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A Noble Crusade (Paperback)

The History of the Eighth Army, 1941–1945

WWII North Africa in WWII El Alamein Military

By Richard Doherty
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 368
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526787910
Published: 2nd December 2020



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Eighth Army was formed in Egypt in September 1941. A year later, under Montgomery, it defeated Rommel’s Panzerarmee Afrika at El Alamein which led to the victorious end of the North African campaign at Tunis in May 1943.

The controversial landings in Italy in September 1943 followed the short Sicilian campaign. Tenacious German resistance, exemplified by the protracted Monte Cassino battle during the first half of 1944, made the Eighth Army’s advance north testing and costly. In April 1945, Eighth Army, now commanded by General Dick McCreery, brilliantly attacked into the plain of Lombardy overcoming the last Nazi defensive lines in Italy.

No less than thirty-four Victoria Crosses were awarded to soldiers of Eighth Army who were drawn from every Empire and Commonwealth country, including neutral Ireland, and nations such as Poland occupied by the Nazis.

Drawing on official records and personal accounts, A Noble Crusade, first published in 1999, is a superb and comprehensive history of the most famous British military formation of the Second World War and, arguably, of all time.

Montgomery's Eighth Army and the Desert Rats are the stuff of legend and this book re-tells their story. There is an index, there are chapter notes, appendices, a bibliography; all the necessary finding aids that you would expect in a book of this kind which is one to be dipped into rather than read cover to cover.

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Paul Nixon

This must be the definitive account of the Eight Army in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. This is a comprehensive history of the Eight Army from its formation in 1941, through to the war end in 1945 . – Most Highly Recommended

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What we have here is a superior read full of detailed information and facts, culminating in a fantastic book indeed. I have said previously that books need to be written about every regiment or military arm of power, in order to celebrate their history, work and successes. This book is a fine read and looks at it from beginning to end during WWII. Or moving across Northern Africa to El Alamein through to working their way up through Italy. The book is rich in information, detail and stories about both Rommel and Montgomery. Credit should go to the author Doherty who has written a great book which has a wealth of information and this really shines through. There is a great appendices and bibliography at the end of the book. A definite must for anyone interested in this subject.

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UK Historian

If you're interested in a good history of the legendary British WW2 formation then this is a great way of reading it all in one place.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

Review by Jason Hubbard

I was excited to read this book as I’m building an 8th Army and LRDG army for Bolt Action. My hope was this book would provide a lot of background info for my planned army. I wasn’t disappointed, the book provides a great depth of detail regarding the desert war as well as the European campaign...

... Anyone looking for a book with detailed researched information on the background of the Eighth army should take a look at this book.

Anyone who has an interest in military history will also not be disappointed by this book, its an easy read and a good starting point for reading more about the North African Campaign.

Irregular Magazine | Spring Issue 2021

About Richard Doherty

Richard Doherty, recognised as Ireland’s leading military history author, has thirty published books to his credit, plus many articles in journals and magazines. Included in his Pen and Sword titles are The Thin Green Line: The History of the RUC GC; Helmand Mission; Victory in Italy and Hobart’s 79th Armoured Division at War. He has worked on radio and TV historical series, including The Sons of Ulster and One Man’s War, as well as contributing to other programmes such as Who Do You Think You Are? He is also in demand as a speaker and lecturer, speaking at venues such as the National Army Museum, the Tank Museum and the US Marine Corps Staff and Command College, Quantico, Virginia.

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