Whanganuilibrary.com
Normal view MARC view ISBD view

Eighth Army : from the Western Desert to the Alps, 1939-1945 / Robin Neillands.

By: Neillands, Robin, 1935-2006.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : John Murray, 2004Description: xxviii, 452 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0719556422.Subject(s): Great Britain. Army. Army, Eighth -- History | World War, 1939-1945 -- Regimental historiesDDC classification: 940.5412
Contents:
The Western Desert Force: 1940 -- Sidi Barrani and Beda Fomm: June 1940-February 1941 -- Tobruk: May-December 1941 -- Crusader: The Battle for Sidi Rezegh, June-December 1941 -- Gazala: January-June 1942 -- First Alamein to Alam Halfa: July-August 1942 -- Alamein: October-November 1942 -- Alamein to Tripoli: October 1942-January 1943 -- Tripoli to Tunis: January-May 1943 -- Sicily: July-August 1943 -- Salerno to the Sangro: September-December 1943 -- Cassino: January-March 1944 -- Cassino and Rome: April-June 1944 -- To the Gothic Line: June-November 1944 -- The Long March Ends: November 1944-May 1945.
The Western Desert Force: 1940 -- Sidi Barrani and Beda Fomm: June 1940-February 1941 -- Tobruk: May-December 1941 -- Crusader: The Battle for Sidi Rezegh, June-December 1941 -- Gazala: January-June 1942 -- First Alamein to Alam Halfa: July-August 1942 -- Alamein: October-November 1942 -- Alamein to Tripoli: October 1942-January 1943 -- Tripoli to Tunis: January-May 1943 -- Sicily: July-August 1943 -- Salerno to the Sangro: September-December 1943 -- Cassino: January-March 1944 -- Cassino and Rome: April-June 1944 -- To the Gothic Line: June-November 1944 -- The Long March Ends: November 1944-May 1945.
"This is the story of the Desert Army, following it through thousands of miles of hard campaigning from the Nile delta to Tunis, Sicily, and up the rugged spine of Italy to the foothills of the Alps. No army in the Second World War marched so far or fought for so long." "This book is built on the memories of Eighth Army veterans, collected from all over the world. It includes personal accounts of the battles fought at Sidi Rezegh, Alamein, in Sicily and at Cassino - and all the way to the Gothic Line - and of the end of Eighth Army's 3,000-mile march to victory. It is a story that deserves to be told, about an army that deserves to be remembered."--BOOK JACKET.
Review: "This is the story of the Desert Army, following it through thousands of miles of hard campaigning from the Nile delta to Tunis, Sicily, and up the rugged spine of Italy to the foothills of the Alps. No army in the Second World War marched so far or fought for so long." "This book is built on the memories of Eighth Army veterans, collected from all over the world. It includes personal accounts of the battles fought at Sidi Rezegh, Alamein, in Sicily and at Cassino - and all the way to the Gothic Line - and of the end of Eighth Army's 3,000-mile march to victory. It is a story that deserves to be told, about an army that deserves to be remembered."--BOOK JACKET.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction 940.5412 NEI 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

From June 1940 to October 1942, Eighth Army was the only Western army facing and fighting the Axis powers, Italian as well as German, on the battlefield. It was a British army, but represented the Free World. Some of the great fighting divisions of the War were part of it - the 9th Australian, the 2nd New Zealand, 1st South African, 4th Indian, 51st Highland and 7th Armoured - the famous Desert Rats - joined by the Free French, the Greek Brigade, and many more from Britain and around the world.

Though ultimately triumphant, the Army was not always victorious - it had to fight obsolete equipment, indifferent command and excessive demands as well as the enemy - not forgetting its most admired foe, Rommel, who met his match in Eighth Army's General Sir Bernard Montgomery (Monty).

This book is built on the memories of Eighth Army veterans, collected from all over the world. It includes personal accounts of the battles fought at Sidi Rezegh, Alamein, in Sicily and at Cassino - and all the way to the Gothic Line, the end of Eighth Army's 3,000-mile march to victory. It is a story that deserves to be told, about an army that deserves to be remembered.

