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Disaster in the Desert (Hardback)

An Alternate History of El Alamein and Rommel's North Africa Campaign

WWII Greenhill Books North Africa in WWII El Alamein

By Ken Delve
Greenhill Books
Pages: 201
Illustrations: 40
ISBN: 9781784383862
Published: 3rd July 2019

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Summer 1942 and the war in the Middle East is in the balance; Rommel’s Axis forces are poised on the borders of Egypt and all that is needed is one last push. For that to succeed, Rommel needs supplies and for the Allies to be denied supplies. With Malta still active and disrupting the Axis shipping routes across the Mediterranean he is denied those supplies. Meanwhile, the Allied build-up continues, and Montgomery holds at El Alamein and then counter attacks. Rommel is pushed back and then, in a double blow, the Allies land in Tunisia. The collapse of North Africa leads to the invasion of Italy and contributes to the final Axis defeat.

But what if Rommel had won?

In this alternate history, Ken Delve proposes that with a few strategic changes by the Axis powers and poor decision by Allied Commanders, the outcome of could have been very different. In this scenario, the Allied invasion in Tunisia fails, Rommel defeats Montgomery and seizes Egypt, leaving the Germans well-placed to sweep up through the Middle East, capturing oil installations and joining up with German forces in Russia.

A well argued alternative history of the North African Campaign. The author has researched the critical battle and the path from there in an interesting alternative approach – Highly Recommended

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Firetrench

This is a ‘What if….’ Book of the highest standard. It is almost all fact but with some bits altered to give a completely different result. It is so well done that the author has, in using actual events, made it difficult to tell which bit is what happened and which bit is fiction. A very thoughtful read.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

This is an interesting book, and these scenarios have probably been run in many officer training academies. This is the first time we the general public have been asked to think through those various scenarios. What it does make clear, it does not matter how good your men are, your equipment is, if you cannot keep them resupplied then everything is going to end painfully.

An excellent book that certainly gets you thinking and looking at the maps once again seeing the what ifs and trying to apply them. All I can say is thank God for Malta.

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GoodReads, Paul Diggett

As with all alternative histories the book demands some suspension of reality, in this case the strategic might of the Allies but at a tactical level it does make for good reading. If, and it is a big if, the balance of supply to each side could have been reversed, the author makes a good case for what might have happened. Well worth a read to make you think. Clearly well researched.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Ken Delve

Ken Delve was an RAF Tornado bomber pilot during his service career and is now considered to be one of the worlds leading experts on the history of military aviation. He has written countless specialized articles for leading aviation magazines and has authored more than sixteen books including The Short Sunderland, D-Day The Air Battle, Avro Lancaster, The Mustang Story, RAF Bomber Command and A Source Book of the RAF

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