Fighting Hitler From Dunkirk to D-Day is the compelling story of a man belonging to a group of which there are now very few survivors. Jeff Haward MM is a pre-war Territorial Army soldier who enlisted merely for something to do in the evenings. Consequently, he fought throughout the entirety of the Second World War. Jeff is a 'Die Hard', the historic name given to men of the famous Middlesex Regiment. He joined the 1/7th Battalion, a machine-gun battalion, equipped with the British Army's iconic Vickers medium machine gun. Following evacuation from Dunkirk, the 1/7th, while refitting and re-equipping, carried out coastal defence duties in preparation for the German invasion. So desperate was the situation that on sentry duty, the one rifle per section had to be handed to the next sentry, along with the only ammunition available - three rounds! In 1941, they were attached to the famous 51st Highland Division. The less than enthusiastic welcome from the Jocks gradually evolved into respect following the Middlesex's performance at El Alamein and the subsequent campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy and North West Europe.
Following the Reichswald battle, in March 1945, Jeff was surprised to hear that he had been awarded the Military Medal for bravery and was subsequently awarded the ribbon by none other than Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery. Jeff Haward's experiences, those of a normal soldier, make fascinating reading and throw new light on the use of such Vickers gun battalions during the war.
Neil Barber is the author of two of the most detailed books on their subjects; The Day the Devils Dropped In, relates the 9th Parachute Battalion's D-Day assault on the Merville Battery and the vital battle at the Chateau St Come; and The Pegasus and Orne Bridges, which details the D-Day capture, defence and relief of Pegasus Bridge and its sister bridge across the river Orne. He has also edited two biographies; Stan Scott's Fighting with the Commandos and Captain David Tibbs' Parachute Doctor.