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1 PRIVATE HARRY WILSON WINN 1941 SUPERB ORIGINAL WORLD WAR II MANUSCRIPT RELIC OF BRITAIN'S NORTH AFRICA CAMPAIGN AGAINST ROMMEL'S AFRIKAKORPS BY A BRITISH PRIVATE WHO AUTHORS AN INCREDIBLY DETAILED EYE WITNESS ACCOUNT FROM HAIFA TO TOBRUK
NORTH AFRICA LIBYA EGYPT ISRAEL MIDDLE EAST TOBRUK 1941 Very Good Manuscript 
On offer is a sensational, original December 30th 1940 - December 31st 1941 manuscript diary handwritten by a Sowerby Bridge England native Private Harry Wilson Winn ID No. 7627412 R.A.O.C . [Royal Army Ordnance Corps] that served with the famed 7th Division 'Desert Rats'. This extraordinary first-hand account by a dedicated and keen observer is jammed packed with historic entries describing life and service in North Africa and the Middle East from Haifa to Cairo to Tobruk Libya. From the mundane, sometimes difficult, sometimes fun filled life of a private in the Army to the unique other worldly matters of eating camel steaks to the intense descriptions of bombing raids, enemy attacks, deprivations and tragic loss are all encapsulated in this diary. He tells of the difficulties of living in a foreign environment suffering heat sores requiring a week in the hospital to the normality of going to the canteen for coffee and breakfast. He also mentions friends as they move or return or are convalescent, he notes the native peoples and the other 'boys' like the New Zealanders and Aussies. He keeps up on the global picture of the War noting German movements, politics, Russia and American involvement and so much more. Truly one of the most packed diaries we have seen in a compact 6 x 3¾ inch book. Historians and researchers of the North African campaigns will be hard-pressed to find a more detailed, observant and charming writer. [He can be oh so droll: "News reports…Abyssinian trouble is finished. Ahem!" or punching the air in glee: "Orders say battle dress will not be worn until Dec 12th. Oh Yeah!"] Each day is fully written in intense, tight legible scrawl. Here are some snippets: "Lovely day. Air raid 7 am heavy bombs dropped on gun positions shook our billet"; "lovely day. Big cd gun opened out in reply to Gerry 7 am Gerry planes flew over to try locate his position"; "arrived in Tobruk from Alexandria - enemy raids overhead"; "artillery fire quiet but air raids as usual. Getting used to diving under bales of blankets in our tent. (Posted on orders that I am now Class I Storeman.) Slept in an air raid shelter outside of main office"; "work as usual. Sandstorm blowing all night. Very hot. 'stand to' still in force. Plenty of artillery. More dive bombing harbour lines. Saw bombs leaving plane". "27 planes brought down during last two days. More RAF planes arriving out here. RAF sunk German supply ships of coast of Tripoli. Heard that Yugoslavia will be compelled to give in." "Heavy air-raids, dive-bombing and artillery fire. German attack repulsed and some tanks taken." He also keeps the book's month at a glance section with highlights and milestones: French ship "Andindo" sunk in harbour; HMS Terror sunk by enemy action off Libyan coast; ship carrying Italian POW's hit a mine killing many including Aussie guards; Tobruk is surrounded. And on and on and on until he writes on the last day of the year; "here ends my diary for 1941 - what has 1942 in store for me?" Of further interest and really fascinating is the use of the diary memorandum pages to list events and milestones. For example he lists 36 different towns and places he saw in the year. Morse code, semaphore illustrations, Hebrew and Armenian alphabets in different hands, parade routine schedule, letter senders, monetary exchange, canteen prices, kit layout list and diagram, cash payouts, hand copy of dropped propaganda leaflet, addresses, interesting facts, military clock, number of air raids, number of alerts etc., etc. Providing even more depth to the week-at-a-glance diary are a small number newspaper clippings tipped or tucked in. The book is overall VG. 
Price: 5585.99 USD
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