Fighting Hitler from Dunkirk to D-Day (Hardback)
The Story of Die Hard Jeff Haward
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Fighting Hitler From Dunkirk to D-Day is the compelling story of a man belonging to a group of which there are now very few survivors. Jeff Haward MM is a pre-war Territorial Army soldier who enlisted merely for something to do in the evenings. Consequently, he fought throughout the entirety of the Second World War. Jeff is a 'Die Hard', the historic name given to men of the famous Middlesex Regiment. He joined the 1/7th Battalion, a machine-gun battalion, equipped with the British Army's iconic Vickers medium machine gun.
Following evacuation from Dunkirk, the 1/7th, while refitting and re-equipping, carried out coastal defence duties in preparation for the German invasion. So desperate was the situation that on sentry duty, the one rifle per section had to be handed to the next sentry, along with the only ammunition available – three rounds!
In 1941, they were attached to the famous 51st Highland Division. The less than enthusiastic welcome from the Jocks gradually evolved into respect following the Middlesex's performance at El Alamein and the subsequent campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy and North West Europe.
Following the Reichswald battle, in March 1945, Jeff was surprised to hear that he had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery and was subsequently awarded the ribbon by none other than Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery.
Jeff Haward's experiences, those of a normal soldier, make fascinating reading and throw new light on the use of such Vickers gun battalions during the war.
As featured inMedway Messenger
Featured in.The Sun
A soldiers' story and one well worth reading.Military Modelling
This book is the experiences of an everyday soldier who tells it like it was and who was fortunate to survive. It is a fascinating story and I whole heartedly recommend it.1940's Society Magazine
There are few books that follow a subject from the Battle of France, through to the German unconditional surrender. Those who survived Dunkirk are now very few in number and even those who fought to the German surrender are becoming fewer by the day. This book is therefore a very welcome addition to the available direct accounts of WWII. Recommended.Firetrench
The subject, and co-author, was to receive the Military Medal close to the end of his period of service, although he shared with so many comrades a number of acts of courage under fire that went unrecognized.
This book is particularly valuable because it provides a picture of the fortunes of British warriors through a war that was fought to protect Europe from the attempts of Germans to impose a Union of Europe under their rule.
As mentioned inMedway Messenger
This is one of those rare books I could write and write about. I’ve edited my review and chopped it countless times. What should I leave in? What should I take out? The only real justice I can do it is to say…you must read this book!World War Two, David Smith
Jeff Haward was destined to survive World War Two and destined to write this book - with the sterling help of his Nephew Neil Barbour – who I’m sure is very proud his uncle. As are we all.
Read the full review here!
The Quiet Gunner at War is a delightfully fresh and well written account of war at the sharp end of North Africa, Sicily and North West Europe. In 1939 the Author was already a professional soldier stationed in India. After the Dunkirk disaster he was recalled and initially involved in training recruits at Plymouth before going north to help re-form the 51st Highland Division Gunners. With his regiment he travelled by sea to Egypt and thereafter it was all intense action as part of Monty’s Eighth Army at El Alamein and the long gruelling advance to Tripoli. HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily, followed…By Richmond Gorle, Peter Gorle
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