Includes references to New Zealand troops.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [410]-424]) and index.

Includes index and bibliographical references.

1. The Western Desert Force: 1940 -- 2. Sidi Barrani and Beda Fomm: June 1940-February 1941 -- 3. Tobruk: May-December 1941 -- 4. Crusader: The Battle for Sidi Rezegh, June-December 1941 -- 5. Gazala: January-June 1942 -- 6. First Alamein to Alam Halfa: July-August 1942 -- 7. Alamein: October-November 1942 -- 8. Alamein to Tripoli: October 1942-January 1943 -- 9. Tripoli to Tunis: January-May 1943 -- 10. Sicily: July-August 1943 -- 11. Salerno to the Sangro: September-December 1943 -- 12. Cassino: January-March 1944 -- 13. Cassino and Rome: April-June 1944 -- 14. To the Gothic Line: June-November 1944 -- 15. The Long March Ends: November 1944-May 1945.

The Western Desert Force: 1940 -- Sidi Barrani and Beda Fomm: June 1940-February 1941 -- Tobruk: May-December 1941 -- Crusader: The Battle for Sidi Rezegh, June-December 1941 -- Gazala: January-June 1942 -- First Alamein to Alam Halfa: July-August 1942 -- Alamein: October-November 1942 -- Alamein to Tripoli: October 1942-January 1943 -- Tripoli to Tunis: January-May 1943 -- Sicily: July-August 1943 -- Salerno to the Sangro: September-December 1943 -- Cassino: January-March 1944 -- Cassino and Rome: April-June 1944 -- To the Gothic Line: June-November 1944 -- The Long March Ends: November 1944-May 1945.

"This is the story of the Desert Army, following it through thousands of miles of hard campaigning from the Nile delta to Tunis, Sicily, and up the rugged spine of Italy to the foothills of the Alps. No army in the Second World War marched so far or fought for so long." "This book is built on the memories of Eighth Army veterans, collected from all over the world. It includes personal accounts of the battles fought at Sidi Rezegh, Alamein, in Sicily and at Cassino - and all the way to the Gothic Line - and of the end of Eighth Army's 3,000-mile march to victory. It is a story that deserves to be told, about an army that deserves to be remembered."--BOOK JACKET.

"This is the story of the Desert Army, following it through thousands of miles of hard campaigning from the Nile delta to Tunis, Sicily, and up the rugged spine of Italy to the foothills of the Alps. No army in the Second World War marched so far or fought for so long." "This book is built on the memories of Eighth Army veterans, collected from all over the world. It includes personal accounts of the battles fought at Sidi Rezegh, Alamein, in Sicily and at Cassino - and all the way to the Gothic Line - and of the end of Eighth Army's 3,000-mile march to victory. It is a story that deserves to be told, about an army that deserves to be remembered."--BOOK JACKET.

