The Desert Baron by Conrad Crease

baronReviewed by Cy Hilterman

This is a history lesson pertaining to pre-WWI and during WWI, and even a few bits about the start of WWII. The Desert Baron was Friedrich Kress von Kressenstein, who I will refer to as Kress in this review. Kress was a war hero as well as a very decent humanitarian when it came to planning, fighting, and concluding a battle. He was a rare tactical expert beyond most other leaders and became quite well known by other officers and government decision makers.

Kress’s earlier years were spent with the Turkish military, leading them in many battles. Kress was especially good in desert warfare although he had such a great military planning mind that other battles became his to also plan. The book tells of several nations embroiled in war either directly or with use of their military. Turkey, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Bavaria, Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Egypt, Palestine, Australia, New Zealand, and no doubt a few I have not listed. There were three battles for Gaza and some of the action occurred in and around the Suez Canal.

These battles were, for the most part, brutal and lasted for months. When any desert action was involved, Kress was usually the master. Even the Hitler beginnings in Germany are discussed. These attempts for him to take over Germany at this time were repulsed but as we all know, Hitler did eventually come into a dictator power that had no qualms about killing most anyone except white Arians.

If you are looking for an exciting adventure story you do not want The Desert Baron. If you are interested in factually presented history of this period of time, you will eat this book up. Conrad Crease is very articulate in his descriptions and facts as he introduces the reader to many leaders and their connections to the war as well as many nations’ leadership and their effect.

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