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Customer Review

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Them and us, 17 Jan. 2011
This review is from: The Long Range Desert Group 1940-1945: Providence Their Guide (Paperback)
Back in the 1960s I met a former member of the long range desert group. He was a most interesting man to speak with. I think he was a corporal in one of the patrol groups (and he had photos, etc. to prove it). The tales he told of his time with the LRDG left me wanting to know more about the LRDG. But as is the way of life, I forgot all about the LRDG until a few months ago (and 45 years later) I spotted a reference to it in a book review and this awakened my long-forgotten interest in the LRDG's exploits. The author's memoir of the group is a good (but not a great) read, and it suffers from the flaw that it creates a myth of the few and may leave readers with an impression that the author knew little about the other ranks (e.g. the privates and corporals) who served in the LRDG. He certainly remembers the officers by name, the "Teddy Bullington-Smythes" so to speak (there is no such person by that name referred to in the memoir), but seldom refers by name to the other-rank "Jack Joneses" who would have comprised the great majority of those in the LRDG. "Teddy Bullington-Smythe got shot in the arm on patrol; 2 privates in the patrol group were killed." The author was a man of his time and the memoir suggests that he moved only among his upper class chums. One could not have imagined him sitting down with the other ranks and having a beer and a good old chin-wag about football. This does not mean that the author was not a thoroughly decent man in every other respect. He conformed to the mores of his time. But I would have liked to have read a lot more in the memoir about the Jack Joneses in the LRDG and not to have been left with an impression that the Teddy Bullington-Smythes won the war on their own.
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