From the outbreak of war in September, 1939, all the way to the smoldering ruins of Berlin in 1945, via Palestine, Tobruk, El Alamein, D-Day, Nijmegen, and the crossing of the Rhine, An Englishman at War is a unique first-person account of World War II. The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, Stanley Christopher’s regiment, went to war as amateurs, equipped with courage but very little else, and ended up one of the most experienced, highly trained, and most valued armored units in the British Army. Their journey through the war, learning through mistakes and tragedy as well as from a determined desire to improve, can, in many ways, be seen to reflect the experience of the British Army as a whole. From Alamein onwards, the Sherwood Rangers were in the vanguard of almost every action in which they took part, and over the course of the conflict, they amassed an astonishing 30 battle honors. Christopherson himself was to rise from a junior subaltern to become the commanding officer of the regiment soon after the D-Day landings. He took part in all 30 battle honors, and collected a Distinguished Service Order, two Military Crosses, and an American Silver Star, as well as being Mentioned in Despatches four times. His is an extraordinary story.
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Stanley Christopherson trained to be a lawyer before joining the Sherwood Rangers in the autumn of 1939. Apart from two weeks in hospital, he experienced World War II on the Western Front in its entirety and watched as the very nature of war changed and evolved. In the North African campaign, he engaged in the Battles of Alam Halfa and El Alamein and the fall of Tunis. On D-Day, he landed on the Gold Beach, before moving across France and Belgium and onto Holland where his regiment endured the terrible fighting in the aftermath of Operation Market Garden. James Holland studied history at Durham University. The author of Battle of Britain, Dam Busters, and Fortress Malta, he has also written nine works of historical fiction. He regularly appears on television and radio, and has written and presented a number of acclaimed documentaries for the BBC. Co-founder and program director of the Chalke Valley History Festival, he has his own collection at the Imperial War Museum, and is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.Review:
· "An astonishing record... There is no other wartime diary that can match the scope of these diaries, that can demonstrate the range of command within a British regiment, or that touches on so many of the key engagements of the British Army during the Second World War. Quite simply, there is nothing like it, and the opportunity to publish a complete narrative of the war, such as these diaries represent, will almost certainly never arise again." --James Holland
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