The small, five month, slice of the much wider Second World War described in this fine book was a hyperactive one. It saw dramatic changes in the chess board of the war in the Mediterranean against the background of a fairly miserable winter.
This kind of intensely detailed history can be particularly valuable if, as here, it is well told. Many lessons can be learnt from it, particularly that of avoiding hubris.
Such a detailed analysis, almost on a day-to-day basis, shows how the British were winning fairly comfortably for the first half of the period studied. It then shows how the tables were turned, almost overnight, to make the second half very different. The intricacies of, particularly, intelligence and logistics against the background of grand strategy provide many useful lessons in the modern context. Think of the possibilities in the South China Sea, for example.
Replete with excellent photographs, maps, tables and charts, this book is certainly very detailed but it is clear and easy to follow.
Very valuable history.
(By Vincent P. O’Hara)
Available from the Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, USA.