World War II

North Africa and Middle East

E - L

Everett, H.W. "The Secret War in the Desert." British Army Review, Dec. 1978, 66-68.

Sexton: "An account of British interception of German tactical communications in the Western Desert."

Ferris, John.

1. "The British Army, Signals and Security in the Desert Campaign, 1940-42." Intelligence and National Security 5, no. 2 (Apr. 1990): 255-291.

Sexton notes that this is an overview of British difficulties in maintaining communications security in the Western Desert.

2. "The 'Usual Source': Signals Intelligence and Planning for the Eighth Army 'Crusader' Offensive, 1941." Intelligence and National Security 14, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 84-118.

The author seeks to "demonstrate that intelligence," especially signals intelligence, "was fundamental" to the "strategy of [Eighth] Army authorities in Cairo during ... their planning for 'Crusader.'" What was "really gained from intelligence was the ability to intervene before the enemy struck Tobruk, and the knowledge that the enemy could not fight a prolonged battle of attrition. These were significant gains."

Fisher, David. The War Magician. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. The War Magician: The Man Who Conjured Victory in the Desert. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2004.

Royal Historical Society Database: "Recounts the World War II activities and triumphs of British music-hall illusionist Jasper Maskelyne and his specially trained team, who fought their part of the war with an amazing array of illusions (in North Africa, 1941-43)."

Flicke, Wilhelm F. "The Lost Keys to El Alamein." Studies in Intelligence 3, no. 4 (Fall 1959): 73-80.

This account is "[e]xcerpted from ... War Secrets in the Ether." It can "be presumed to exaggerate the importance to Rommel of the intercepted messages it cites; but that they were of some importance is attested in other sources." (p. 73/fn.1)

Funk, Arthur Layton. "The OSS in Algiers." In The Secrets War: The Office of Strategic Services in World War II, ed. George C. Chalou. Washington, DC: National Archives, 1992.

Gladman, Brad William.

1. "Air Power and Intelligence in the Western Desert Campaign, 1940-43." Intelligence and National Security 13, no. 4 (Winter 1998): 144-162.

Axis supplies in the Western Desert were destroyed largely by an RAF land-based interdiction campaign that was guided by intelligence gained from sources other than Ultra.

2. Intelligence and Anglo-American Air Support in World War Two: Tunisia and the Western Desert, 1940-43. Studies in Military and Strategic History. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.

Gordon, John W. The Other Desert War: British Special Forces in North Africa, 1940-1943. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1987.

For Cohen, I&NS 3.4, the author "makes a valuable contribution not only to the history of special forces in the Second World War, but to the study of special forces more generally." The focus is on the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG), but the work also gives details on the activities of the Special Air Service (SAS). The reviewer finds the book to be "clearly written and well researched, although it confines itself primarily to British sources."

Gossett, Renée Pierre-. Tr., Nancy Hecksher. Conspiracy in Algiers, 1942-1943. New York: The Nation, 1945.

Woolbert, FA (Oct. 1945), notes that the French journalist author "was in Algiers from the spring of 1941 until after the Allied invasion of North Africa, during which time she was employed by the American Government in various capacities. Her circumstantial story of the negotiations, plots and personalities involved in the North African affair will prove of value to future historians." For Gruin, Saturday Review, 20 Oct. 1945, "Gossett was in a position to observe and understand much more than most Allied newsmen.... She sheds a great deal of light on the details of what actually happened in those cloak-and-dagger months."

James, Malcolm. Born of the Desert: With the SAS in North Africa. London: Greenhill Books. 2001.

From publisher: "The Special Air Service ... utilized the endless expanse of the desert to carry out surprise attacks and hit and run raids behind the Afrika Korps' lines."

Kelly, Saul. The Hunt for Zerzura: The Lost Oasis and the Desert War. London: John Murray, 2002. The Lost Oasis: The Desert War and the Hunt for Zerzura. New York: Westview, 2003. 2004. [pb]

Leber, Booklist (quoted on Amazon.com), notes that with the coming of war in 1939, "Englishman Ralph Bagnold, the greatest desert explorer, formed the Long Range Desert Group of patrols that gathered intelligence and generally bedeviled Italian and German troops, while Hungarian Count Ladislaus Almasy ... led the German equivalent of the LRDG, with less success." The author "has provided an impressively researched, heavily fact-laden account that could profit from more overview and analysis."

Kelly, Saul. "A Succession of Crises: SOE in the Middle East, 1940-45." Intelligence and National Security 20, no 1 (Mar. 2005): 121-146. And in The Politics and Strategy of Clandestine War: Special Operations Executive, 1940-1946, ed. Neville Wylie, 130-153. London: Routledge, 2007.

The focus here is on "SOE's operations in the geographic region" of the Middle East, rather than coverage of the full slate of SOE Middle East's responsibilities, which included the Balkans. SOE "never managed to overcome the endemic suspicion by British military, political and diplomatic officials of its activities." Nevertheless, "SOE could claim some successes in the Middle East."

Kennedy Shaw, W.B. Long Range Desert Group. London: Stackpole, 1990. Rev. ed. London: Greenhill, 2000.

According to Kelly, I&NS 16.1, this account by the unit's intelligence officer was first published in 1945 and takes the story of the LRDG only through the end of the war in Africa. Because of the absence of references to Ultra, the reviewer suggests that this work be read along with John Gordon, The Other Desert War (1987).

Knox, Daphne Joan Fry (Tuyl). How Long Till Dawn: Memoirs of One of the Charter Members and Original Founders of the Resistance Movement in Algiers and a Member of OSS during World War II. Parker, CO: Outskirts Press, 2014.

Peake, Studies 58.3 (Sep. 2014), finds this "an interesting tale of a little-known aspect of the WWII intelligence story."

Lloyd Owen, David [Maj.-Gen.] Providence Their Guide: The Long Range Desert Group, 1940-1945. Rev. ed. Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 2000. Long Range Desert Group, 1940-1945: Providence Their Guide. Barnsley, UK: Pen and Sword, 2001.

From advertisement for 2001 edition: The LRDG "became one of the greatest legends of the North African Campaign in World War II. This classic insider's account has been updated and supplemented with rare photographs from the LRDG collection in the Imperial War Museum." According to Kelly, I&NS 16.1, this account by the unit's fourth and last commanding officer was first published in 1980 and takes the story of the LRDG through its disbanding in June 1945. Because of the absence of references to Ultra, the reviewer suggests that this work be read along with John Gordon, The Other Desert War (1987).

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