2 11 27 96 149 168 180

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Neillands (The Bomber War), a former British Royal Marine commando and widely published military historian, pays tribute to the valor of the British Eighth Army during World War II, tracing their grueling campaigns across the western deserts of North Africa through Sicily and up the long, rugged Italian peninsula to the Alps. Though badly bloodied by their highly resourceful and determined German opponents, this multinational and polyglot army became a well-honed fighting force that emerged victorious at places like Alamein, Cassino, and Ortona. Neillands integrates into his narrative extracts of soldiers' diaries and letters that provide eyewitness glimpses into the terrible nature of the fighting and the severe challenges posed by weather and terrain. The author's account of Eighth Army's desperate fighting and ultimate victory in North Africa is highly compelling, though the narrative bogs down slightly during the account of the slow Allied advance in Italy. Still, within the limits imposed by the scope of his subject, this single-volume work is highly satisfying. A nice complement to more detailed works, such as Dominick Graham and Shelford Bidwell's Tug of War: The Battle for Italy, 1943-45; recommended for all public libraries and military history collections.-Edward Metz, Combined Arms Research Lib., Ft. Leavenworth, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Military historian Neillands (The Bomber War) celebrates the British Eighth Army?s momentous defeat of Rommel at El Alamein?one of the first Allied successes against the Germans?in this thorough, informative, if over-indulgent account of its campaigns in North Africa and Italy. Neillands is incisive in his critique of the Eighth?s inferior weapons, inept tactics and incompetent leadership during its early defeats by Rommel, but his judgment falters once Montgomery, whom he considers a masterful general, takes command. He chalks up the El Alamein turn-around to Monty?s talents and the common soldiers? grit; however, his detailed account of the struggle really depicts a clumsy battle of attrition that the British won by virtue of their colossal material superiority, including a six-to-one advantage in tanks. Later triumphs in Italy likewise hinged on ?put[ting] more weight into the attack: more guns, more men, more tanks, more shells, more aircraft.? Somewhat perversely, Neillands spins Eighth Army?s use of ?a sledgehammer to crack a nut? (and avoidance of daring maneuver) as a kind of strategic sophistication. Drawing on an oversupply of reminiscences by Eighth Army vets, Neillands keeps the focus of his detailed campaign narratives on the heroic exploits of small units and individual soldiers. Unfortunately, he can?t quite dispel the impression that Eighth Army?Monty included?did not fight brilliantly, relying instead on sheer numbers and firepower (especially from the Allied air forces, whose role he understates) to grind down the more skillful but increasingly outnumbered and outgunned Germans. Neillands?s treatment is well researched and lucidly written, but his sentimental emphasis on fighting spirit over brute force somewhat distorts the nature of the Allied victory. 30 b&w photos, 4 maps. (May) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Booklist Review

Chronicling a famous Allied army in World War II, Neillands' work represents the type of military history known as the unit history. Company histories encompass the soldier's experience; the history of an army, the unit a national leader like Churchill would most directly control, tends to emphasize how its general tactically carried out the leader's grand strategy. Neillands thrives on this entanglement of tactics with strategy. He introduces detail--about order of battle, weaponry, and terrain--sufficient to relate the Eighth Army's tribulations without drowning readers in data. Neillands keeps combat in view through personal testimonies of infantrymen, but he hews to the perspective on events obtained by the Eighth's general of the moment (Bernard Montgomery was its most celebrated chief). Neillands narrates the major battles of Tobruk, El Alamein, and Cassino, from which he angles into the Eighth's spirit as a multinational force composed of soldiers from France, Poland, and all corners of the British Empire. The Eighth's story and the capacities of its generals emerge clearly in Neillands' competent presentation. --Gilbert Taylor Copyright 2004 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

A spirited biography of one of the most storied units in British military history. The Eighth Army, writes military historian Neillands (The Bomber War, 2001, etc.), was huge: at the end of WWII, it encompassed "four corps totaling eight divisions, plus a number of infantry and armored brigades and the 2nd Commando Brigade--a total strength of over 600,000 men including reserves." It was also an extraordinarily cosmopolitan force, made up of Indians, Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, British, South Africans, and Poles. During the war, Neillands writes, the Eighth was celebrated: it had, after all, broken Erwin Rommel's famed Afrika Korps at places such as El Alamein. But immediately afterward--the Eighth was disbanded in July 1945--it was all but forgotten, perhaps, he suggests, because its most famous commander, Bernard Law Montgomery, left it for a higher post at the end of 1943, and perhaps because the Italian campaigns in which the Eighth spent 1944 and '45 had become sideshows behind the better-known Allied landings in France and subsequent invasion of Germany. The Eighth achieved greatness against considerable odds, Neillands writes: during the Desert War it was poorly coordinated, badly equipped, and outgunned; as one officer recalls, "Our tanks were designed like sports cars, the German tanks like agricultural machines, which of course a tank is." Too, its first commander, relieved in 1942, seemed sometimes reluctant to seize the initiative, even though he performed brilliantly at El Alamein. The Eighth performed more brilliantly still under the egomaniacal but highly effective Montgomery, and just as well under the even more egomaniacal American army group commander Mark Clark, earning high distinction in savage battles such as that for the strategically important heights of Monte Cassino. For WWII buffs, especially those wanting a rounded view of the Mediterranean Theater--a useful companion to Douglas Porch's Path to Victory (p. 121). Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.