The Last Man Standing: Herb Ashby and the Battle of El Alamein

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Media: BOOK - paperback (248 pages)
Author: P. Dornan
Year: 2006
ISBN: 9781741149890
Other: maps, further reading
Publisher: Allen & Unwin

'Where was the rest of the company? Why is no one else firing? A quick look behind revealed the shocking truth. Herb was alone. No one was following ... there was no one able to follow. He was the last man standing.'

Australians played a crucial role in the Allied victory in the Battle of El Alamein, one of the turning points of the Second World War. German Field Marshal Rommell said after the battle, 'I could have won North Africa with a division of Australians under my command'. Yet victory came at a heavy price, with more than a thousand Australian soldiers lost in the battle.

Peter Dornan tells the story of the Battle of El Alamein through the eyes of Herb Ashby of the 2/48th Battalion, who at eighteen years of age left his home in Mount Gambier to fight a war on the other side of the world. Herb Ashby was wounded in the Siege of Tobruk and was decorated for his services in the Battle of El Alamein.

With three Victoria Crosses awarded posthumously to his battalion during the campaign, including two in his platoon, Herb assisted the 2/48th to become the most highly decorated Australian battalion in the war.

Peter Dornan's 'The Last Man Standing' is a vividly recounted story of the tragedy and triumph, and tremendous courage in extraordinary times.

Explanatory Note

Part 1: Tobruk
1. The Early Years
2. The Middle Years
3. Tobruk
4. The Salient
5. Lebanon

Part 2. Little El Alamein
6. Shammama
7. Hill of Jesus
8. Tel el Eisa
9. Prelude to El Alamein

Part 3. El Alamein
10. The First Punch
11. Trig 29
12. Consolidation
13. Pushing North
14. Precursor to Operation Supercharge
15. The Breakout

Epilogue: The Years After
Further Reading

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The Last Man Standing: Herb Ashby and the Battle of El Alamein

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