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Hitler's War in Africa 1941-1942 (Hardback)

The Road to Cairo

WWII Hitler & the Third Reich North Africa in WWII El Alamein Military

By David Mitchelhill-Green
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 176
Illustrations: 32 black and white illustrations
ISBN: 9781526744364
Published: 25th June 2021

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Adolf Hitler’s war in Africa arose from the urgent need to reinforce the Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, whose 1940 invasion of Egypt had been soundly beaten. Of secondary importance to his ideological dream of conquering the Soviet Union, Germany’s Führer rushed a small mechanised force into the unfamiliar North African theatre to stave off defeat and avert any political fallout.

This fresh account begins with the arrival of the largely unprepared German formations, soon to be stricken by disease and heavily reliant upon captured materiel, as they fought a bloody series of see-sawing battles across the Western Desert.

David Mitchelhill-Green has gathered a wealth of personal narratives from both sides as he follows the brash exploits of General Erwin Rommel, intent on retaking Libya; the Nile firmly in his sights. Against this backdrop is the brutal human experience of war itself.

This a very good book which has much to recommend it.

Read the full review here

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

The author provides an engaging narrative of the German involvement in North Africa and the motivations of Mussolini and Hitler. An occasion where Hitler again had to prop up Mussolini and attempt to sort out the mess the Italians had made – Very Highly Recommended

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Firetrench

This book is both informative and gripping, a jolly good read, which we highly recommend and hope that a further book, Alamein to the end, is on the way.

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Clash of Steel

What an engaging and well-written book that tells the story of the allies’ battle against Germany during the North African campaign from 41 – 42. The writing was good and had me gripped in good parts of the book. What struck me about the book was the balance told from either side of the warring armies and it gives good personal accounts of how it affected people from either side. It also showed how unorganised things were and how the powers that be could have done a better job. Other things that commend the book well are the decent pictures, good maps and diagrams and an excellent bibliography at the end of the book. If anything, Pen & Sword always do these little things very well.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

This book is a rarity among WWII books.... the first thing I noticed was that it has maps! So many modern history books have overlooked this aspect and I have always found it frustrating having to check locations to understand the course of a book. Apart from the excellent maps, the book's text is equally clear so the reader can follow this complex campaign; his clarity reflects the amount of research undertaken by the author.

When reading about the many German campaigns of WWII I frequently ponder how and why so many high ranking German commanders followed Hitler's insane orders and the war in North Africa is no exception. The Germans put up a ferocious fight but were doomed to failure from the outset, and fighting alongside the Italian army didn't help their cause. Having accepted the Germans had little choice but to follow Hitler's orders, Field marshal Rommel achieved a great deal by engaging the British under Montomery before being overwhelmed. Meanwhile, the author reviews many first hand accounts which illustrate the savagery of war; the accounts of the fate of many soldiers are truly sad. This is all reflected by the statistics; the British Eighth Army lost 2,350 men killed, nearly 9,000 were wounded with 2,260 reported missing. The Germans lost 1,149 killed, 3,886 wounded with a similar number captured. Italian losses were 971 killed, 933 wounded with 15,550 captured. Yet, as in any campaign, there are accounts of great bravery.

The account is well written and, although necessarily detailed, it is an excellent read.

Highly recommended,

Dr Adrian Greaves, The Anglo-Zulu War Historical Society

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I read "Hitler's War in Africa 1941-1942" by David Mitchelhill-Green.

Green's book reminded me what good writing is.

In addition to writing for the military historian (who wants a blow-by-blow account), the author will attract the layperson or WWII buff.

The book grips you with strong storylines, tension, characters, and excitement.

It was educational while being fascinating.
It quotes often from the military leaders and even regular soldiers to get a sense of North Africa during WWII.

A balanced account of the hard desert.

I didn't know that disease often killed more soldiers than bullets in North Africa.

NetGalley, Francis Tapon

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A well written recounting of the desert war between the British forces and the Axis allies between 1942-42. The first hand accounts and descriptions of the battles and political intrigue were highly informative. The battle scenes were gripping and held your attention. A must read for the history enthusiast.

NetGalley, Ron Baumer

It was very interesting to have access to perspectives from both sides of this conflict. The insights into Rommel’s strategy were clearly founded in string research and the writing style will appeal to readers beyond history buffs.

NetGalley, Louise Gray

About David Mitchelhill-Green

David Mitchelhill-Green is the author of Rommel in North AfricaWith Rommel in the DesertAir War Over North AfricaFighting in UkraineRommel’s Ghost Division and Tobruk 1942. Having travelled the globe in search of lost stories from the Second World War, many of his photographic investigations have featured in the British magazine After the Battle. Several years spent in Japan led to an interest in the country’s feudal history and the co-authoring of Castles of the Samurai and Samurai Castles. David lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife Jennifer and two children.

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