The British victory at El Alamein in November, 1942, while a decisive turning point in the war, did not immediately lead to the collapse of Axis forces in North Africa. While much depleted, the Afrika Korps escaped from the El Alamein battlefield in good order and fell back on strong defensive positions in Tunisia, bolstered by some of the world's most difficult terrain. German paratroopers and Hermann Goring Division panzergrenadiers were sent to North Africa as reinforcements, Italian units were more capable in the defensive role, and Montgomery could not be sure of the loyalty of Germany's nominal Vichy French allies.
Not even the creation of a second front in North Africa with the arrival of the Americans and fresh British units was enough to dislodge the Axis forces. The author describes in detail the hard campaigning and desperate battles that were necessary to bring about final victory in North Africa. A full description is given of the often-neglected air aspect of the campaign. The Allied cause was greatly aided by the operations of the Desert Air Force, which was largely British, but in which many key American air leaders got their first operational experience.