being short on food, fuel and ammunition could be ignored. Read more
Published on 24 April 2010 by James Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Having read half a dozen books on Tobruk now, this one stand head and shoulders above the rest. A real insight into the siege. You won't go wrong with this one.
Published on 25 Mar 2010 by Mr. Ben Parer
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