Jon Latimer


Alamein is possibly the one battle of the Second World War that most contemporary Britons have heard of yet it remains contentious, largely because of the controversy surrounding the merits of the British commander, Lieutenant-General Bernard Law Montgomery whose name will be forever associated with it. However, Alamein was not simply a victory for Eighth Army or Montgomery; it was a victory of modern armaments, of the Royal Navy in preventing Axis supplies arriving from Italy and of the Desert Air Force in destroying supplies and supporting the ground forces. Ultimately Montgomery was backed by the full weight of British strategy while Africa was only a side show for the Germans.

Nevertheless, for the Commonwealth countries and for Great Britain in particular, suffering as she was from the strain of three years of defeat, victory was of colossal significance. It would be wholly wrong to underestimate its significance. Church bells were rung with glee at the news. Alamein, while for the first time placing the battle properly in its strategic and the operational context, describes the action as it necessarily devolved upon the infantry, gunners, sappers, cavalrymen, airmen and the essential support personnel on both sides, amid a welter of confusion, smoke, dust, flies and blood.

Book Details:

  • Author: Jon Latimer
  • Published Year: 2002
  • Rights Sold
    • UK: John Murray
    • US: Harvard University Press
    • Spain: Inedita
    • Denmark: Borgens Forlag
Jon Latimer

Jon Latimer

Jon Latimer was born in Prestatyn, Flintshire in 1964. He attended Swansea University in 1982, ostensibly to study Geography, but love of the sea meant that he left with a degree in Oceanography instead. He then enjoyed a varied and interesting career working as an oceanographer and environmental scientist.Jon also served in the Territorial Army for sixteen years. Commissioned in The Royal Welch Fusiliers he served with the 1st and 3rd Battalions and with 4th Battalion, Royal Regiment of Wales, as well as on attachment with 1/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers and with the staff of 4th Armo...
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Book Reviews

  • "Jon Latimer’s is the heavyweight account - detailed, exhaustive, complete, as might be expected from an historian with an eye for soldiering."
    Allan Mallinson, The Times
  • "...written with verve: the confusion of the fighting, which defied Montgomery’s own subsequent assertion that it was all planned, is conveyed in vivid detail."
    Hew Strachan, Times Literary Supplement
  • "[Jon Latimer] operates deftly at all levels in an incisive and readable narrative. He ... stands back and lets the fighting men speak for themselves ... Latimer writes wisely and perceptively about [Montgomery]."
    Lawrence James, Daily Mail
  • "Alamein represents the best and most authoritative single volume account of the critical 1942 battles ... It is an altogether masterly piece of work ..."
    Eastern Daily Press
  • "Jon Latimer brings a spring-like freshness to the campaign fought in the utmost desolation in a sea of sand, heat and dust ... a forthright, in-depth and highly-satisfying view of one of history’s classic encounters."
    The Oxford Times
  • "...we need a book like Alamein by Jon Latimer to give a blow-by-blow account that does not have particular axe to grind but brings together both the overall strategy and the nitty-gritty of the fighting."
    Sunday Mercury
  • "“A gripping account of this turning point of the Second World War, Jon Latimer gives us the experience of the men who fought – British, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Germans, Italians and others besides. We feel their fear, elation or despair as they fight it out at close quarters amid a welter of confusion – heat, sand, smoke, noise, dust, flies and blood. Loved it.”"
    Elizabeth Means – Reviewer