An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939- 1945

An Englishman at War: The Wartime Diaries of Stanley Christopherson DSO MC & Bar 1939- 1945

by Stanley Christopherson


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780593075500
Publisher: Transworld Publishers Limited
Publication date: 05/01/2015
Pages: 560
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 16.80(h) x 2.00(d)

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

A Note on the Text 7

Map 8

Part I Palestine and Tobruk, September 1939-December 1941

1 To Palestine 13

2 Mounted Cavalry No More 43

3 Flash Kellett Takes Command 84

4 A New Year 111

5 Gunners at Tobruk 121

6 The Siege of Tobruk 156

7 Mechanized at Last 203

Part II From Alamein to Tunis, January 1942-May 1943

8 Tank Training 237

9 Into Action 257

10 The Battle of El Alamein 264

11 Pursuit to Tripoli 281

12 The Tebaga Gap 309

13 Victory in North Africa 341

Part III D-Day to Victory, June 1944-May 1945

14 D-Day 367

15 Fighting in Normandy 386

16 Normandy Break-out 410

17 The Pursuit through France and Belgium 423

18 The Capture of the St Pierre Garrison and Liberation of Brussels 435

19 Gheel and MARKET GARDEN 445

20 Attacking the Siegfried Line 460

21 Approach to the Rhine 479

22 From the Rhine to Victory 493

Postscript James Holland 509

Glossary 519

Personalities 522

Appendix I Structure of the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry on 6 June 1944 523

Appendix II A Note on Formations 525

Acknowledgements 527

Index 529

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