Author(s): David Jefferson
The disastrous raid on Tobruk, the ill-fated Operation Agreement, took place in September 1942. The purpose? To cut off Field-Marshal Rommel's supply line prior to the Battle of El Alamein, which would be crucial in determining the success or failure of the North African campaign. Operation Agreement involved the army, navy and air force together with the Long Range Desert Group and the Special Interrogation Group, who were fluent German speakers who donned Nazi uniforms to carry out risky missions behind enemy lines. For many years, little would be known about the Tobruk raid. One survivor, seconded to the Commandos for the raid, was told in no uncertain terms to keep his mouth shut when returning to his unit. Based on eyewitness accounts and previously unpublished interviews with veterans, Tobruk: A Raid Too Far explores the operation in-depth, highlighting appalling errors of judgement and their tragic consequences, as well as the astonishing trek of survivors across the desert to reach their front lines.
The book is quite a wide-ranging survey of the origins of the special forces employed in the operation, notably the Long Range Desert Group.' - Navy News (April 2014) 'It is an absorbing book for naval and military historians, taken from many unpublished accounts and eyewitness report, which seem to have been hushed up for so many years. Highly Recommended.' - The Globe & Laurel (May/June 2014) 'This account is an exhaustive study of how not to plan a raid. The narrative is littered with appalling errors of judgement at every level. Damning evidence is amply supported with photos, maps and eyewitness accounts.' - Soldier Magazine (May 2014)
David Jefferson has written several books, mostly with a nautical connection. It was while researching for a WWII book about the Royal Navy's 'Little Ships' that he interviewed a veteran who would discuss his wartime experiences in home waters but would not even talk to his family about his time in the Mediterranean where he was Senior Officer of a flotilla of motor torpedo boats. Eventually he decided that, after fifty years, the record should be put straight, and recounted to the author his dreadful experiences of the Tobruk raid. His story proved to be the spark that led to this fascinating and groundbreaking book.