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By Stephen Bungay

El Alamein was once the area struggle II land conflict Britain needed to win. by way of the summer season of 1942 Rommel's German forces have been threatening to comb throughout the Western desolate tract and force directly to the Suez Canal, and Britain was once in pressing want of army victory. Then, in October, after 12 days of attritional tank conflict and artillery bombardment, Montgomery's 8th military, with Australians and New Zealanders enjoying the most important roles in a surely overseas Allied struggling with strength, broke in the course of the German and Italian traces at El Alamein.

It used to be a turning-point within the struggle and then, in Churchill's phrases, "we by no means had a defeat". Stephen Bungay's ebook is as a lot at domestic analysing the an important logistics of maintaining barren region armies provided with petrol and tank elements because it is reappraising the strive against ideas of Montgomery and Rommel, and levels largely from the household political pressures on Churchill to the aerial siege of Malta, key to the keep an eye on of the Mediterranean. And in a bankruptcy on "The Soldier's War", Bungay graphically conjures up the phantasmagoric blur of thunderous cannonade and tormenting warmth that was once the lot of the person males who truly fought and died within the wilderness.

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Sample text

The last burst I gave him was directly into the cockpit and the right side of his aeroplane. ' Posing for the camera at Leiston on 28 May 1944, 357th FG HQ pilot and former CO of the 364th FS Ma] 'Tommy' Hayes is seen with his groundcrew and his first Frenesi (a P-51B whose serial remains unknown) after he had destroyed a Bf 109 over Magdeburg (USAF) According to Browning's wingman, the German pilot's parachute opened but he fell out of the harness and plummeted to earth. During the next day's mission to Magdeburg, the group had just rendezvoused with the bombers when the American force was engaged by more than 100 German fighters that ripped head-on through the bombers in line-abreast formations.

By the time this photograph of 44-13691 was taken in late 1944 it had been transferred to the 364th FS (Olmsted via Roeder) Don Graham led the 363rd FS from September to November 1943, then moved to group headquarters and took command of the 357th FG on 7 March after Col Henry Spicer was shot down and taken prisoner. Graham ultimately claimed one victory (on the day after he assumed command) and two damaged during his tour. P-51D-5 44-13388 BODACIOUS was his mount at the end of his tour, and following Graham's departure it was flown by Lt William J Currie as Super X and by Lt Peter Pielich as Peter Beater.

Lt Gilbert O'Brien jumped one and shot it down. Lt Paul E Holmberg 'came in from the left and began firing at the same ship', O'Brien reported. 'Suddenly, his Mustang exploded and disintegrated. There was not the usual flame and smoke when fuel tanks exploded, so I presume that his ammunition box must have been responsible. There is not the slightest chance that he got out alive'. The 362nd's 'Kit' Carson also added a Bf 109 to his score to give him ace status. The next day, the group flew a successful sweep of the Paris area.

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