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Subject: Best book on the north african campaign in wwii rss

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olivier R
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I am looking for a book covering the north african campaign in wwii.

I have a few but none that deals with the whole campaign on this theatre :

- Tank Combat in North Africa: The Opening Rounds : Operations Sonnenblume, Brevity, Skorpion and Battleaxe February 1941-June 1941 by Thomas Jentz.

- Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck.

- Panzer Battles by Mellenthin.

And I have read some of the commonwealth official history books available online.


I suppose I should get the Rommel papers by Liddel Hart, but I have read his book on Alexander the Great and found it very disappointing. Besides I am looking for something that also describes the part before Rommel got sent to Africa and this is where most books start. Not terribly interested by the end of the campaign and Tunisia though.

Any recommendations?



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Colin Parkin
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Barrie Pitt's trilogy is very readable, and volume 1, The crucible of war covers the early months of the war well.
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Captain Nemo
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pepe le moko wrote:
I am looking for a book covering the north african campaign in wwii.

Any recommendations?


Barrie Pitt - Crucible of War

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=crucible+of+war+...
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Michael Sommers
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I like this one:



which also covers east Africa, too, and of course Barnett's Desert Generals:


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Edmund Hon
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I like this one:



http://www.amazon.com/War-Without-Hate-Campaign-1940-43/dp/0...
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Christina Kahrl
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If you want a critical history that looks beyond the battlefields and talks about the logistical handicaps and political elements as well, something that is anything but hagiographic in its treatment of the Desert Fox, I would strongly suggest Martin Kitchen's book:



For a ripping good read, I'd recommend Moorhead's "Desert War: The North Africa Campaigns, 1940-43." Moorhead was an Australian war correspondent on the spot, and his account really puts you "there," as it were.

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Kev.
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I really enjoyed this very old but very well written book called The Battle for North Africa, by John Strawson. No pictures. Just an excellent and engaging effort.
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michael connor
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All good choices. Also THE CAMPAIGN FOR NORTH AFRICA Jack Coggins. Great maps!!
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DiamondSylph wrote:
If you want a critical history that looks beyond the battlefields and talks about the logistical handicaps and political elements as well, something that is anything but hagiographic in its treatment of the Desert Fox, I would strongly suggest Martin Kitchen's book:



For a ripping good read, I'd recommend Moorhead's "Desert War: The North Africa Campaigns, 1940-43." Moorhead was an Australian war correspondent on the spot, and his account really puts you "there," as it were.



I found Kitchen's book ok but quickly got over his constantly pointing out how ordinary Rommel really was. I get what he was trying to say, just felt he bludgeoned me to death with his view.
+1 to the Moorshead recommendation.
+1 the Pitt recommendation.
The various participants official histories are good as well. I know I'm probably biased but the Australian ones are great.
They can be found here: http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_world_war/
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olivier R
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petegs wrote:

The various participants official histories are good as well. I know I'm probably biased but the Australian ones are great.
They can be found here: http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_world_war/


Yes this is the one I read, well the first volumes.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
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Łukasz
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DiamondSylph wrote:


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Nigel Twine
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LOL. That`s how I read it too :shake:
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Screw Gordon Ramsey and Hell's Kitchen, I want Rommel Desert Martin War Kitchen now!
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Glenn Martin
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I have a great uncle who went on the North African campaign. He had a battered copy of Ben Hur that he read constantly.
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Glenn Martin
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There's also "Adolf Hitler: My part in His Downfall" and it's sequels by Spike Milligan.
A tad light on the big picture.
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jonathan schleyer
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pepe le moko wrote:
I am looking for a book covering the north african campaign in wwii.

I have a few but none that deals with the whole campaign on this theatre :

- Tank Combat in North Africa: The Opening Rounds : Operations Sonnenblume, Brevity, Skorpion and Battleaxe February 1941-June 1941 by Thomas Jentz.

- Panzer Commander: The Memoirs of Colonel Hans von Luck.

- Panzer Battles by Mellenthin.

And I have read some of the commonwealth official history books available online.


I suppose I should get the Rommel papers by Liddel Hart, but I have read his book on Alexander the Great and found it very disappointing. Besides I am looking for something that also describes the part before Rommel got sent to Africa and this is where most books start. Not terribly interested by the end of the campaign and Tunisia though.

Any recommendations?





Olivier,

I would warmly recommend Rommel's Papers. The intro from Liddel Hart is not the main part of this book. What is really incredible about the Rommel Papers is that it is his diary dictated every night to his assistant. So it is written "live" without the benefit of hindsight. So when it was written, Rommel did not know what was going to happen next. It is like following him live through his career - the main focus being Africa.

It's one of the best military history books I have ever read.

As a side note, Panzer Commander is also an excellent book! More personal view of the war.

Right now I am reading Guderian's Panzer Leader which is pretty amazing too although a little colder than the Rommel Papers perhaps.

Jonathan
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olivier R
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Thanks, I ended up buying the war kitchen book but I might get Rommel's papers later.
 
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Jim P.
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Sorry I am late to the thread here, but I really like this book on the subject:




It contains many hand-drawn maps on specific parts of certain battles. Terrific book. A well deserved 5 star rating at Amazon...
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Tyler
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Rick Atkinson's An Army At Dawn is probably my favorite piece of narrative history.



Obviously it doesn't meet the "whole theatre" criteria of the OP, but it is such a phenomenal book on the subject that I feel it bears mentioning. Read it and supplement with the stuff on Monty and Rommel in 1940-42!
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jonathan schleyer
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whisky_bear wrote:
Rick Atkinson's An Army At Dawn is probably my favorite piece of narrative history.



Obviously it doesn't meet the "whole theatre" criteria of the OP, but it is such a phenomenal book on the subject that I feel it bears mentioning. Read it and supplement with the stuff on Monty and Rommel in 1940-42!


That was an amazing book indeed!
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Bradley Fletcher
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Atkinson's third book, The Guns at Last Light, is equally good.
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Frank brets
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I have this paperback, has to be 20 years old... I think it was called The Desert War" I'll try and find it.. Best book I ever read, it was told from three side, You had the author, than you had accounts from both the German and British soldiers that served in the War.. I was amazed that the British and Germans figured out they could off tune their radios and talk to each other, and they traded with each other... Laugh, the german's would drink the water and piss in the radiators, unfortunately no one told the Italians not to drink the water in the radiators.....

Frank
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Neil Henning
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The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II

by John Bierman, Colin Smith

I am currently reading this one and I am enjoying it albeit it obviously doesn't cover the whole Africa campaign.
 
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Bruce Jurin
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fbrets0922 wrote:
I have this paperback, has to be 20 years old... I think it was called The Desert War" I'll try and find it.. Best book I ever read, it was told from three side, You had the author, than you had accounts from both the German and British soldiers that served in the War.. I was amazed that the British and Germans figured out they could off tune their radios and talk to each other, and they traded with each other... Laugh, the german's would drink the water and piss in the radiators, unfortunately no one told the Italians not to drink the water in the radiators.....

Frank


Maybe this one:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/459798.Desert_War

Awesome book!

PS Great topic - I think everyone here wishes he/she had time to read them all!
 
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