In the Face of the Enemy (Kindle)
Ernest Powdrill joined the Territorials in 1935 and transferred to the Regular Army in 1938. By the time his regiment went out to France in September 1939 he was a full gun sergeant. In Part One he describes his experiences in France during 'the Phoney War' and then their baptism by fire in May 1940, culminating in the evacuation from Dunkirk having left their disabled guns behind. Ernest was wounded but many of his colleagues were killed by ferocious German counter-battery fire. Part 2 tells a very different story in more detail. By now a Sergeant Major in an armoured tracked regiment, the author fought through from the Normandy beaches to the River Maas. He describes the near constant action in graphic terms. In the Face of the Enemy is a splendid soldier's story full of understatement and atmosphere. Success is tinged with sadness for lost comrades and admiration for his fellow men.