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An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943

by

An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943 Cover

 

Awards

2003 Pulitzer Prize For History

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of miscalculation and incomparable courage, of calamity and enduring triumph. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson focuses on 1942 and 1943, showing how central the great drama that unfolded in North Africa was to the ultimate victory of the Allied powers and to America's understanding of itself.

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 often poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to 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 fresh insights, Atkinson's vivid narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.

Rick Atkinson was a staff writer and senior editor at The Washington Post for twenty years. His most recent assignment was covering the 101st Airborne Division in Iraq. He is the bestselling author of The Long Gray Line and Crusade. His many awards include Pulitzer prizes in journalism and history. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in WWII, Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Atkinson tells the story of the war in North Africa. Atkinson's narrative begins on the eve of Operation TORCH, the amphibious invasion of Morocco and Algeria. After three days of fighting against the French, American and British troops pushed deeper into North Africa. But the confidence gained after several early victories soon waned; once Allied forces engaged the Germans, it became apparent that they had more than met their match. Casualties mounted rapidly, battle plans proved ineffectual, and hope for a quick and decisive victory evaporated.

Most of the West's great battle captains emerged in North Africa, including men whose names remain familiar generations later—Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and Montgomery. Atkinson brings these commanders and others vividly to life, along with enemy generals such as Rommel and Kesselring. He also takes us right to the front lines of every major battle—from Oran to Kasserine to Tunis—and his accounts of soldiers fighting and dying make the war horrifyingly real. Gradually, we come to understand the profound accomplishments of this bloody campaign. In North Africa, the Allied coalition came into its own, the enemy forever lost the initiative, and the United States—for the first time—began to act like a great power.

"Exceptional . . . A work strong in narrative flow and character portraits of the principle commanders . . . [A] highly pleasurable read."The New York Times Book Review

"A master of the telling profile . . . This vivid, personality-driven account of the campaign to drive Axis forces from North Africa shows the political side of waging war, even at the tactical level."Chicago Tribune

“In his gripping An Army at Dawn, Rick Atkinson skilfully chronicles . . . the invasion of North Africa in World War II . . . [This is] the first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, in which Mr. Atkinson intends to tell the entire story of the U.S. armed forces in the European theatre. Based on this book, he is off to a rip-roaring start. An Army at Dawn may be the best World War II battle narrative since Cornelius Ryans classics, The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far.”Max Boot, The Wall Street Journal

"A book that stands shoulder to shoulder with the other major books about the war, such as the fine writing of Cornelius Ryan and John Keegan."Associated Press

“Atkinsons book is eminently friendly and readable, but without compromising normal standards of accuracy and objectivity. More than a military history, it is a social and psychological inquiry as well. His account of the Kasserine Pass disaster is alone worth the price of the book and stands as an exciting preview of the rich volumes to come. I heartily recommend this human, sensitive, unpretentious work.”Paul Fussell, author of Doing Battle and Wartime

“This is a wonderful bookpopular history at its best. It is impressively researched and superbly written, and it brings to life in full detail one of the vitally important but relatively ‘forgotten campaigns of World War II. What Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote did for the Civil War in their trilogies, Rick Atkinson is doing for World War II in the European Theater.”Professor Mark A. Stoler, author of Allies and Adversaries

“One of the most compelling pieces of military history I've ever read, An Army at Dawn will become a military history and strategy studies classic. Atkinson writes with incredible insight and mastery of the details, and he is always mindful of the larger picture. He goes from the highest political levels to the deepest foxhole without missing a beat. This is history at its finest.”Gen. Wesley K. Clark, U.S.A. (ret.), former NATO supreme commander

"Rick Atkinson has done a beautiful job of research and writing in An Army at Dawn. This is the North African campaignwarts, snafus, feuding allies, incompetenceunvarnished. It whets my appetite for the rest of the Liberation Trilogy Atkinson has promised us."Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young

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

"A masterpiece. Rick Atkinson strikes the right balance between minor tactical engagements and high strategic direction, and he brings soldiers at every level to life, from private to general. An Army at Dawn is history with a soldier's face."General Gordon R. Sullivan, U.S.A. (ret.), former Army chief of staff

“For sheer drama, the Tunisian campaign far overshadowed any other phase of the Second World War. Rick Atkinson has told the story with zest and brutal realism. His account will be a monument among accounts of World War II.”John S. D. Eisenhower, author of Allies and The Bitter Woods

An Army At Dawn is an absolute masterpiece. Atkinson conveys both the human drama and historical significance of this campaign with a power and intensity that is nothing short of electrifying. This book is storytellingand historyat its most riveting.”Andrew Carroll, editor of War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars

