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The Crucible of War Volumes 1-3


Vol I
Throughout the first three years of the Second World War, the North African desert was a strategically vital theatre of operations. This is the story of one of the most extraordinary of victories. Of how Wavell and his general, O'Connor despite being out-numbered, routed Graziani's forces, pushing the Italians back hundreds of miles and taking thousands of prisoners. However this brilliant and astonishing victory was short lived, for Rommel and his Africa Korps were dispatched in early 1941 to turn the tide against the British. Pitt's excellent narrative style breathes new life into this exhilarating campaign.

Vol II
In 1941, the series of exhilarating victories in the North African Desert came to an abrupt end with the arrival of the German Afrika Korps and their brilliant commander, Rommel. The second volume carries us into the next phase of the war in the desert. The death of General O'Connor and the political intervention that led Wavell to be replaced by Auchinleck as Commander-in-Chief, to the near disaster at the First Battle of Alamein only averted by Auchinleck himself and the final political wrangle that meant despite this he, like Wavell, would be replaced.

Rommel, the brilliant commander of the German Afrika Korps had finally been stopped by the British at the first battle of Alamein in July 1942. Now in this the last of the Barrie Pitt¿s three volume epic, Montgomery takes the field against him and in the last climatic battle once again at Alamein, it is the beginning of the end for Rommel and his Africa Korps.

I found these books an easy read and a must have reading material if you want to read up on the Desert War of World WAR 2.

My score 9/10
I deduct a point because the series ended with the route of the Axis of Elamine, would have been great if the author had of gone all the way to the battle of Tunisia.