'Anyone who wants to know how it felt to fight in the desert war should read Holland's book. It represents a remarkable collation of personal experience and sensible historical judgments.'
Sunday Telegraph, Max Hastings
'Holland has produced a wonderful book whose pace…never seems to flag … he is a master at evoking time and place, with haunting descriptions of the desert landscape … If there is a better book on the North African campaign, I haven't read it.'
Daily Telegraph, Saul David
'Using personal testimony and private memoirs as effectively as official archives, he recreates the hardships and challenges faced by ordinary soldiers and reassesses the tactical and strategic innovations that finally gave the allies the upper hand.'
'as Holland shows, this period saw the realisation of how the war might eventually be won'
BBC History Magazine
'stands out from the crowd’
Literary Review, Nigel Jones
'The book gives the individuals, be they commander-in-chiefs or infantry, space that attests to their bravery and sacrifices … a comprehensive appraisal of the war in North Africa.'
Good Book Guide
'Holland tells the story brilliantly. He has delved into archives for letters and diaries and diligently tracked down survivors … Vividly, intelligently, movingly, Holland's monumental chronicle tells it like it was.'
Patrick Bishop, Mail on Sunday
About the Author
James Holland was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire, and studied history at Durham University. He has worked for several London publishing houses and has written for a number of national newspapers and magazines. He is the author of Fortress Malta: An Island Under Siege, 1940-1943, and a novel, The Burning Blue. Married with a son, he lives near Salisbury.