Monday, 18 January 2010

I Almost Forgot to Mention..................

I have acquired a couple of extra titles for the library although the first was way before Xmas and was a small present to myself for securing a job! It would probably have come as no surprise whatsoever given my liking for World War One in the Middle East that the first title is devoted to a little known part of the Arab Revolt; or rather the Western Desert equivalent: The Sanusi Invasion of Egypt. The book is called 'The Sanusi's Little War' by Russell McGuirk (ISBN: 10: 0-9544792-7-0). This is the story of the German and Turkish inspired invasion that caught the British in Egypt on the hop and needed thousands of troops with armoured cars and required four battles to resolve. The Sanusi (as I have mentioned previously) consisted of great swathes of tribesman and Turkish trained regulars and were far from being a disorganised rabble - they had a lot of experience fighting the Italians during the 1912 war between Turkey and Italy. It is a great story and I would love to be able to game this but as mentioned previously, the troops for the Sanusi are hard to come by so it will have to remain on the back burner until an opportunity presents itself.

The second title moves into World War Two and tells the story of the British 'campaigns' in the Middle East against rebellious pro German Iraqis and Vichy French in Syria. The book is called 'The First Victory - Britain's Forgotten Struggle in the Middle East, 1941' by Robery Lyman (ISBN: 13: 978-1-84529-108-2). The author argues (and rightly so) that the securing of the Middle Eastern oil in early 1941 was what effectively kept us in and eventually able to win the war. There was a very real possibility that Iraq could have fallen into the German camp and this would have denied the oil of the region to Britain and her allies prior to both USSR and USA becoming involved. Similarly, the Vichy French in Syria also had to be taken into consideration - all this from a very depleted and thinly spread British Mediterranean force tasked with the Western Desert, defence of the Suez Canal, Greec and Crete. No wonder Wavell had such a hard time of it from Churchill. It is a story of bluff, meagre forces, scarce equipment and heroism. Again, great gaming potential but the only way this will see the light of day will be as a Memoir 44 exercise! I acquired this title for the princely sum of £4 from a local market that carry's remaindered magazines and the odd book or two - a bargain to be sure!
After all this excitement it is back to the Balkan 15mm clean up....................;-)

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