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The Phantom Army of Alamein: The Men Who Hoodwinked Rommel Paperback – 6 Jun 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Paperbacks (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408831287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408831281
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rick Stroud is the author of The Phantom Army of Alamein: The Men Who Hoodwinked Rommel and The Book of the Moon. He is also the author, with Victor Gregg, of Rifleman: A Front Line Life from Alamein and Dresden to the Fall of the Berlin Wall and King's Cross Kid: A London Childhood Between the Wars. He lives in Chelsea, London.

Product Description

Review

A wonderful book: charming, fascinating, crammed full of extraordinary nuggets of information ... The result is a gem of a book and a classic of its kind (James Holland Literary Review)

Stroud has a storyteller's eye for human detail matched with a researcher's diligence ... A fascinating study of how the most unlikely characters can become heroes (Independent on Sunday)

The unit's tale is told with clarity, humour and precision (The Times)

Book Description

Camouflage was one of the most surprising elements of the Battle of Alamein - the story is now told in full for the first time.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By hardiejeremy@hotmail.com on 6 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I never knew that camouflage really mattered and was key, not just part of, winning El Alamein and other pivotal battles in the 2WW. He gets the oddity and unmilitary character of the people who did it spot on, and shows how as with Bletchley one of the strengths of the British was to take risks with techniques which weren't in the book and would have looked mad if they had gone wrong. A great read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By kirsteen tait on 14 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Had no idea that the history of camouflage was so fascinating, and its role in the war so crucial. This book is partly a thriller but it is also an inspiring account of the role of unexpected and often quite unmilitary people in an extraordinary military victory. You can tell you are in the hands of a film director as the author sketches in with just the right amount of detail the cast of artists and other unlikely characters who created the phantom army, and sets the scenes with fluent knowledge of the military facts combined with an eye for the vivid and memorable detail of people and landscape. The battle scenes are expertly portrayed but never laboured. If only you could always learn about the events of war so enjoyably!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cover 4/5 says what is inside

Contents. I have made a start to what looks like a good read. Sad to note Tony Ayrton died of meningitis. I had found this book via Michael Ayrton's Art Book to a check on Maxwell Ayrton his father on internet reference pages. Maxwell Ayrton architect of Wembley Stadium and NIMR building in Mill Hill North London. I read on ... Book says brother of Tony Ayrton is Michael Ayrton the artist and sculpture. Not so sure about this being correct. I read on ...

Finished 4 4 15. An excellent read.

Alexander of the Allrighters and Ywnwab!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating account of the British Camouflage artists. is there a book about the American Camouflage outfit which included simulated battle noises to confuse the enemy?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss Susannah Clapp on 8 Nov. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a haunting story, immaculately researched. Both warfare and art are illuminated in this investigation. Which will make everyone look twice at everything.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By T. Burkard VINE VOICE on 24 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mention 'camouflage and concealment' and anyone of a certain age will immediately recall the famous Monty Python sketch. Alas, right away you can tell that this isn't the kind of book to include this in their wide-ranging discussion of the subject. More's the pity, because the opening section of the book, which tracks the main characters before they became involved in Britain's camouflage unit, is dead boring. That's why I held back the 5th star for what is otherwise an excellent popular history. It's well-written, and the deeds of the camouflage unit are embedded in a sketchy but adequate narrative of the ups and downs the North African campaign, and brief but incisive portraits of Rommel and Montgomery. He includes a post-script about how surveillance technology and concealment technology have rendered obsolete the crude but effective efforts of the amateur artists who fooled Rommel.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Harrell on 10 July 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought the paperback edition of The Phantom Army of Alamein when read rave reviews for the hardback edition. How do you deceive an enemy such as Rommel who is well-versed in deception himself, especially in a desert? This is a good enough reason in itself to buy this book. Only the British could possess such a varied collection of determined and different characters to tackle the immense problems. One or two real characters, maybe, but also tremendous hard work and ingenuity. Best to buy the book.
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