Desert Diggers – David Mitchelhill-Green – Book Review

I enjoyed reading this book as the author has managed to achieve something which is very difficult, namely, to seamlessly combine brief excerpts from a large number of letters with the author’s own narrative of the history of the fighting in North Africa, mainly involving the 6th and 9th Divisions (although there is some mention of the 7th Division).


DESERT DIGGERS – Writings From a War Zone ‘Somewhere in the Middle East’ 1940-1942 – David Mitchelhill-Green
ISBN: 9781923004849

The book is extremely well written and full of fascinating stories.

To take just one example, in his account of the aftermath of the fall of Bardia the author tells us (and here I quote from p 118 of the book): “Brigadier Arthur Allen (16th Brigade) was already managing a large influx of prisoners when a new body of Italians appeared, also wishing to surrender. Allen [told them] ‘that it was too late and to come back next morning’. The enemy troops retired, returning the next day”(!).

The font size is very ‘reader-friendly’ and the book has a very useful bibliography, endnotes and index, including a separate list of the names of the letter-writers.


Reviewed For RUSI Vic May 2024

Contact Royal United Services Institute about this article.

Subscribe to our FREE MHHV newsletter here

We are proud to have the support of the following organisations: