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The Quiet Gunner at War is a delightfully fresh and well written account of war at the sharp end of North Africa, Sicily and North West Europe.
In 1939 the Author was already a professional soldier stationed in India. After the Dunkirk disaster he was recalled and initially involved in training recruits at Plymouth before going north to help re-form the 51st Highland Division Gunners.
With his regiment he travelled by sea to Egypt and thereafter it was all intense action as part of Monty’s Eighth Army at El Alamein and the long gruelling advance to Tripoli. HUSKY, the invasion of Sicily, followed and Gorle describes the horrors of war in the mountains and towns, with the locals almost oblivious to the momentous events unfolding around them.
After attending Staff College, Gorle rejoined the fray in North West Europe. His new Regiment, part of 15th Lowland Division, fought through Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany, alternately receiving thanks and welcome from those liberated and fierce and deadly resistance from the retreating Germans. As well as describing his own immediate world, he perceptively analyses the wider war situation.
In the best traditions of fighting men’s memoirs, the Author writes with modesty (he was awarded the Military Cross and was Mentioned-in-Despatches) and humility, and the dangers that he and his comrades-in-arms faced are consistently understated. At the same time The Quiet Gunner at War sums up the elation of victory, the closeness of comradeship and the desperate sadness of losses.
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