I have read the entire book. I do recommend it to the members of CS because it offers a different take on the why's behind the events in A.S. IMHO it provides reasons for students of the campaigns to take a closer look at the leadership displayed by all sides. I do have some issues with what the author provides, but it is more in the realm of supporting his argument rather than the argument itself.
My first thought was the book should have been named Desert Armour Commanders as Forczyk really focuses on the commanders and their decisions. Forczyk provides a different assessment of the strength/weaknesses of the armour leadership during the campaign than one normally finds in works on North Africa.
The subtitle should have been 'Why Rommel should have been fired.' I have always felt that Rommel has been vastly overrated since the mid-1980s. The more I delved into the Italian accounts and records, the more I came to realize that Rommel needs a serious biographer to peel back the onion skins. I believe that Forczykl has opened that door and someone will finally do some deep research and write a study of Rommel's command in A.S. This alone made the book fresh for me even as I felt that the author didn't really offer anything new in terms of research.
In terms of research, what Desert Armour really offers is analysis, not some earth-shattering new discoveries from the archives. This is a mixed blessing as while the analysis is refreshing, he skimps on supporting his arguments with details.
The subordinate German leadership get a closer look as well, with Forczyk indicating that they too made many mistakes. In fact, by the end of Crusader (which is the end of this first volume) the reader will wonder why the Germans were seen as these great masters of maneuver warfare in the desert. He also begins to poke holes into the argument that the German equipment was so superior that gave the DAK a nearly unbeatable edge. Even that famed 88mm is challenged with Forczyk stating "... and their real trump card was the low-silhouette, high-velocity 5cm Pak 38 anti-tank gun." (p.283).
The Germans are not alone as the British commanders get raked over the coals. "He [Gott] is easily the most over-rated commander of the desert campaign" (picture caption p.278) and "Simply put, Crusader proved Gott was the wrong man to command an armoured division assigned to conduct a challenging mission." (p.282). Gatehouse, Campbell, Scott-Cockburn, etc. are discussed as well.
Forczyk does include looking at the Italians, but it quickly become clear that his research wasn't very deep. He is generally positive, discussing the various problems that prevented them from from being successful. His discussion of the events leading up to and including Compass are okay, with only his discussion of Beda Fomm causing a few cringes. It is not that his account of 5–7 Feb 1941 was bad, but it clearly reflected the lack of any real in-depth research. In his discussion of Crusader, the issue of Gambara and the actions of the d.moto. «Trieste» are not mentioned. In the end, I felt what he provided was more reflective of being inclusive rather than a serious look at the Italian armored leadership.
My main problem with the book was the lack of supporting material for his arguments. He didn't provide things like Gott's orders/messages during Crusader to support his statements that Gott basically did nothing at times. The same for Rommel. I really wanted him to lay out his arguments using the hard facts available in the historical record. While the maps were nice in showing the actual actions, better would have to use them to outline the options/issues he presented. The maps tended to be more tactically focused when he is discussing operational issues which limited their usefulness. Only the map for the planned British operation for Crusader (p.223) showed an operational level situation in support of the narrative. Compass, the first Axis offensive, and the frontier battles lack any map/diagram of the operational situation/challenges he was addressing.
In all, I do recommend this book for the way it offers a different viewpoint of the battles covered. It will generate discussion on various forums.