Desert Rats at War 2 Europe - George FortyLondon: Ian Allan, 1977, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Dust wrapper a little age toned. Text complete, clean and tight.
Includes: Plans of battle; Maps;
From the cover: “This second volume describing the wartime experiences of the Seventh Armoured Division begins at Horns, where the Division rested and re-fitted after the Allies’ great victory in Tunisia. Then, leaving their natural habitat in September 1943, the Desert Rats sailed across the Mediterranean to Italy as part of the American Fifth Army under General Mark Clark, landing at Salerno in early September 1943 just as Italy signed the armistice. After a brief, but exceptionally hard-fought campaign, they re-embarked at Naples, reaching the United Kingdom early in January 1944. There followed a period of hectic preparations for D-Day during which time the Division had to master a completely new tank, the Cromwell. It was then in the spearhead of the landings in Normandy as the first armour ashore at Arromanches.
After the almost limitless space of the Desert, the Division had to learn many new skills and in particular had to become accustomed to fighting within the constraints of close country and built-up areas. Some of these skills could only be learnt the hard way, as is evidenced by the bitter and bloody fighting in the bocage of Normandy. From then onwards the Division was virtually never out of action, in the forefront of the advance across Europe, which for them included such high spots on the way as the relief of Ghent and the surrender of Hamburg. It was fitting, therefore, that as ‘first in and last out of the battle’ they should be chosen to go to Berlin and there to take part in the great Victory Parade held in July 1945.
As in his previous book, George Forty looks at more than just the tanks and the battles. In vivid personal anecdotes and fascinating photographs — many from the personal collections of Desert Rats and never before published — he has produced for those who served and those who came after, a unique evocation of the entire life style of a veteran British fighting formation in the field in the latter stages of World War 2.”