They Couldn’t Have Done Better – The Story of the Dorset Regiment in War and Peace 1939-67 by Christopher Jary
This is the story of the last quarter century of the Dorset Regiment’s long and illustrious life. Its first chapters deal with the Second World War, describing the Dorsets’ heroic defensive action in the retreat to Dunkirk, their stoical courage in the siege of Malta, their successful assault landings on Sicily and Italy and finally on D-Day itself, their bloody triumphs at Kohima and in the advance south into Burma, and their bitter battle in Normandy, at Arnhem, and into Germany.
Its last chapters tell the story of the Regiment’s post-war service in Germany, Italy, Austria, Japan, Malaya, Hong Kong and Korea in the era of National Service, the Cold War, and Britain’s withdrawal from Empire. Above all, it is a family story. It describes the experiences not only of colonels and majors, but also of the subalterns, NCOs and private soldiers who- whether born in the County or not, and whether Regulars, Territorials, conscripts or volunteers- wore the Dorset badge with pride. Together they faced horros, hardships, and testing times with courage and fortitude, winning fresh honours for a County Regiment with an already proud history.
Above all, it is a family story of one of England’s finest county regiments. It is vividly told, with many personal stories, often in the words of those who were there.
They Couldn’t Have Done Better must read for anybody interested in the Dorsetshire Regiment.
Please note that this is a softback edition of They Couldn’t Have Done Better.