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This second volume in the seminal series on aerial combat, pilots, and tactics in Libya and Egypt in the middle of World War II.
In volume two of this series, historian Christopher Shores begins by exploring the 8th Army’s movements after Operation Crusader when they were forced back to the Gazala area in northeastern Libya, as well as their defeat in June, 1942, the loss of Tobruk, and the efforts of Allied air forces to protect their retreating troops.
Shores continues with the heavy fighting that followed in the El Alamein region. This features the Western Desert Air Force and the arrival of the first Spitfires. The buildup of both army and air forces and the addition of new commanders on the ground aided the defeat of Rommel’s Deutsche Afrika Korps at Alam el Halfa, after which came the Second Battle of El Alamein.
With the arrival of the United States Army Air Force, the Allied air forces gained dominance over the Axis. Shores recounts the lengthy pursuit of the Italo-German forces right across Libya, including the capture of Tripoli and the breakthrough into Southern Tunisia. This allowed a linkup with other Allied forces in Tunisia (whose story appears in Volume 3).
Included with the action are stories of some of the great fighter aces of the Desert campaign such as Jochen Marseille and Otto Schulz of the Luftwaffe, Franco Bordoni-Bisleri of the Regia Aeronautica and Neville Duke, Billy Drake, and “Eddie” Edwards of the Commonwealth air forces.
Finally, Shores touches on the Allied and Axis night bombing offensives and the activities of the squadrons cooperating with the naval forces in the Mediterranean.