"Rick Atkinson combines meticulous research and attention to detail with an extraordinary ability to tell a story. It is a rich and powerful narrative which is certain to become a classic."Ronald Spector, author of At War At Sea and Eagle Against the Sun

"Atkinsons An Army at Dawn is a superb account of the Allied invasion of North Africa. From the foxhole to Eisenhowers supreme headquarters, Atkinson has captured the essence of war in one of the most neglected campaigns of World War II."Carlo D'Este, author of Patton and Eisenhower

"Atkinson's writing is lucid, vivid . . . Among the many pleasures of an Army at Dawn are the carefully placed detailsshells that whistle into the water with a smoky hiss; a colonel with 'slicked hair and a wolfish mustache'; a man dying before he can fire the pistols strapped in his holster."Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"What distinguishes his narrative is the way he fuses the generals' war . . . with the experiences of front-line combat soldiers."Raleigh News & Observer

"Brilliant . . . This is history and war in the hands of a gifted and unflinching writer."The Kansas City Star

"The most thorough and satisfying history yet of the campaigns in North Africa . . . Given his success with modern military history, the penetrating historical insights Atkinson brings to bear on America's 1942-43 invasion of the North African coast are not surprising."Kirkus Reviews

"Atkinson, author of the best-selling The Long Grey Line (1989), a chronicle of the West Point class of 1966, here debuts an ambitious three-volume saga about the North African and European theaters of World War II. This first volume covers the conception of Operation Torch through the German surrender in Tunisia in May 1943 and reveals the author's skill in balancing big-picture strategizing with unit-level tactical fighting . . . The ground of every battle is precisely assessed, with the author apprising readers of how often the experienced German army was superior to the green American army in exploiting hills and roads. Having personally tramped over the battlefields in Morocco and Tunisia, Atkinson incorporates their lookthe mud, the dust, and the cactus. An exemplary work that feeds anticipation of the succeeding volumes."Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

"Atkinson here offers the initial volume in a trilogy concerning the liberation of Europe during World War II. The invasion of North Africa was the first joint military operation conducted by the Allies, and it influenced many future decisions. Using battlefield reports and archival material, Atkinson tells a fascinating story of the North African campaign that is hard to stop reading, even though one knows the outcome. He includes the perfect combination of biographical information and tactical considerations, and eyewitness accounts give readers an idea of what the average soldier must have endured."Mark Ellis, Albany State University Library, Georgia, Library Journal

Synopsis:

In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Atkinson focuses on 1942 and 1943, showing how central the great drama that unfolded in North Africa was to the ultimate victory of the Allied powers and to America's understanding of itself.

Synopsis:

The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan in World War II.

Synopsis:

The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan

For decades, a major piece of World War II history has gone virtually unwritten. The war began in China, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, and China eventually became the fourth great ally, partner to the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Yet its drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue remains little known in the West.

Rana Mitter focuses his gripping narrative on three towering leaders: Chiang Kai-shek, the politically gifted but tragically flawed head of Chinaand#8217;s Nationalist government; Mao Zedong, the Communistsand#8217; fiery ideological stalwart, seen here at the beginning of his epochal career; and the lesser-known Wang Jingwei, who collaborated with the Japanese to form a puppet state in occupied China. Drawing on Chinese archives that have only been unsealed in the past ten years, he brings to vivid new life such characters as Chiangand#8217;s American chief of staff, the unforgettable and#8220;Vinegar Joeand#8221; Stilwell, and such horrific events as the Rape of Nanking and the bombing of Chinaand#8217;s wartime capital, Chongqing. Throughout, Forgotten Ally shows how the Chinese people played an essential role in the wider war effort, at great political and personal sacrifice.

Forgotten Ally rewrites the entire history of World War II. Yet it also offers surprising insights into contemporary China. No twentieth-century event was as crucial in shaping Chinaand#8217;s worldview, and no one can understand China, and its relationship with America today, without this definitive work.

Synopsis:

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of miscalculation and incomparable courage, of calamity and enduring triumph. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson focuses on 1942 and 1943, showing how central the great drama that unfolded in North Africa was to the ultimate victory of the Allied powers and to America's understanding of itself.

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 often poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to 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 fresh insights, Atkinson's vivid narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.

