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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best British Official History Series!, 26 Feb 2008
By 
Carl (U.K. & U.S.A.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Mediterranean and Middle East: Volume I The Early Successes Against Italy (To May 1941): History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Mility ... Second World War: United Kingdom Military) (Paperback)
The Mediterranean and Middle East series is the best of the British Second World War official campaign histories, especially the first four volumes by I.S.O. Playfair and later ones by W.G.F. Jackson. The series covers the fighting undertaken by British, Imperial and Dominion troops, the air forces and the navy in East and North Africa, the Middle East, Greece, the Mediterranean Sea, Malta, Gibraltar, and Italy etc from 1940 to 1945.

These volumes are a wealth information detailing logistical and supply issues faced by not only the Allies but the Axis forces, the political background informing the reader, for example, of deals brokered with the Iraqi government in the 1930s and the military and political deals that were attempted with the Turkish government prior to war etc.

As the introduction to the books state, they cannot go into too much detail on the tactical level telling you about what each battalion did in such and such battle however the books give you a really good description of the fighting in the battles and operations that were conducted and even devote quite a number of pages to a one day battle that other books basically gloss over. Numerous charts are provided within the volumes detailing the manpower, plane, artillery and tank strengths of each side as well as the casualties suffered; for example the information covering the El Alamein battles break down the tank strengths of each side showing the number of each particular tank model.

There are a few minor quibbles and the only major drawback is that these new versions lack the coloured maps that are hinted to have existed, throughout the text, that the originals had - although there are black and white maps in there place.; although one feels that they are not always 100% helpful. Additionally the majority of these volumes were originally published prior to the release of the ULTRA secret so when there have been intelligence coups ULTRA is not mentioned, the issue is glossed over with blanket statements and how the information was gathered is not discussed.

The success of these volumes is apparent by the numerous secondary sources, on the fighting covering these areas that cite these volumes as source material. These, while pricey, are well worth the investment for anyone interested in an excellent overview of the fighting, politics, supply and logistics, and statistics covering the Mediterranean and Middle East theatre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 Jan 2010
By 
Julie A. Fox - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mediterranean and Middle East: Volume I The Early Successes Against Italy (To May 1941): History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Mility ... Second World War: United Kingdom Military) (Paperback)
This book covers a period in history which could easily be forgotten, yet were some of the most important battles of WW2. My father was one of many soldiers involved in the middle East and Mediterranean, he will be 90 years old this year -and buying him this book has given him an opportunity to remember those days of his life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Sep 2014
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This review is from: The Mediterranean and Middle East: Volume I The Early Successes Against Italy (To May 1941): History of the Second World War: United Kingdom Mility ... Second World War: United Kingdom Military) (Paperback)
Good book, as advertised, prompt delivery.
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