Academic journal article Military Review

Fighting the Desert Fox: Rommel's Campaigns in North Africa, April 1941 to August 1942

Academic journal article Military Review

Fighting the Desert Fox: Rommel's Campaigns in North Africa, April 1941 to August 1942

Article excerpt

FIGHTING THE DESERT FOX: Rommel's Campaigns in North Af rica, April 1941 to August 1942, by John DeLaney, Arms & Armour Press, London, 1998, 160 pages, $29.95.

The exploits of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and his renowned Afrika Korps have long captured the interest of military historians and amateur enthusiasts. In many ways, this was the most noble theater of the war because of the absence of a significant civilian population, occasional chivalry on both sides and exciting sweeps of armored formations against North Africa's exotic backdrop. John DeLaney argues convincingly, although not flawlessly, that there is more to be learned about this important campaign.

Monographs dealing with the subject have generally focused on either British success or Rommel's abilities. DeLaney takes a different tack, focusing on the time of weakest Allied performance, suggesting that under a debilitating succession of commanders, the British were largely unsuccessful against Rommel because of poor command structure and tactical leadership. The various British commanders never capitalized on his weakest area-logistics-until British General Bernard Montgomery took command of the British 8th Army in August 1942 and implemented a cautious, deliberate war of attrition. …

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