An Army at Dawn

An Army at Dawn

The War in North Africa, 1942-1943

Book - 2003
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"A splendid book... The emphasis throughout is on the human drama of men at war."-- The Washington Post Book World

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is an epic story of courage and calamity, of miscalculation and enduring triumph. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943.

Opening 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 Algiers, 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. At the center of the tale are the extraordinary but flawed commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel.

Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's vivid narrative tells the deeply human story of a monumental battle for the future of civilization.

Publisher: New York :, Henry Holt & Co.,, 2003.
Edition: First Owl Books edition.
ISBN: 9780805087246
Branch Call Number: 940.5423 AT
Characteristics: xv, 681 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 21 cm.


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Aug 28, 2017

Rick Atkinson writes great military history. This is the first in a trilogy on Americans in WWII. It's very informative and details a forgotten phase of American involvement in North Africa.
I gave it 4 stars because Atkinson is focused on officers and command. I prefer at least some accounting from fighters in the line who felt the war in the most personal of ways.
Essential reading for readers WWII military history.

Aug 21, 2016

To some extent this is a vast assemblage of individual, personal experience. Atkinson is very skilled in giving it an overall shape. The reader feels he has learned why the North African conflict played out the way it did, and even gained a jittery illusion of first hand experience. In a way I wish that nuts and bolts themes (like who had air superiority and why, or the state of the adversaries' logistics) were more smoothly integrated. But it would be wrong to complain. A swell book.

Taweel Jan 28, 2014

An excellent history even if the author sometimes stretches poetic license a bit too far. Extremely readable and engaging, it builds character and plot as well as any novel but maintains the right perspective to contextualize even the most personal of events.

Note that this book is almost completely focused on the American experience during the war.

nelson21 Oct 19, 2013

A truly excellent book which brings to life some of the key individuals who helped shape the world as it is today. Quite magnificently written and well worth the time of anyone who is in the slightest bit interested in recent history.

The only drawback is that some 'idiotic vandal' had decided to scribble in pencil on many of the pages of this book. I suspect that the ‘vandal’ found this book too difficult to read and so might be happier with picture books in future.

Jul 20, 2011

This book is amazing, and sets the standard for military history. It gives an amazing review of the great battles and personalities that have occupied North Africa in WWII.

Dec 06, 2007

Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer prize for history.


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