Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hitler's Gulf War: The Fight For Iraq 1941 (2009)

This book, written by Barrie G. James, covers the war in Iraq in 1941 when the Iraqis opportunistically revolted against the British after vague promises from the Germans and Italians on assistance. The British were in a grave situation in the spring of 1941, being hard pressed by Rommel in North Africa, having been pushed out of Greece and awaiting the invasion of Crete. At this time, the Iraqi government decided to revolt against the British, trying to push them out of the country, which would have placed the British in a very dangerous situation cutting the communications between the Middle East and India. This is a little known campaign, which have only been covered in a few books. This book doesn't add anything new regarding the air war (excellent covered in C. Shores' "Dust clouds in the Middle East" and Tony Dudgeon's "Hidden victory" and "The war that never was") while the ground war is equally good covered in Robert Lyman's "Iraq 1941". However, what it does add in an easy way is the political background and play of the situation in Iraqi before and during the campaign. This is very interesting reading given the situation that have prevailed in the country up until today and the situation in the whole Middle East. Unfortunately the book doesn't have any images nor any maps and suffers from having been dramatized by having dialogue added, which feels strange in a history book. The book ends with a good epilogue with the fate of the main participants after the campaign, a good bibliography and a usable index.
The verdict is a good book that in an easy way covers a dramatic campaign and complex situation but without adding anything new about the air war. Recommended.

Rating: 3/5

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