About the Author

Rick Atkinson is a staff writer for The Washington Post, currently on assignment in Iraq. He is the bestselling author of The Long Gray Line and Crusade. His many awards include the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

Contentsand#8194;ix

Dramatis Personaeand#8194;xi

Pronunciation Guideand#8194;xiii

Prologue: City on Fireand#8194;1

Part I: The Path to Warand#8194;25

and#160; 1.and#160;As Close as Lips and Teeth: Chinaand#8217;s Fall, Japanand#8217;s Riseand#8194;27

and#160; 2.and#160;A New Revolutionand#8194;43

and#160; 3.and#160;The Path to Confrontationand#8194;56

Part II: Disasterand#8194;77

and#160; 4.and#160;Thirty-seven Days in Summer: The Outbreak of Warand#8194;79

and#160; 5.and#160;The Battle for Shanghaiand#8194;98

and#160; 6.and#160;Refugees and Resistanceand#8194;109

and#160; 7.and#160;Massacre at Nanjingand#8194;124

and#160; 8.and#160;The Battle of Taierzhuangand#8194;145

and#160; 9.and#160;The Deadly Riverand#8194;157

Part III: Resisting Aloneand#8194;171

and#160; 10.and#160;and#8220;A sort of wartime normaland#8221;and#8194;173

and#160; 11.and#160;Flight into the Unknownand#8194;197

and#160; 12.and#160;The Road to Pearl Harborand#8194;211

Part IV: The Poisoned Allianceand#8194;237

and#160; 13.and#160;Destination Burmaand#8194;239

and#160; 14.and#160;Hunger in Henanand#8194;263

and#160; 15.and#160;States of Terrorand#8194;280

and#160; 16.and#160;Conference at Cairoand#8194;296

and#160; 17.and#160;One War, Two Frontsand#8194;315

and#160; 18.and#160;Showdown with Stilwelland#8194;335

and#160; 19.and#160;Unexpected Victoryand#8194;345

Epilogue: The Enduring Warand#8194;365

Notes and#8194;380

Further Readingand#8194;429

Acknowledgmentsand#8194;437

Photo Creditsand#8194;439

Indexand#8194;440

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805074482
Author:
Atkinson, Rick
Publisher:
Holt Paperbacks
Author:
Mitter, Rana
Location:
New York
Subject:
Military - World War II
Subject:
World war, 1939-1945
Subject:
Campaigns
Subject:
Africa, north
Subject:
Operation Torch.
Subject:
World War, 19
Edition Number:
1st Owl Books ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Series:
Liberation Trilogy
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
20031001
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Two 16-pp. bandw inserts, 18 maps; endpa
Pages:
736
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.55 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Military » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » Europe » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » General
History and Social Science » Military » World War II » North Africa

An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943 Used Trade Paper
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$8.50 In Stock
Product details 736 pages Owl Books (NY) - English 9780805074482 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Atkinson focuses on 1942 and 1943, showing how central the great drama that unfolded in North Africa was to the ultimate victory of the Allied powers and to America's understanding of itself.
"Synopsis" by , The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan in World War II.
"Synopsis" by ,
The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan

For decades, a major piece of World War II history has gone virtually unwritten. The war began in China, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, and China eventually became the fourth great ally, partner to the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain. Yet its drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue remains little known in the West.

Rana Mitter focuses his gripping narrative on three towering leaders: Chiang Kai-shek, the politically gifted but tragically flawed head of Chinaand#8217;s Nationalist government; Mao Zedong, the Communistsand#8217; fiery ideological stalwart, seen here at the beginning of his epochal career; and the lesser-known Wang Jingwei, who collaborated with the Japanese to form a puppet state in occupied China. Drawing on Chinese archives that have only been unsealed in the past ten years, he brings to vivid new life such characters as Chiangand#8217;s American chief of staff, the unforgettable and#8220;Vinegar Joeand#8221; Stilwell, and such horrific events as the Rape of Nanking and the bombing of Chinaand#8217;s wartime capital, Chongqing. Throughout, Forgotten Ally shows how the Chinese people played an essential role in the wider war effort, at great political and personal sacrifice.

Forgotten Ally rewrites the entire history of World War II. Yet it also offers surprising insights into contemporary China. No twentieth-century event was as crucial in shaping Chinaand#8217;s worldview, and no one can understand China, and its relationship with America today, without this definitive work.

"Synopsis" by ,
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE AND NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of miscalculation and incomparable courage, of calamity and enduring triumph. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson focuses on 1942 and 1943, showing how central the great drama that unfolded in North Africa was to the ultimate victory of the Allied powers and to America's understanding of itself.

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 often poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to 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 fresh insights, Atkinson's vivid narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.

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