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  • Print publication year: 2011
  • Online publication date: February 2011

Conclusion

Summary

Let me then assure you, soldiers and airmen, that your fellow-countrymen regard your joint work with admiration and gratitude, and that after the war when a man is asked what he did it will be quite sufficient for him to say, ‘I marched and fought with the Desert Army.’ And when history is written and all the facts are known, your feats will gleam and glow and will be a source of song and story long after we who are gathered here have passed away.

(Winston Churchill)

The consistent narrative that emerges from the research presented in this book is that success in battle is significantly influenced by morale, the soldier's willingness, engendered by desire or discipline, to prepare for and engage in the actions required by the military. However, morale is fragile and fluid, and needs to be nurtured and developed for armies to prevail. This book has examined the North African campaign of the Second World War through the lens of morale and has shown how the morale of the troops was reflected in the performance of Eighth Army on the battlefield, from the WDF's victory over the Italians in 1940/41, to the crisis in the summer of 1942 that nearly cost Eighth Army the desert war, to the resurgence that ultimately led to victory at El Alamein.