A unique account of the Italian Campaign—never before in print
This book tells the personal story of one young man’s experience of the Second World War from the perspective of a private soldier in a tank regiment. When Sam Knowles was conscripted into the British Army at the age of 18, the war had begun and his home city had suffered the ravages of the ‘Manchester Blitz’. Despite his preferences for a less combative army career, Sam found himself channelled into the Royal Armoured Corps as a tank crewman. Despatched to North Africa, he was posted as a replacement to the 16th/5th Lancers which had come through a hard fought desert campaign. The invasion of the Italian mainland had taken place and the regiment was transported to join the battles that were being fought at the stronghold of Monte Cassino. Sam recounts his experiences on campaign and on the battlefield in rare detail as the 16th/5th Lancers fought their way northwards against tenacious enemy opposition. There are few published works by British tank crewmen from the Second World War and this personal account of the 16th/5th Lancers is unique among them. We share the author’s journey from schoolboy to experienced soldier in the post war period, and as he tells his story he describes the reality of army life for the ‘other ranks’, sparing little of the pathos and tragedy of war. However, Sam entertainingly and liberally relieves his narrative with humorous anecdotes concerning himself and his comrades under often difficult and dangerous circumstances, which reveal the good nature and fine character of British soldiers in wartime, as well as the esprit de corps of this renowned cavalry regiment. Contains many photographs and maps.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket; our hardbacks are cloth bound and feature gold foil lettering on their spines and fabric head and tail bands.
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