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An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa,…

An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (2002)

by Rick Atkinson

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This is without a doubt the best book on WWII that I have ever read. Atkinson's writing is vivid and he uses only the details you need to have to understand what is happening. He pulls no punches he shows are great side and our bad side, it is the fact that he doesn't, whitewash our mistakes or hide the fact that we were not the best combat force when we started. If you read about WWII then you must read this book, you will find it very engrossing and easy to read and follow. ( )
  Philip100 | Aug 4, 2015 |
Well written and I appreciated the material that was new to me
( )
  joeydag | Jul 23, 2015 |
Atkinson is considered the foremost military historical writer of our time. I read his book on the 101 Airborne in Iraq, where Gen. David Petraeus first became a star.

This book is a very detailed look at how war is hell. How all operations are disorganized chaos. There are horrors of war and then there are the horrors of day-to-day survival in that war. Survivors are just lucky.

Was the North Africa campaign necessary? It trained a large number of Allied soldiers, prepared them for the invasion of Europe. But, wouldn't it have just been better to invade Europe and avoid the circuitous route taken by invading Africa and then Sicily? Probably.

This book is a great historical documentary. No one tells the soldiers' stories like Atkinson.
I give it 3.5 stars of 5. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
Not having known much about the Second World War in Africa, I found this fascinating. Atkinson pulls no punches about the foibles of various commanders and the horror of war. Very readable history with very helpful maps. ( )
  Maya47Bob46 | Jan 17, 2015 |
It was moderately interesting. I read it mainly because I knew little about the war in North Africa. The author told the history in an engaging manner which brought out the personalities involved. Thankfully, he concentrated more on the people and the problems in turning a peacetime US into a war machine than the details of each and every battle. ( )
  bke | Mar 30, 2014 |
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Twenty-seven acres of headstones fill the American military cemetery at Carthage, Tunisia.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0805087249, Paperback)

In An Army at Dawn,, a comprehensive look at the 1942-1943 Allied invasion of North Africa, author Rick Atkinson posits that the campaign was, along with the battles of Stalingrad and Midway, where the "Axis ... forever lost the initiative" and the "fable of 3rd Reich invincibility was dissolved." Additionally, it forestalled a premature and potentially disastrous cross-channel invasion of France and served as a grueling "testing ground" for an as-yet inexperienced American army. Lastly, by relegating Great Britain to what Atkinson calls the status of "junior partner" in the war effort, North Africa marked the beginning of American geopolitical hegemony. Although his prose is occasionally overwrought, Atkinson's account is a superior one, an agile, well-informed mix of informed strategic overview and intimate battlefield-and-barracks anecdotes. (Tobacco-starved soldiers took to smoking cigarettes made of toilet paper and eucalyptus leaves.) Especially interesting are Atkinson's straightforward accounts of the many "feuds, tiffs and spats" among British and American commanders, politicians, and strategists and his honest assessments of their--and their soldiers'--performance and behavior, for better and for worse. This is an engrossing, extremely accessible account of a grim and too-often overlooked military campaign. --H. O'Billovich

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:27 -0400)

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The first volume in a three volume work about the liberation of Europe opens in North Africa in 1942 and charts America's rise to world-power status by its involvement in a war on two fronts.

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