A RAINWORTH-BORN historian has written a new book aiming to de-bunk the myths surrounding one of the Second World War’s most famous battles.
Bryn Hammond (49) questions some of the stock assumptions made about the Battle of El Alamein - the critical desert clash in North Africa which Churchill hoped was ‘the end of the beginning’.
In El Alamein: The Battle that Turned the Tide of the Second World War, he offers a fresh perspective and also questions the role of Montgomery and Rommel – two of history’s most celebrated generals.
Bryn, whose mum still lives at Helmsley Road, Rainworth, says Montgomery’s background and the principles he developed in the First World War are more important than usually given credit for.
“Montgomery was very good at morale among the many nationalities serving under him,” Bryn said. “He was prepared to wear an Australian hat and look a bit silly if it raised the spirits.
“It was a deliberate policy of his to make himself known to individual soldiers.”
And turning to Rommel, known to history as the ‘Desert Fox’, he says: “Rommel has been greatly admired as a general but war is not just about winning battles.
“He never addressed the logistics and the supply situation and this was crucial to the outcome.”
Bryn has used first hand accounts of the battle available at the Imperial War Museum and other sources to offer a different account to earlier studies of El Alamein.
He says it will be interesting for local residents to see the role played by Nottinghamshire soldiers from the Sherwood Foresters and the Sherwood Rangers tank unit.
Bryn’s previous book Cambrai 1917 was published in 2008 and he has also written widely about military history in magazines.
For more on the book, published by Osprey, visit www.ospreypublishing.com