A tale of a shattered Libyan patrol, with six left from an original fourteen after an Italian sit attack. They must find their way from the western desert to safety, with inadequate arms, food, water and no knowledge of their whereabouts. Sergeant Kelly leads them -- and eventually puts himself out of the way when he is wounded and knows the others have a better chance without him. He is very British, old style; successor. Corporal, Spence, of the new army, is well aware of his inadequacy, but the spirit of his dead leader pushes him on, and eventually, the tiny group organize a raid on a German enampment, and with the last minute help of a de Gaulle detachment, succeed. At the last, by men who give him a ""hard core to grip for courage"", Spence is standing on his own feel, and ready to cope with even the romance which had baffled, him. Good action story with psychological pattern.