Defending the Middle East against the Axis powers was a decisive front of the second World War. If the Allies lost in North Africa, the vital lifeline through the Suez Canal to Australia and India would be cut. More significantly, without access to oil in the Persian Gulf, Britain could not fight – adn the war would be lost.
In 1940, the Italian Army was quick to take Bristish-held ground in Egypt. Yet, although greatly outnumbered, the British soldiers easily defeated the poorly-led Italians. Confident that this front was secure, Churchill transferred troops and equipment to Greece, little realsing what his remaining soldiers would face when Rommel and his Afrika Korps arrived.
At first the German’s suprerior armour ggave them the upper hand. Fighting over vast distances on rugged terrain stratched supply lines to breaking point. But than thr elite Long Range Desert Group was formed to provide intelligence from covert operations behind enemy lines and David Stirling famously founded the SAS in the Westrn Desert, who performed audacious sabotage missions. The Norht African desert became the scene of Germany'[s first defeat at the hands of the Western Allies, with losses comparable to Stalingrad.
Told in the voices of the men who were there, this is the story of the Western Desert, and how the Allies achieved this remarkable Second World War victory.