Alain Chissel served as a Regular and Territorial Officer for thirty years, retiring as Deputy Commander 49 (Eastern) Brigade in Chilwell, in the rank of Colonel.
Alain set up Anglia Tours, along with Ed Church and his wife Anita in 1997, which became the UK’s leading guided history tour company for schools.
He recently retired as it’s Chairman but remains as Head Guide. Alain is a passionate WW1 guide as both his grandfathers fought there. He also guides in Berlin and his Swedish wife Anita is the UKs most prolific Holocaust guide having led over 200 groups to Auschwitz/Birkenau.
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Major General Mungo Melvin CB OBE was born in Edinburgh in 1955 and commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1975. His military career took him into the development of military concepts and doctrine and in professional military education, teaching at Army Staff College, the Joint Services Command and Staff College and at the Royal College of Defence Studies.
He reintroduced some German General staff logic to the use of military history and battlefields by the British Army. Mungo was instrumental in changing the Army’s approach to using historic battlefields as editor of an influential booklet on the relevance of military history to 21st century soldiers. He organised some of the most high profile battlefield studies over the past decades, including the series of major staff rides to the Western Front of the First World War in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
He was President of the British Commission for Military History between 2012 and 2017 and edited the two volume British Army Battlefield Guide to the battlefields of the first world war.
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James Colvin: Eighth Army versus Rommel, Tactics, Training and Operations in North Africa 1940-1942 Helion & Co Ltd 2020
This is James Colvin’s first book and is based on research undertaken for his MA. It is an academic work in that it is sourced and draws on primary sources. His academic tutor was Matthais Strohn, and this work displays rigour and insights informed by someone close to the British Army.
The book does what is says on the tin, and covers tactics training and operations.
However, its real strength is the clinical examination of the culture of the British and Indian Army and how this hampered the commanders and staff of the Eighth Army in developing effective tactics.
The author pieces together the thinking that led to the ineffective tactics and the influence of the Indian army approach to armoured warfare. It is worth reading alone for the exposition of the thinking of Tom Corbett, Eric Dorman Smith and Francis Tuker and how this led to a battlefield of boxes. Much of this is new analysis and adds a new dimension to any thinking about the desert war battles.
The author is related to two Gunner veterans of the campaign. One relative is the ill fated Beresford Peirse quotes extensively from the papers of his relative Robin Dunn,, an HAC officer during the campaign. However, the Gunners themselves escape critical review without mention of one question often asked. Why didn’t the British Heavy Anti Aircraft guns in a similar way to the Germans 88?
The 261 page work is illustrated with relevant sketches and photographs.
It should be on the reading list of anyone interested in the war in North Africa 1940-1942 or in the wider British Army of that period.
Not particularly cheap, but affordable. £29,95 RRP