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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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– ONE –STARTING POINTS

‘An hour marked by destiny is striking in the sky of ourcountry; the hour of irrevocable decisions.’

Benito Mussolini

London

In his first speech as Prime Minister, on 13 May 1940, Winston Churchill told the House of Commons, ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.’ As he spoke, the British Expeditionary Force in France was in full retreat towards Dunkirk, its stubborn but forlorn rearguard action powerless to arrest the German advance. Only Hitler’s bizarre and unexpected decision to call off the chase allowed the bulk of the BEF and the First French Army to reach the beaches at Dunkirk. The Führer’s decision infuriated his army commanders and, especially his Chief of Staff, General Franz Halder, who ...

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