WAR’S NOMADS

A MOBILE RADAR UNIT IN PURSUIT OF ROMMEL DURING THE WESTERN DESERT CAMPAIGN, 1942-3

Gillian Clarke and Colin Clarke (eds.) (2015) War’s Nomads: A Mobile Radar Unit in Pursuit of Rommel during the Western Desert Campaign, 1942-3 by Frederick Grice. Oxford and Havertown, PA: Casemate, pp 214.
2015
Oxford and Philadelphia: Casemate
ISBN 978-1-61200-288-0
Digital Edition ISBN 978-1-61200-28p-7

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‘Aircraftsman Grice’s diaries and notebooks yield a vivid account of life and landscapes in North Africa during the British 8th Army’s advance from El Alamein to Tunisia. Schoolmaster, acclaimed folklorist, and writer of children’s fiction, Grice brilliantly combined the gritty feel of Second World War forces life as daily experience – its commingled privations and miseries, fears and follies, camaraderie and boredom – with stunning depictions  of the Maghreb’s deserts and dwellings, oases and occupants. For this reviewer, himself a Western front former infantryman, Grice’s superb prose  reanimates the war’s quotidian realities, grim and sanguine alike, with matchless immediacy.
– David Lowenthal, University College London