Rommel's Afrika Korps: El Agheila to El Alamein by George BradfordRommel's Afrika Korps: El Agheila to El Alamein by George Bradford

Rommel's Afrika Korps: El Agheila to El Alamein

byGeorge Bradford

Paperback | October 21, 2008

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• Portrait of this famous World War II unit at the height of its success • Completely illustrated with photos, maps, and diagrams--in color where available In the sands of the Western Desert in 1941-42, Erwin Rommel made history as the Desert Fox, waging a brilliant and bold campaign against the British. Beginning at El Agheila in March 1941, the Afrika Korps--frequently outnumbered--drove the British steadily east across Libya and into Egypt. The German offensive eventually ground to a halt in a series of battles at El Alamein. In impressive detail, George Bradford depicts what it was like to serve and fight in the Afrika Korps, from its tanks and equipment to its battles and daily life.
George Bradford is a technical artist and military historian who has been researching World War II and producing scale drawings for more than thirty years. He lives in Canada.
Title:Rommel's Afrika Korps: El Agheila to El AlameinFormat:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 10 × 8 × 0.47 inPublished:October 21, 2008Publisher:Stackpole BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:081170419X

ISBN - 13:9780811704199

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Technically Brilliant This book is a wonderful addition to the library of the WW2 enthusiast. The book as the title describes is a short outline of the German Afrika Korps or D.A.K. if you prefer up until the battle of El Alamein. The book follows a timeline of the forming of the first divisions in Europe that would spearhead the force that would go to North Africa right up until the retreat from El Alamein after a long and hard campaign. Now I have to say the book is not a densely packed written account but more of a guide book to which divisions were fighting, the equipment they had, and the order of battle. You will not find a lot of detailed info on particular battles but only a brief outline given in several chapters under each heading. The reader should not expect a blow by blow account of each battle but simply a timeline with any major factors that concerned the tide of the battle covered. The book is more of a technical manual with a bit of history added so do not count on it to fully explain the desert war to you. There are lots of charts, and I mean lots of charts. Each division is broken down into a chart with silhouettes showing which vehicles were in the divisions inventory at the time of certain battles or major events. However, you don’t just a little picture of a tank. You get hundreds of pictures of black silhouetted tanks, trucks, motorcycles, and artillery. Each picture is a faithful representation of the actual vehicle or piece of equipment. So you will see Panzer IIIs, Bisons, and Zundapps faithfully represented. Not only are the German vehicles represented but any captured British equipment that was in use at the time of the particular battle or attack is also shown. This gives you an idea of how much research was involved in putting this volume together. To know what was in use by the Germans at a particular time takes a lot of work by the author as the equipment was turned over a such a great rate in the desert due to breakdown and combat losses. The author does thank several well-known historians and authors at the beginning of the book whom he says were an integral part of his research and it definitely shows up in the body of the book. I have to add that there are also charts showing the Italian armies equipment and to some extent as well as the British armies equipment but the majority of the books pages belong to the German Army. There are many black and white photos of the North African campaign added to the volume as well as some colour plates showing various vehicles of the desert war of not only the German but British and Italian armies as well. These plates are a nice addition as they give you a sense of the vehicles and not just a shadow. There is a heavy emphasis on Rommel in this book and duly so. His guidance and command of the D.A.K. was probably the only reason they succeeded for as long as they did. He was a brilliant tactician and not afraid of taking gambles which in most cases paid off for him. In the end, he was simply trying to do a job without the adequate tools needed to accomplish the goals. With the war on the Russian Front taking most of the needed supplies Rommel was forced to simply use up what he had. There is a short biography of Rommel in the center of the book giving a timeline of his entry in to the German Army during WW1 in which he performed outstandingly right up until he was forced to commit suicide in 1944 due to the cleansing of the army performed by the Gestapo after the assassination attempt on Hitler. Rommel’s involvement in the plot was hidden at the time he was offered the option of suicide or a public trial because the effect it would have on the German people knowing their greatest general was involved would be devastating to the moral of the people. Rommel chose suicide by ingesting a poison pill to save his family and his honor. All in this entire book is a masterful showing of the Africa Korps and its wide range of materials and weapons. Simply something you have to have on the shelf for that time when you need a particular tidbit of information.
Date published: 2009-02-28