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With The East Surreys in Tunisia and Italy 1942 - 1945 (Hardback)

Fighting for Every River and Mountain

Military > SAS & Special Forces WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Italian Front WWII > Battles & Campaigns > North Africa

By Bryn Evans
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781848847620
Published: 21st September 2012



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The East Surreys were in near continuous action from November 1942, when they landed in North Africa (Operation TORCH) through to the end of hostilities in May 1945. During these three years of bitter fighting they cleared the Germans from Tunisia, took part in Operation HUSKY, (the invasion of Sicily) and fought up through Italy as far as the River Po.

Trained as mountain troops, the East Surreys saw set piece and patrol action in the Atlas Mountains, on the slopes of Mount Etna and Monte Cassino, and in the countless unforgiving hills and valleys of the Apennines. They were called upon to cross many rivers, often opposed by a determined enemy, culminating in the River Po with its vast waterlogged valley.

Veterans' graphic personal accounts describe the hardship and action and vividly illustrate the magnitude of the East Surreys' task.

Of special interest is the part played by Lieutenant John Woodhouse who commanded the Surreys' Battle Patrol. His experiences during this period were to be invaluable when, during the 1950s and 1960s, it fell to him to revitalise special forces' training and tactics for the SAS in Malaya and Arabia. Indeed he is widely credited with saving the post-war SAS when in grave danger of being disbanded.

This superbly researched record of the East Surreys' contribution demonstrates how a single battalion can make a huge difference.
It is more than a regimental history as it gives the reader a real feel for the campaigns involved, particularly the gruelling and costly slog up Italy which has been too often neglected.

As featured on World War II Today

WW2 Today

"I was very impressed with the battles of those young men and the losses they incurred of which I knew nothing. Although I was a child of 12 during those campaigns I had no idea of the fighting in Tunisia or the difficulties of the fighting in Italy. I am indebted to your book which gave a very personal account of those young men in the Surreys. I enjoyed your description of the terrain they fought over I felt I was there with them."

Margaret Bickle

I found the book on the East Surreys so interesting ...I am now going back and re-reading my Dad's war diaries… with new insight. It has given me this new vision of what it was like.

Colene Taylor

I have to say that one thing which did help me to get back into the writing mode was re-reading [this] excellent book on the East Surreys. The book took me back into North Africa…In short...it made me want to pick up the pen again.

Alan Hoe, author of 'David Stirling: Founder of the SAS'

As seen on www.getsurrey.co.uk

Get Surrey

A gripping account of one of the regiments long slog up Italy.

The Bulletin - Military Historical Society

This book is an excellent historical account, and an evocative human story that will help us all to understand those desperately difficult times of human endeavour.

British First Amy Newsletter

A well-researched record of the East Surreys' contribution to the war effort in Italy, showing how a single battalion can make a big difference and giving a feel for the campaigns involved.

Military History Monthly
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About Bryn Evans

Bryn Evans is a management consultant with many years’ experience of finance and IT at boardroom level. He writes extensively across a wide range of categories, be it business management, travel, military history or fiction and his work has been widely published. His fiction work has earned him Second Prize in the Catherine Cookson Short Story Competition and other awards. He is the author of With the East Surreys in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy 1942-45, The Decisive Campaigns of the Desert Air Force and Air Battle for Burma, all in print with Pen and Sword.
He lives with his wife, Jean, in Sydney, Australia.

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