When I researched this book, I found the 5th Camerons who, as the saying goes, had a factual history that was better than fiction. The more I delved into the history of the battalion, the more I was amazed at how often they were at key battles in World War Two and was astounded at the raw courage and tenacity that the Highlanders displayed.
Highlanders’ Advance is the second book in the Highlanders’ series and is set against the hardships of the 5th Camerons advance across North Africa in 1942/3. Our hero is an oddity in that he is an Englishman in the ranks of a Highland battalion, someone Highlanders have long called a ‘Mash Man’ and, as such, he is known as Mash. Still scarred from the loss of both his friend at El Alamein and his love in France, Mash embarks on the rescue of a downed pilot from the desert. In doing so he discovers the identity of the man that murdered Colette.
The feud with the killer twists and turns through the real-life exploits of the Highlanders as they drive a skilled enemy back across an unforgiving desert. Mash’s struggles reach a conclusion at the Battle of Roumana Ridge, an action described by the Times as ‘one of the greatest heroic achievements of the war’.