The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II

The Battle of Alamein Turning Point World War II In this superb history two seasoned journalists unfold the decisive campaigns of the desert war that began with the Italian invasion of Egypt in September and ended with the mass surrender of Ax

  • Title: The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II
  • Author: John Bierman ColinSmith
  • ISBN: 9780670030408
  • Page: 406
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this superb history, two seasoned journalists unfold the decisive campaigns of the desert war that began with the Italian invasion of Egypt in September 1940 and ended with the mass surrender of Axis forces in Tunis in May 1943 Writing with great verve and style, John Bierman and Colin Smith create a stunning panorama peopled by some of the most glamorous, dangerous aIn this superb history, two seasoned journalists unfold the decisive campaigns of the desert war that began with the Italian invasion of Egypt in September 1940 and ended with the mass surrender of Axis forces in Tunis in May 1943 Writing with great verve and style, John Bierman and Colin Smith create a stunning panorama peopled by some of the most glamorous, dangerous and mysterious figures in the war At the center of this sweeping narrative stand two heroes, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, the notorious Desert Fox, and the British Lieutenant General Bernard Monty Montgomery, whose showdown at the little Egyptian railway stop of El Alamein is one of the great moments in military history Bierman and Smith have interviewed scores of survivors and tracked down hitherto overlooked primary sources to craft a historic narrative that reads like a novel Here too is the remarkable true story of the shadowy Hungarian adventurer Laszlo Almasy, the prototype for the romantic English patient of Michael Ondaatje s novel Triumphant tactical warfare, an exotic backdrop, wrenching personal conflicts both inside and between the armies The Battle of Alamein has it all This is military history at its absolute best.

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    About "John Bierman ColinSmith"

    1. John Bierman ColinSmith

      John David Bierman, journalist and author, born January 26 1929 died January 4 2006John Bierman was one of the last of a generation of buccaneering reporters and writers who pursued successful careers across the media Newspaper reporter, editor, radio correspondent, television fireman , documentary maker and, finally, acclaimed historian, Bierman excelled at each, in a working life that reached back to the days of plate cameras and reporters in trilbies.His big stories as a BBC TV reporter included a 13 minute, mainly ad libbed, report from Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972 which won a Cannes TV Festival award , the Indo Pakistan war of 1971 and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 His final incarnation as a historian was pursued in the Mediterranean calm of a Cypriot farmhouse he liked to describe himself as a palm tree man The military historian Sir John Keegan wrote of Alamein War Without Hate 2002 , which Bierman co authored with fellow journalist Colin Smith Few historians write as fluently as they do few journalists achieve their standards of accuracy and inclusiveness Bierman was born within the sound of Bow Bells in London His father, an antiques dealer, beat a hasty exit, and his mother, who ran a dress shop, paid attention to her son only when in funds Largely raised by his grandparents, and evacuated from London during the second world war, he had, therefore, a peripatetic childhood that ideally prepared him for life as a globetrotting reporter His love of the English language was acquired young Despite attending 16 schools, he had a sound basic education, and could recite long passages of poetry.In 1960, Bierman was headhunted by the Aga Khan to found and edit the Nation, in Nairobi Those four years were among his happiest professionally A colleague recalls John was a great editor driving, dynamic, young, assured, foul mouthed, contemptuous of settlers, frightened of nobody, a marvellous design man and an elegant writer He next moved to the Caribbean as a managing editor.He returned to England in the mid 1960s just as the BBC was recruiting experienced print journalists to stiffen its staff of largely university graduates all rather posh men , according to Mike Sullivan, another of the hard bitten tribe who joined when Bierman did Bierman s breakthrough book was Righteous Gentile The Story of Raoul Wallenberg 1981 , which brought to international attention the then largely neglected story of the Swedish diplomat who rescued Hungarian Jews from the Nazis Bierman s words are inscribed on Wallenberg s statue in central London The 20th century spawned two of history s vilest tyrannies Raoul Wallenberg outwitted the first but was swallowed up by the second His triumph over Nazi genocide reminds us that the courageous and committed individual can prevail against even the cruellest state machine The fate of the six million Jews he was unable to rescue reminds us of the evil to which racist ideas can drive whole nations Finally, his imprisonment reminds us not only of Soviet brutality but also of the ignorance and indifference which led the free world to abandon him We must never forget these lessons One of Bierman s books The Heart s Grown Brutal, a thriller set in Northern Ireland was written under the pseudonym David_Brewster he was still on the BBC staff and not supposed to moonlight In all, he published eight books two written with Smith , continuing to work after a kidney donated by his son Jonathan transplant in 2002 Despite a later heart bypass, arthritis and damaged nerves in his neck which made writing torture, he stayed at his keyboard He told an interviewer Working, in the sense of writing books, I shall do until I drop because it is my life source The Guardian

    180 thoughts on “The Battle of Alamein: Turning Point, World War II”

    1. Churchill said of the desert war"it was not the end or even the beginning of the end but it was the end of the beginning". This quote is telling as this theater of war stopped the most voraciously effective war machine, the Afrika Korps, in its tracks and turned it back. Although the title states that this book is about the Battle of Alamein, it is instead the story of the overall North African campaign and the names associated with it.Tobruk (the second largest British capitulation of WWII afte [...]


    2. John Bierman and Colin Smith's joint venture, Alamein: War Without Hate follows hot on the heels of a number of other very good titles covering the Battle of El Alamein (Stephen Bungay's 'Alamein' and Clayton & Craig's 'End of the Beginning' to name just two). This title covers the history behind the desert campaign, the lead up to famous confrontation at Alamein and the results of that pivotal battle (at least in the eyes of the British Commonwealth).In just over 400 pages of tense and illu [...]


    3. The Battle of Alamein is a workmanlike retelling not only of the pivotal second Battle of El Alamein, in which Montgomery finally punched through to inaugurate the Afrika Corps' headlong retreat across Northern Africa, but of the complete North African campaign from the rout of the Italians through the fall of Tunis. The various operations and engagements are described with a decent degree of detail and the authors (Bierman and Smith) highlight numerous instances of bravery and intriguing coinci [...]


    4. The authors were never really able to get past their own personal bias, and it stains an otherwise well written book. They make good use of the first person accounts of survivors, and obviously did their research. A good historian ought to try to write history as if they were there, at least in terms of their bias. These gentlemen wrote about WW2 with the typical indignation towards the military that permeates today's media.I'd avoid this book if I had it to do over again.


    5. A nice book for someone who has interest in the desert war. By no means a great selection, but a good choice for someone just beginning to study the campaign. Also nice for those interested in a broad overview of the North African battles and wanting more detail than a few pages in most WWII texts.


    6. The title is a bit misleading. This is not a monograph on the Second Battle of El Alamein, but rather a broad account of the entire war in North Africa. If you are looking for something functional on a wide scope and aren't looking for new insights, you could do worse than this book.



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