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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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A fresh, well written account of the American war in n africa. The author does a good job of illuminating the unreadiness of the US military, from the top down. Sadly, this cost lives. He makes a compelling argument that the lives lost here were less devestating than they would have been had the immediate cross channel attack been attempted. All in all, this is not "just another we won the war" book, but a fresh look at a critically important campaign. Well written and flows quite well. ( )
  Whiskey3pa | Apr 9, 2016 |
An excellent portrayal of the American expeditionary Army in North Africa in WW II. I had seen the movie Patton many years ago. In that Patton talks about how the Germans whipped the American forces at the Battle of Kasserine Pass. Nonetheless, it was fascinating to discover how inept the USA was at the beginning of the War. Thank God we did not invade France in 1943. We just weren't ready. As the author mentioned at the start of the War we only had six tanks and our Army was ranked 12th in the World behind Romania. ( )
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
[Reading in progress; just finished Part 1, Operation Torch] I think if this book had covered the same facts in three times the words, it would have been a faster read, because I wouldn't have had to stop a few times each page to attempt to picture the human reality behind the dry, dense paragraphs. I would like this book better if it included more first person accounts alongside the dense summaries. For example, from a paratrooper in the failed drop. Anyway, that is my opinion to date. This book has 2/3 of what I want in a popular history: (1) Excellent research from primary sources, all footnoted, (2) Lots of maps. What is missing is (3) an authorial voice like a Shelby Foote or Ron Chernow to pull it altogether.
  read.to.live | Jan 20, 2016 |
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 |
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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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