THE DESERT GENERALS.

By: Barnett, Correlli.

Price: $17.50 USD

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


320 pp, large 8vo (9 1/2" H). Map endpapers, b&w photographs, maps/battle plans. "The first portrait is of Sir Richard O'Connor, who won the fantastic victories over Graziani's Italians in 1940. The author shows that the credit for the daring and unorthodox planning is due to O'Connor and not to Wavell; he puts forward a convincing argument to show that Tripoli could have been taken - and the North African campaign ended - in February, 1941, if the Prime Minister had not diverted forces to Greece. Of Sir Alan Cunningham, first commander of 8th Army, there is a picture of imaginative insight. The author shows that the crisis in the 'Crusader' battle of November, 1941, was caused by twenty years of neglect and traditionalism, although the brunt fell on Cunningham, then a sick man. In Sir Neil Ritchie, next 8th Army commander, the author sees personified the characteristics of the Establishment - rigidity, social charm and professional conservatism. He shows how Ritchie was beaten in the summer battles of 1942 by the dynamism of German leadership. With 8th Army in danger of complete collapse, the C.-in-C., Sir Claude Auchinleck, took over direct command in order to try to save the Middle East and its vital oil. In the next few weeks he won a great but never officially acknowledged victory in the First Battle of Alamein. The author believes that this was the true turning point of the war, making possible the 'Torch' landings in French North Africa. Auchinleck's reward was dismissal - as, the author shows, a political scapegoat. Although Field-Marshal Montgomery has recounted his own story, there is another side to it, told here for the first time. The author discusses the plans for Montgomery's first victory of Alam Halfa which had been made by Auchinleck and his officers; he submits that the Battle of Alamein was not impeccably handled, and that Rommel's escape afterwards was not owing to rain, but to the hesitant, 'broad front' pursuit - the very error of which Montgomery was to accuse Eisenhower in 1944." Previous owner's small bookplate and small light stain on front pastedown, light browning to edges of text block, minor wrinkling at top/bottom of spine, one page with tiny edge tear and crease. Dust jacket has wear/wrinkles/tiny chips at top/bottom of hinges and flap-folds, small surface paper loss at top of spine, light browning on spine and flap-folds, two edge tears with creases - old tape repair, one tiny edge tear, light wear on flap-folds.