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on 19 September 2005
What a difficult job this author sets out to do! To describe the strategy and tactics as well as the lived experience of these huge North African campaigns - to get under the skin of both the generals and the ordinary soldiers in the same account is extremely ambitious. But he succeeds brilliantly - having read this book you really do feel as if there is nothing more to know about almot all aspects of these fascinating campaigns.
At first I baulked at the length of the book, but it was so engrossing and superbly well-written, that in the end I wanted it to go on for ever. Finishing it was like losing a good friend. Best of all, for me, were the personal accounts - the amount of research that must have gone into this is staggering. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 12 August 2009
This book is one of the finest pieces of narrative history I have read. While James Holland is working with material that is fascinating in itself he really brings the North African campaign to life.

The main appeal of the book is how Holland follows the experiences of a number of people involved in the conflict. In explaining their backgrounds he effectively shows the broad range of cultures that were involved in the conflict.

Do not let the books size bother you - the authors writing style and analysis keeps the reader engaged throughout.
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on 6 January 2015
Wanted a detailed book that covered a family member's service in North Africa. The writer provides an excellent history of the war in North Africa and details many of the horrors and deficiencies in equipment and thinking that probably delayed victory in this theatre of war.

Not an easy read in places, but certainly easy to read in terms of style.

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on 16 December 2011
This is the best general book on North African war I have read, & I have read a lot. It is a clever mix of a panoramic overview of that important time with detailed personal reminiscences by army & airforce memebers of all ranks with some startling facts & insights.
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