World War II At Night Group

The World War II At Night Group will discuss Pendulum of War: The Three Battles of El Alamein by Niall Barr (Overlook, $22.95). Historians traditionally depict World War II's decisive North African tank battles in and around El Alamein as strategic chess matches between German General Rommel and British Commander Montgomery. But this insightful analysis of the 1942 campaign, based on exhaustive research, shows that the resurgent Allied victory was a result of many factors. The hard-fought campaign was dramatic, first, because the battle swung back and forth like a pendulum for months and, second, because it illustrated how the Eighth Army, a force consisting of units from around the empire that was rapidly expanded with minimum training, underwent a "process of development." Barr's account of the events casts aside the notion of a neat, coordinated, top-down command system, preferring instead to illustrate the myriad challenges of desert warfare, including supply-line difficulties, lack of training, transport of heavy equipment, fuel shortages and lack of cover for maintenance and repair. Rather than attribute British victory to Montgomery, Barr finds that it was the combination of circumstances and positional realities, along with the Allied ability to modify its tactics that led to the decisive victory.

Event date: 
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
The Bookworm
Pendulum of War: The Three Battles of El Alamein Cover Image
ISBN: 9781585677382
Availability: Special Order
Published: Overlook Press - February 28th, 2006