Megiddo 1918: The Last Great Cavalry Victory Paperback – Feb 9 2010
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About the Author
Bryan Perrett was born in 1934 and educated at Liverpool College. He served in the Royal Armoured Corps, the 17th/21st Lancers, Westminster Dragoons and the Royal Tank Regiment, and was awarded the Territorial Decoration. During the Falklands and Gulf wars, he worked as defence correspondent for the Liverpool Echo. A highly successful author, Bryan is married and lives in Lancashire.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author, Bryan Perrett, does a great job of highlighting the fascinating aspects of this campaign. It was an outstanding success for General Allenby because he fought a combined arms battle. The author points out its similarities to a World War II blitzkrieg. One particularly fascinating action was the destruction of the Turkish 7th army on September 21, 1918 as they retreated down the Wadi Far'a. The army was destroyed by British airpower. This action bears a strong resemblance to the destruction of the Iraqi army as they evacuated Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War. The author even noted this comparison on pg 86. Unfortunately, he would have benefited from better editing. He incorrectly refers to the 1991 campaign as Operation Desert "Sword", instead of Desert Storm.
The book has an abundance of outstanding photos. They cover everything from people, to action scenes, to equipment. There are five 2D tactical maps and three 3D BEV maps. The 2D maps are uncluttered and well done. The 3D BEV maps could have been better. The notes are difficult to read in chronological order. Nevertheless, they do provide a solid view of the battles of Samakh, the Capture of Haifa, and the initial breakthrough. The book has several full color battle scenes. The descriptive notes are copied verbatim from the text. By repeating the text, the reader can easily associate the image to the narrative on the previous page.
Bottom line, this is an outstanding book. It does suffer from a few minor editorial shortcomings. That said, the narrative moves quickly and the reader should have no trouble in following the course of this campaign.
Perrett starts by giving a brief over view of the desert campaigns up to the battle so readers have an idea what has led to the set up and then goes into detail how Allenby went after the Turkish forces driving them from the region by cutting their supply lines-forcing a hole in the enemy line then sending in mounted troops supported by air power ranging wildly through the rear echelons sweeping away supply and communications lines to the front creating chaos there. A tactic that in a later war would become known as `blitzkrieg' is clearly explained and detailed here.
This is supposed to be an introduction to the battle for most readers, not the final word. Perrett supplies some very good maps of the action and in his text successfully walks the fine line between enough and too much detail. I'm not wild about the paintings but that is just a matter of taste.
In the end this is an excellent book on a little remembered but vitally important part of the Great War. Fought over by the Egyptians, Canaanites, British, Ottoman and others Mediddo was the place where empires rose and fell and the world changed. Even the Greeks knew that but linguistic snobs that they are, they had to Hellenize the name. For them Megiddo was too barbaric, they changed the name of the place where the world would change, in their histories, to something that sounded Greek to them: in the Greek histoires, this place where the battle was fought, was Armageddon.