Blood, Oil and the Axis: The Allied Resistance Against a Fascist State in Iraq and the Levant, 1941 1st Edition
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"[Blood, Oil and the Axis] does an excellent job of interlacing the story of a campaign that plays out like a John le Carré novel, with dashing provocateurs, daring soldiers, and covert operatives all mixed into a brew of Arab nationalism and French dismay at having to repel what they considered Allied invaders." --New York Journal of Books
"Smartly written and deeply researched ... a remarkable story of courage, initiative, and bold small-unit leadership." --WWII Magazine
"...Action-packed...John Broich has written a thoroughly researched, clear, and readable exposition of a series of sadly neglected Second World War events...a masterly job." --The Journal of Military History
About the Author
- Hardcover : 368 pages
- Item Weight : 1.35 pounds
- ISBN-10 : 1468313991
- ISBN-13 : 978-1468313994
- Product Dimensions : 6.6 x 1.65 x 9.55 inches
- Publisher : Harry N. Abrams; 1st Edition (May 7, 2019)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #532,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have recently read two books on the fighting in Syria in 1941, one by an English author and the second by a French author. My interest in those events originally stem from my acquaintance in the 1990s with a French Army officer whose uncle scored several kills against RAF aircraft as a Vichy Dewotine 520 pilot. Even wIth an above average knowledge of those events, the author brought to light new voices that I had not heard before.
His treatment of the 1941 Iraqi military coup and subsequent fight against the British is by far the best account I have found of those events. The narrative dealing with the siege of Habbiniyah RAF station west of Fallujah was exceptionally good.
It's certainly niche history for most Americans, but students of serious works on WW2 should consider purchasing this well documented and eminently readable book. Highly recommended.
With Britain’s position in Egypt under attack by Erwin Rommel’s panzers, there were few resources to spare for the Levant. Yet with volunteer troops from India, consisting of Hindus, Moslems and Sikhs, and a few airman, including the writer Roald Dahl of “James and the Giant Peach” fame, the British persevered first in Iraq and then in Syria where French forces supported the Vichy regime. In this Iraq war we are reminded of the battles in early 2000s where fighting takes place in Ramadi, Bagdad and Fallujah.
The British wisely enlisted local forces from Jordan under General Glubb and Palestine where the Palmach commando unit is established. It is during a battle in Syria where future Israeli general Moshe Dayan loses his eye. From Broich’s book I learned that both the Germans and the Italians bombed Haifa to stop the flow of oil from that city’s refinery to the British fleet. Further had Hitler’s armies moved into the region the 500,000 Jews then living in Palestine likely would have been slaughtered like there European counterparts.
Broich tells a good story, but sometimes his writing seems to be bogged down in the sands of Iraq. I better editing job would have helped. Nevertheless it is a powerful story that highlights, yet again, that the Allied victory in World War Two was a close run thing.
I would urge people to read the present treatment.
It wasn't exactly what I expected, but it's not a bad read either.
One little snag; Admiral Darlan was not 'Vichy head of state', that was of course Petain.
Top reviews from other countries
My father was in the RAF in Iraq before the Second World War and during the rebellion.