Cover slightly soiled. Book has gilt titles on spine, top edge coloured. 164pp incl index; 7 maps; 8pp b&w photog plates.

The strategy of the Second World War gave rise, in its diffuse world wide implications, to a number of campaigns so distinctive in character and locality that they seemed to aspire to an existence of their own outside the mainstream of the war. Of these private wars, as one may think of them, none was more self-contained, even esoteric, than the campaign which the nations of the British Commonwealth fought against the German Italian alliance in the Western Desert of Egypt and Libya between the autumns of 1940 and 1942.

In time it spanned the critical period of Britain’s fighting recovery from near defeat and seemingly forlorn resistance without allies to the unmistakeable turning point that place the feasibility of ultimate victory beyond doubt. It was, above all, this timing that gave the Desert campaign its special significance in the war which Britain fought from 1939 to 1945. It is indicative of the interlocking vagaries of modern global strategy that Britain waged this battle for survival, the gravest in her history, with her main land force a that time in the field, three thousand miles from the mother country, in the empty desert of North Africa.

But if its timing gave the campaign in the desert its historic significance, what gave to its special nature and its mystique, for it was no less than that, was the ground over which it was fought: as ground, the raw material of the soldier, is always in the end what gives a battle or a campaign its particular and unique character.

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Authored by Fred Majdalany and published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson of London in 1965. This First Edition copy, in Very Good condition,  is hard cover bound, covered in plastic and without a dust jacket. The size of the book is 222x145x20mm.