Retreat to Victory: Springbok’s Diary in North Africa: Gazala to El Alamein 1942 by James Ambrose Brown

Retreat to Victory: Springbok’s Diary in North Africa: Gazala to El Alamein 1942 by James Ambrose Brown available soon at the brilliant BookLovers of Bath web site!

Johannesburg: Ashanti Publishing, 1991, Hardback in dust wrapper.

Number 7 in the series. Illustrated by way of: Photographic endpapers and blanks; Black & White Photographs; Maps; Plans;

>From the cover: Until very recently the keeping of diaries by soldiers was forbidden. Some did manage to do so in the past and the history of warfare has consequently been enriched by their jottings, especially from the viewpoint of the ordinary soldier. James Ambrose Browns journal of the life of a South African infantryman in the British North African 8th Army, almost exactly half a century ago, gives a day-to-day account of the campaign in the Western Desert against the redoubtable Rommels Afrika Korps. He began to write when the great Crusader offensive to clear the German and Italian forces from Africa ran out of steam and Rommel struck back. Retreat to Victory chronicles the Allied retreat from the Gazala line; Rommels lightning thrust for Tobruk and its fall with the capture of nearly forty thousand men; the retreat into Egypt, with morale at a low ebb and the South African stand at El Alamein, a milestone in our illustrious military history.

Here the desert war bogged down, in months of attack and counter-attack but at the end of it the Axis forces never broke through to Alexandria.

Browns hour-to-hour depiction of the great battle that at last sent the enemy reeling back across North Africa remains a classic. To bring todays reader into the picture, James Ambrose Brown has provided a preamble that sets out the political and military events which led up to World War II and the two years of lost North African battles that almost gave total victory to Germany and Italy. Splendid maps by Dr Richard Wood vividly illustrate the tactical situations described in the diary; they also fill in the gaps in large-scale operations. Lavish use of photographs taken by official war photographers illustrate the text. Also reproduced are sketches done by official war artists who were there. Retreat to Victory is a moving and timeless account of despair and hope; and the ultimate devastation that is left in the path of war.

Introduction by: Jim Bailey

In the South Africans at War series.

Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper very slightly rubbed at the edges. Text complete, clean and tight but with a sticker ghost to the last blank.

Cream boards with White titling to the Spine. [XIV] 301 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6″.

Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I beguile you with my offerings from hither or maybe further, handpicked, books in my Military Army catalogue?


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