To War with a 4th Hussar...

 

...Fighting in Greece, North Africa and the Balkans, from Pen & Sword

 

Title: To War with a 4th Hussar

Author: Peter Crichton

Publisher: Pen & Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52675-510-0

 

The author, Peter Crichton, died in 1977 but thanks to his son Robert, this memoire of his wartime experiences has finally been brought to publication, thanks to Pen & Sword.

The book is divided into three parts, each one covering his time in a separate element of his wartime career. Two of those three we rarely see recorded in such detail, while in the middle is his time in North Africa. In part 1 he arrives in Egypt though doesn't get to the front line. He meets a girlfriend, the daughter of a Minister in the Swedish Embassy in Cairo, a lady he was to marry after the war. He is soon transferred to Greece, with his unit the 4th Hussars, equipped with the Mk VI Light Tank. These were machine gun armed light tanks, and were outmatched by the larger German Mk III's. He gives a good description of his time in the line and the retreat before more powerful German units, and his experience of the retreat and final evacuation back to North Africa. In part 2, he was re-equipped with the little US built M3 Stuart, the 'Honey' as we called it. Huis unit was inland, on the left flank at the Battle of El Alamein, but soon after, delighted to see the even newer Sherman, he was order to Yugoslavia, where he became a British liaison officer with the partisans. He describes in detail the actions he was involved with, working between the partisans, their politics, the RAF and Royal Navy support intis as the war was fought against the Germans in Yugoslavia. Clearly an interesting but challenging time.

As with most personal memoires, this is interesting for the very personal memories it contains, and covering areas of the war that we don't tend to hear about so often, this made for fascinating reading.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.

Robin