And We Shall Shock Them: British Army in the Second World by David Fraser

By David Fraser

First released in 1983 and written by means of a pre-eminent historian of the British military, this can be the definitive historical past of the British military within the moment global struggle: its campaigns and battles, defeats and victories, throughout all theatres of operations from the outbreak of battle with Germany in 1939 to the ultimate defeat of Japan in 1945.

Here the reader will locate grand technique on the maximum point, but additionally the truth of command within the box and the adventure of wrestle for the infantry, gunners and the tankers because the British military fought its manner in the course of the conflict. yet mainly it is a complete, authoritative and vividly written account of the British military within the moment global conflict because it got here to grips with, and after all triumphed over, its enemies within the field.

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Extra resources for And We Shall Shock Them: British Army in the Second World War

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It really wasn’t fair. It got so bad we refused to go in the lorry with them. 38 Whether this account is symptomatic of a clash of cultures or merely the inevitable result of placing long-term prisoners, who were largely unsupervised, alongside girls mobilized for the war effort is open to question. However reports of women being ‘molested’ by Italians were not confined to agricultural districts and came increasingly from urban areas as well. It is clear that it was the potential for fraternization with women that really exercised the journalists (and the authorities).

Forty-eight hours later, the total number of Italians taken prisoner was 38,300 including four generals. This first large-scale capture of Italians was complemented by further successes at Bardia and Tobruk in January 1941. From the interrogations and reports from stool-pigeons inside the prisoners’ compounds in Egypt, British reports noted a huge rift between the majority of the soldiers and the Fascist regime. None of the former seemed committed to the war and condemned the latter as venal and corrupt.

Military intelligence reports evaluated the Italian soldier as the equal of his British counterpart, but let down by poor equipment and poor leadership. E. Gort. ’9 For as long as the Italians remained as an enemy, their fighting men could not be dismissed entirely. Attempts to make jokes about Italian military prowess had to be coupled with caution lest it bred complacency among the British forces. However, the British military commanders in the field soon adopted a rather more pragmatic approach to the prisoners under their control.

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