The Tiger Kills

During the war the British government had a range of books published to inform the general public about the actions of specific elements of the forces or about campaigns that had been concluded. These books started appearing from 1941. Obviously, since they came out during the war, they were not able to draw on German or Italian sources, and they therefore contain mistakes and misappreciations. They also do not discuss technical issues in detail, because of the need to preserve secrecy. Finally, they are of course full of rousing individual exploits, gunners heroically fighting their guns until they are overrun by tanks, or intrepid Sikhs walking 200km through the desert and the Axis lines with a wireless set on their back.

Having said all that, these books are very interesting reads, and they do contain a wealth of information about the progress of the war as it was seen at the time. They also benefit from being quite available on the 2nd hand market, or as reprints, because they were printed in huge numbers during the war. The later ones, this one included, contain very interesting pictures, maps, and detailed accounts of actions.

I recommend them highly.

Short Write-Up on Reid’s Force ‘E’

There is a bit of info in Brett-James’ “Ball of Fire”, the history of 5th Indian Division in WW2. Force ‘E’, or Oasis Force as it was also known as far as I know, was the southern hook of the Crusader operation, aiming for the southwestern corner of Cyrenaica. In the end it was too weak to achieve much more than a serious headache for Axis commanders, although its presence in the rear of Panzergruppe Afrika may have contributed to the decision to abandon the Gazala line on 17 December 41.

Read about mid-page here.

The whole book is worth reading too.

Start from here.