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The Longest Siege: Tobruk - The Battle That Saved North Africa Paperback – Unabridged, 2 Apr 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pan; Reprints edition (2 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330510819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330510813
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Dr Robert Lyman spent twenty years as an officer in the British Army, during which time he received 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.

Product Description

Review

'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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'Attractive and readable account of the 242-day siege of Tobruk in 1941.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By N. Brown VINE VOICE on 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Singapore Relic on 10 Aug. 2009
Format: Hardcover
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Pj Williams VINE VOICE on 23 Jun. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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 By Bobby Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 May 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...as 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 By sandbagger on 13 Jun. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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