This book is actually a re-print of "Desert War in North Africa", part of a series of juvenile histories written in the 1960s. The original publication used a streamlined narrative style that could appeal more easily to young readers, supplemented by a magnificent series of battle maps, historical photographs and beautiful watercolors painted by eye-witnesses. The battle maps showed the strategic movement of the armies, and really brought out the sophistication of the action. This balanced well with the stripped-down, crackingly fast-paced narrative. The pictures and especially the watercolors then brought home the personal experience of the North African war. Short personal vignettes of wartime experiences, often paired with these pictures and watercolors, brought the war to life for the reader.
Unfortunately, this printing does not include any of the maps, pictures or watercolors. Considering how tightly these were integrated into the book's narrative, this printing feels like half of the book is missing. What the reader is left with is a simplified narrative of the North Africa campaigns, with a lot of context missing.
I first read the original "Desert War in North Africa" in junior high school, after picking up a clearance copy from my local school library. The hardcover was already in tatters, and the pages were loose and threatening to fall out. The book's condition hasn't gotten any better in the decades since. But I still pull it out every few years, and spend a weekend reading through it. Even after reading much more in-depth and detailed books on the North Africa campaign, no other book has better captured the look, the feel and the broad sweeping arc of the Desert War in North Africa.
Get the original hardback book if you can. This edition, while an admirable effort to save an old title, just doesn't stand up to the legacy of the original.