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Destiny in the Desert: The road to El Alamein - the Battle that Turned the Tide by Jonathan Dimbleby

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– SEVEN –TROUBLE AT HOME AND AWAY

‘I am sure that you, better than anyone else, must realise how difficult it is for a soldier to advise against a bold offensive plan … One lays oneself open to charges of defeatism, of inertia, or even of “cold feet” … It takes a lot of moral courage not to be afraid of being thought afraid.’

Sir John Dill to Winston Churchill

April 1941 had been a cruel month for the British. With Rommel on the warpath in the desert and the Wehrmacht slicing through Greece, morale in the higher echelons of the Imperial General Staff had fallen sharply. It was clear to his colleagues that the CIGS, General Dill, was ‘worn and anxious’, so ‘tired mentally’ on one occasion ‘that he could not concentrate on the papers for cabinet’. ...

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