In the spring of 1941, Britain's position in North Africa appeared secure. The Italians had been spectacularly defeated, and there was even the possibility that Italy would drop out of the war. The situation changed dramatically with the arrival of Rommel and the Deutsches Afrika Korps. Instead of fighting an incompetent and ineffective Italian High Command, the Allies found themselves up against the latest strategic and tactical concepts, carried through by a dynamic, aggressive leader. For the British this was a time of trial. On several occasions they seemed to be on the brink of total defeat, and by August 1942 the Afrika Korps stood facing the British Eighth Army at El Alamein, a mere 70 miles from Alexandria. This period of manoeuvre warfare in the Western Desert - a period when swiftness of thought and action mattered more than deliberate planning and careful calculation - is the subject of this study. With more than 230 illustrations, including 16 maps, John Delaney provides a concise and authoritative account of this dramatic desert campaign.