The Crucible of War: Wavell's Command: The Definitive History of the Desert War - Volume 1

The Crucible of War: Wavell's Command: The Definitive History of the Desert War - Volume 1 When Sir Archibald Wavell Assumed Command Of The British Forces In North Africa, He Had No Choice But To Keep Egypt From Falling To The Axis A Defeat Would Give Hitler Access To The Red Sea, And With It Access To The Oil Rich Persian Gulf And Even To India Because Of Wavell S Limited Resources, He Decided Attack Was The Best Form Of Defense Wavell S Brilliant Campaign Was Carried Out By His Field Commander, General Richard O Connor, Who Routed Marshal Rodolfo Graziani S Italian Forces, Took Thousands Of Prisoners, And Pushed The Italians Back Hundreds Of Miles The Exhilarating And Essential Victory Was Short Lived, Lasting Only A Few Months Until Erwin Rommel And His Afrika Korps Entered The Conflict In Early

Barrie Pitt, who died on April 15 aged 87, was a highly capable editor of popular histories, and the workmanlike author of The Crucible of War, a vivid three volume account of the desert war.Under the overall editorship of Sir Basil Liddell Hart, he was responsible for the first major part work, Purnell s History of the Second World War, a 96 instalment mass circulation series which was launched i

❰Reading❯ ➸ The Crucible of War: Wavell's Command: The Definitive History of the Desert War - Volume 1 Author Barrie Pitt –
  • Paperback
  • 352 pages
  • The Crucible of War: Wavell's Command: The Definitive History of the Desert War - Volume 1
  • Barrie Pitt
  • English
  • 07 October 2018
  • 9780304359509

10 thoughts on “The Crucible of War: Wavell's Command: The Definitive History of the Desert War - Volume 1

  1. says:

    Barrie Pitt s first volume of three as published by Cassell in 2001 but originally two volumes by Jonathan Cape in 1980 82 respectively is a lively and engaging account of the Desert war from August 1939 until Wavell s departure in June 1941.The writer has an easy way of describing the command aspects and situation strategically whilst flowing down to units or individual officers and men This makes for a story that flows from challenges over logistics, plans, numbers of troops available including an over zealous prime minister or men driving through sand, engaging enemy troops and asking prisoners to come back the next morning to surrender.I liked it that Mr Pitt included the ignored campaign in East Africa and those in Iraq and Syria as well as the ill fated but terribly costly and disruptive distractions of Greece and Crete.Where the author is very strong is his recounting of O Connor s fast paced and highly successful operations in the Western Desert against a far larger Italian and Libyan force in late 1940, and the actions and movements in British and Italian Somalialand, Eritrea and Ethiopia I learned much here, particularly the difficult terrain and how hard the fighting was between Italian and British and Indian troops that caused heavy casualties as units took, lost and retook hills, defiles and other key points.Mr Pitt also shows clearly the challenges Wavell had just from sheer size of command to the sparsity of troops and the availability of quality weapons in any useful number, and the need top seek sanction and agreement from a vast array of commonwealth and local military commanders or political appointees in various territories The ever present difficulties of changing circumstances that drove counter order after counter order and multiple communiqu s from an under pressure Churchill and to the conduct and relationship is well described too.Wavell is treated fairly and gives the impression the author thinks well of the man like this reader and the challenges he had and managed although he does not shy from criticism and notes the terribly mistake Wavell makes by sending the Indian divisions to East Africa just when O Connor had destroyed the Italian tenth army taking 130,000 prisoners The What if here is had they not stopped to let those troops leave accepting that Greece now loomed could North Africa have been secured before the Germans had set foot on its sand and rock.I felt the book, with Mr Pitt s standing as a high quality historian, should have provided far footnotes and sources merely through the depth and detail of accounts provided.I am not convinced it is a definitive study as the publisher subtitles the three volume set not described as such by the original publisher Cape , but it is certainly a readable and informative book and I ll look to read the other two volumes.Recommended to newcomers of the Desert War or those who have read much on the North African battles but have not explored the East African campaigns in any detail.

  2. says:

    Pitt s first volume provides a very readable account of the campaigns during Wavell s command from mid 1939 to June 1941 Wavell was responsible for the security of Egypt and the Suez Canal, Palestine, the Western Desert, East Africa, Greece and Crete, Iraq and Syria And he carried this responsibility during a period when the UK had limited resources and a leader, Churchill, whose interference and micromanagement proved costly.Pitt blends a stategic overview of the theatre with personal stories of the men involved and creates an engaging account.While generally thorough and factual, Pitt s folksy description of the Anzac soldiers perpetuates a myth that does not stand up to close scrutiny In contrast, Stocking s account of the Battle at Bardia provides a much insightful and informative account of the reasons for the Allied s overwhelming success against the Italians leadership, training, logistics, equipment.Like his other volumes in this three part series, Pitt s first volume is an engaging read for someone interested in military history and the leadership lessons that can be drawn.

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