Alamein by Simon Ball

By Simon Ball

El Alamein used to be one of many pivotal battles of the second one international conflict, fought by means of armies and air forces at the innovative of army expertise. but Alamein has constantly had a patchy recognition - with many commentators keen to knock its value.

This booklet explains simply why El Alamein is any such debatable conflict. in keeping with a radical interpreting of the modern resources, particularly the large and lately declassified British bugging of Axis prisoners of struggle, army historian Simon Ball turns Alamein on its head, explaining it as a cultural defeat for Britain.

Alamein is an army historical past of the conflict - displaying how diversified it seems to be stripped of later cultural excrescences. however it additionally exhibits how 'Alamein tradition' saturated the post-war international, whilst archival assets mingled with movie, novels, magazines, renowned histories, and the remainder of Alamein's footprint.

Whether you have an interest within the conflict itself or its cultural afterlife, when you have an opinion approximately Alamein, you are going to query it after studying this book.

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First, he claimed that ‘the first phase of the battle—the break in—opened and proceeded much according to plan’. Second, it was now clear that ‘the enemy intends to fight in his forward positions and that the struggle for mastery will be fierce and will probably be prolonged over a considerable period’. Alexander warned that ‘for about a week it will not be possible to give reliable appreciation of how events will develop’. Finally, ‘the second phase— the debouchment of armour west of minefields’ had not gone ‘as rapidly as was hoped’.

Overall the Eighth Army had lost  officers and , men. The highest casualties had been suffered by the infantry divisions, the st and th Australian losing , men each. 70 The phrase that de Guingand used in his notes on  October  was that the day was spent ‘teeing up’ the coming attack. In the morning of  October  Montgomery met Leese of XXX Corps and Lumsden of X Corps in order to issue formal orders for the operation. At noon, the chief of staff, Eighth Army, de Guingand, met senior staff officers from both corps to work out practical details.

If, he said, he ordered his tanks ‘forward of the ridge they will have heavy casualties’. He was therefore going to order them to ‘sit on the M[iteiriya] Ridge and if there is any  OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 10/5/2016, SPi ALAMEIN UNPLUGGED question of counter-attack he will intervene but he does not want to go out in front unless there is something to go out for . . don’t want to go out and get A/Tked and shelled to hell’. Freyberg was recorded as contacting his own divisional headquarters ‘asking us to please put some energy into  Armd Div’.

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