The Desert War 1940-3 in the Words of Those Who Fought There
- John Sadler
15th December 2012
The story of the last surviving 'Desert Rats' in their own words and their experience of war in North Africa. From 1940-3 Britain was engaged in a life and death struggle with the Axis powers in North Africa, a titanic, swaying conflict that surged back and forth across the barren wastes of Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. This desert war encompassed many of the epic battles of the Second World War, Halfaya Pass, Gazala, Tobruk, and El Alamein. Those British servicemen who were to form the legendary 'Desert Rats' were, for the most part, not professional soldiers; they were drawn from all walks of civilian life and almost without exception, had never set foot in the Western Desert, few had ever left the shores of England. Yet upon them the burden of the war would rest for nearly three long years and their final victory cleared the whole of North Africa, opening the door for the invasions of Sicily and Italy. They were ordinary men who did extraordinary things in most extraordinary circumstances. The book includes numerous unpublished veterans accounts, collected by the author from personal interviews together with unique contemporary photographs.