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Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
The Desert War Then and Now
Format: Hardcover|Change
Price:£44.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 7 August 2013
Although I live in the United States, I ordered this book from Amazon.com UK (where it is available earlier than in the U.S.)on the strength of the other After the Battle Books in my collection. Needless to say, I was not disappointed. Rather than simply tell you that it is a great book, let me share with you how it is put together so you can see if it meets your specific needs.

The Desert War: Then and Now consists of seven parts: Part One - The North African Battlefield (a 24 page geneal overview of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia); Part Two - First Rounds in the Desert (63 pages covering the period June 1940 - February 1941); Part Three - The Germans Move in (95 pages covering the period February - September 1941); Part 4 - The Winter Battles (57 pages covering the period October - December 1941); Part Five - British Fortunes Reach their Lowest Ebb (99 pages covering January - July 1942); Part Six - Turn of the Tide (81 pages covering August - November 1942) and Part Seven - Battle on Two Fronts (129 pages covering the period November 1942 - May 1943.

In terms of major engagements, the book covers Operation Compass in Part 2, Operations Sonnenblume, the first battle of Tobruk, and Operation Battleaxe in Part 3, Operation Crusader in Part 4, The Battle of Gazala, the "Cauldron," Bir Hakeim, the Fall of Tobruk, and the fighting at El Alamein in Part 5, The Battle of Alam Halfa, Operation Lightfoot, Operation Supercharge and the Axis Retreat from Alamein in Part 6, concluding with Operation Torch, the last Battles in Libya, Kasserine Pass, Battle of Mareth, El Guettar, and the capture of Bizerta & Tunis in Part 7.

Some of the narrative covers earlier articles in the After the Battle Magazine, such as the "Raid on Rommel's headquarters" in Part 3, but for the most part the narrative and pictures do not seem to have been in print before.

Those familiar with the After the Battle Books will not be disappointed. There are a plethora of apparently unpublished images from U.S., German, Italian, and British sources in this book, as well as a number of photographs taken by the author during recent visits to the area, in particular Libya. In terms of captions, I found them as fascinating in many instance as the main narrative. The author is clearly knowledgable about the equipment, personalities, and events depicted in the book. As for the narrative itself, Jean Paul Pallud's research is top notch, with few, if any easily discernable errors. Although I am very well read on the campaign, I did learn a new thing or two when reading this book. For instance, I did not know that the Allies tabulated a total of 238,243 prisoners by 25 May 1943, to include 101,784 Germans; 89,443 Italians, and 47,017 of nationality unspecified! I suspect that at least half the last named category were German given that Rommel later observed that he believed 130,000 German soldiers went into captivity when "Tunisgrad" fell in May 1943.

Again, an excellent book on so many levels. Highly recommended!
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on 17 July 2015
I am really enjoying reading this book immensely. My father was posted to the Middle East at the beginning of hostilities. I recognise many of the places he mentioned to me in Egypt, and Libya and Tunisia, with the push west, from his numerous reminiscences of the period. I am in the process of building up a timeline of the British efforts to defeat first the Italian and later the German Army to blend in with his service record I possess. The written detail is wonderful and is well supplemented by plentiful photographs in the celebrated "Then and Now" style. This is a truly fabulous and invaluable record.
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on 5 June 2013
I pre-ordered JP's book as soon as news of it was made public and then waited. The book was not a disappointment, it reads well and is superbly illustrated wartime B&W contrasting with present day colour photos as is the current ATB style.

In terms of build everything seems to be published in China these days, having said that the build is flawless paper quality is excellent text is clear and photo reproduction is unparalleled.

As a single narrative of North Africa it is not at all bad showing you close up many places which are known and some unknown and the landscapes of North Africa today still hold echos of its wartime past.

As a history this is simply another excellent work from ATB , this describes it for what it is and in doing so I do not understate it.

Cheap , no, but very good value for money. So far I have never taken anything from ATB which I regretted buying , this from JPP was worth waiting for.
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on 18 July 2013
I am very pleased to have a copy of The Desert War, a superb tome with comprehensive cover of all aspects this deadly fascinating topic. I was particularly pleased to see the LRDG covered, including the recovery of "Waikaha". Also Bovington's Tiger. I stood beside this beast during a visit to the UK in 1981 and wondered about the damage it would have caused. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the war in the desert. The photos and detailed captions alone are well with the price. I would also suggest purchasing the DVD "WWII Desert War" to compliment the book.
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on 6 October 2016
Lives up to the high standard set by previous books. Good maps and information on units involved for both sides of the conflict. Great resource for wargamers or for those with an interest in military history.
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on 16 January 2018
very good just what it said first class book just what I was looking for
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on 18 March 2018
All OK
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on 8 August 2013
As usual the Then and Now boys have produced another excellent book. As in their Monte cassino book there has been a switch to colour modern photos which is fine, certainly helps you to find places if you visit! I have all the major WW2 books and this is as good as the best.
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on 26 May 2013
Excellent as per usual.You just cannot be beat a "Then and Now" book by "After the Battle" .
I haven't finished reading it yet (slow reader and lack time), but from what i have read up to yet it is as interesting and very informative as their other "Tnen and Now" books
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on 19 December 2013
Another excellent volume in the "then and now" series. Excellent research work which seemed to border on sheer daring in the face of the, then, oppressive regime. A must have for any serious fan of military history.
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