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

An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the… (original 2002; edition 2007)

by Rick Atkinson

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2,024455,300 (4.25)64
In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WW II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa. The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power. Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel. Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.… (more)
Title:An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy
Authors:Rick Atkinson
Info:Holt Paperbacks (2007), Edition: Revised, Paperback, 768 pages
Collections:Your library

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An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson (2002)


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Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
Absolutely fabulous history of the Allies operations in North Africa in 1942-43. It portrays the difficulties/animosities/distrust between the Allies, along with the successes of those countries’ militaries, while trying to wrest control of, and expel Germany and Italy from, North Africa.

There is a ton of interesting information here about the difficulties, and eventual successes, the Allies had in establishing cohesive action by the different Departments (Army, Navy, Air Force) – that is, trying to coordinate the different actions by the divisions to have the most effective actions against the German and Italian militaries. It is clear that the Allies suffered both unnecessary loss of life, and overall defeats, on the battlefield precisely because actions taken were often unique to each military department, and sometimes, to each of the Allies.

There is also a huge amount of personal information about the officers of each military and how they interacted. A somewhat longer read but written well and rewarding overall. I look forward to the next volume in the trilogy by Rick Atkinson. ( )
1 vote highlander6022 | May 21, 2019 |
This is an excellent history of the north African campaign during WWII. I read the book shortly after completing The Rising Tide by Jeff Shaara which covers the same events. However, Shaara writes mostly from the perspective of an American soldier in a tank battalion (fictional character) and from the perspective of German tank commander Rommel. The Atkinson book is written primarily from the perspective of American and British generals. Reading these two accounts together provides a great overview of the war as experienced by the individual soldier and as executed by the allied commanders. An Army at Dawn is especially detailed regarding the American forces "coming of age" in north Africa. The tensions between the American and British command structure is also described in much detail. ( )
  Brauer11431 | Apr 16, 2019 |
An excellent book that covers the US Army's invasion of North Africa and the subsequent drive into Tunisia, including the famous defeat at Kasserine Pass. Atkinson deftly weaves a compelling story with excellent research to provide an exciting narrative of how the US Army evolved from a collection of inexperienced and green troops to the battle-tested battalions that would go on to invade Sicily, the Italian mainland, and northern and southern France. ( )
  whitrichardson | Feb 6, 2019 |
Very well written account of the North African campaign and everything that led up to it. Cant wait to read the next book in the series. ( )
  Scorched_Earth | Dec 31, 2018 |
Atkinson is a beautiful writer, though I was left with questions as to how exactly he knew what the dawn of the day of a WWII battle looked and smelled like—was he prettying up descriptions provided by actual attendees, or inferring from some other source? He spends a lot of time on the physical miseries of war for ordinary soldiers, and emphasizes just how dumb a lot of battles were in purely tactical terms. In North Africa, the Americans started to learn how to fight, but not without lots of mistakes and casualties. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Nov 28, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 43 (next | show all)
"I don’t think I’ve ever read a history book that flowed so well. The book is an incredible marriage of storytelling and historical fact, so that the reader feels both entertained and very well informed."
"The most thorough and satisfying history yet of the campaigns in North Africa."
added by whitrichardson | editKirkus Reivews (Jul 15, 2002)
"This is a fascinating work which any reader can enjoy, and professional historians will find perusal of it eminently worth their while."
"Despite diction that occasionally lapses into the melodramatic, general readers and specialists alike will find worthwhile fare in this intellectually convincing and emotionally compelling narrative."
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Twenty-seven acres of headstones fill the American military cemetery at Carthage, Tunisia.
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