World War: Lawrences of Libya

One day last summer General Sir Archibald Percival Wavell called three of his officers into the Cairo headquarters of the Imperial Army of the Nile. He was worried about rumored Italian plans to slice in through the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan from southeastern Libya. But to get firsthand accounts of Italian troop and supply dispositions meant a hazardous trek of over 1,000 miles across rocky, dune-ribbed desert. The three men before him jumped at the job. For ten years they had made a sport of just such traveling, spending their vacations exploring the Sahara. Within six weeks they had trained a small, tough...

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