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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A soldier's General, 28 Nov. 2013
By 
Rodanjay (Selby, North Yorkshire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 'Strafer' - The Desert General: The Life and Killing of Lieutenant General WHE Gott CB CBE DSO*MC (Hardcover)
I have read all of Nash's books and this, whilst not being the easiest of reads, is the best researched and written. I found some of the battle scenes hard going but, without them, the book would not be complete. Before reading "Strafer Desert General" I knew nothing of General Gott. Having now read this book I realise what a wonderful "soldier's General" he was and his swift promotion during the desert war was well deserved. It is fascinating to imagine how the war would have turned out had Gott not been targeted and killed by the Germans. Recommended reading for all those who thought Montgomery was the best!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'STRAFER' GOTT, 11 May 2014
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This review is from: 'Strafer' - The Desert General: The Life and Killing of Lieutenant General WHE Gott CB CBE DSO*MC (Hardcover)
Before reading NS Nash's biography of 'Strafer' Gott I had read many snippets about the man, mainly in regimental histories and the like. These confirmed to me that Strafer was a great man: universally admired for his courage, skill and humanity; very much the 'parfait gentle knight'. Brigadier Nash's book has, for me, pulled these fragments together, augmented them, and provided a stirring perspective on a gifted soldier's life.

The author relies heavily on Brigadier HRW Vernon's earlier biography of Strafer, published privately after the Second World War. Vernon was a contemporary of Gott, and one of the few to commit his memories of the man to paper. Strafer's life was not well documented. Perhaps this is because his rise to fame was so meteoric, after a pre-War career that was successful by any standard but not sensational. Strafer came into his own as a brigade commander in the Western desert, and rose rapidly to command - briefly - the Eight Army. It was over this period that he attracted the attention of diarists, journalists and future authors of regimental - and larger formations' - histories.

How does Strafer compare with Montgomery, who succeeded him? Would Strafer have beaten Rommel at Second Alamein and go on to drive the Afrika Corps from the Continent? Would he have gone on to defeat the Wermacht in Europe, and help bring the war to a close? The author ponders these questions.

I agree with Brigadier Nash when he concludes that Strafer was a classic light infantryman, trained to think on his feet and to manoeuvre at speed. The desert was the perfect setting for his skills. Whether the grinding attrition of the Normandy campaign would have played to these skills is open to debate.

I also agree with the author when he says that "there is no doubt that Lieutenant General Strafer Gott CB CBE DSO* was the very best of men", and I am sure that his biography "will preserve his memory for future generations."

Tom Blackett

May 11, 2014
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written and well researched., 7 May 2014
This review is from: 'Strafer' - The Desert General: The Life and Killing of Lieutenant General WHE Gott CB CBE DSO*MC (Hardcover)
Very well written, and extremely informative. The only British General to to actively targeted and assassinated, his life and death would make a brilliant movie! Yes some of the battle history can get a bit much, but it is essential to understanding the book. Strafer was a man with integrity, unlike the egomaniacal and personally unlikeable Montgomery. Montgomery was probably, in the end, best for the job and Strafer was worn out by the length of time he had spent in the desert and he was not into the tactics of attrition that seems likely to be required to win. An unrecognised war hero.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good well written, 5 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: 'Strafer' - The Desert General: The Life and Killing of Lieutenant General WHE Gott CB CBE DSO*MC (Hardcover)
If you like factual books this one is for you.
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