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An Army at Dawn

The War in North Africa, 1942-1943
Atkinson, Rick (Book - 2003)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
An Army at Dawn
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An account of the World War II campaign in Morocco and Algeria. Operation Torch, as it was called, became a proving ground where American officers learned to lead, soldiers learned to hate, and an entire army learned what it would take to defeat a formidable enemy.
Authors: Atkinson, Rick
Statement of Responsibility: Rick Atkinson
Title: An army at dawn
the war in North Africa, 1942-1943
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt & Co., 2003
Edition: 1st Owl Books ed
Characteristics: xv, 681 p., [32] p. of plates : ill., maps ; 21 cm.
Notes: "An Owl book."
Originally published: New York : Henry Holt & Co., 2002
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. [543]-654) and index
Contents: Allied chain of command
Passage. A meeting with the Dutchman ; Gathering the ships ; Rendezvous at Cherchel ; On the knees of the gods ; A man must believe in his luck
Landing. "In the night, all cats are grey" ; In Barbary ; Villain ; To the last man ; "Glory enough for us all"
Beachhead. A sword in Algiers ; A blue flag over Oran ; "An orgy of disorder" ; Battle for the Kasbah ; "It's all over for now"
Pushing East. "We live in tragic hours" ; A cold country with a hot sun ; Medjez-el-Bab ; Fat geese on a pond
Primus in Carthago. "Go for the swine with a blithe heart" ; "The dead salute the gods" ; "Jerry is counterattacking!"
A country of defiles. Longstop ; "They shot the little son of a bitch" ; "This is the hand of God"
Casablanca. The ice-cream front ; Speedy Valley ; "The touch of the world" ; The Sinners' Concourse
A bits and pieces war. "Goats set out to lure a tiger" ; "This can't happen to us" ; "The mortal dangers that beset us" ; "A good night for a mass murder"
Kasserine. A hostile debouchment ; None returned ; "Sometimes that is not good enough" ; "This place is too hot" ; "Order, counter-order, and disorder" ; "Lay roughly on the tanks"
The world we knew is a long time dead. Vigil in Red Oak ; "We know there'll be troubles of every sort" ; "One needs luck in war" ; "The devil is come down"
Over the top. "Give them some steel!" ; "Search your soul" ; Night closes down ; "I had a plan
now I have none"
The inner keep. Hell's corner ; Hammering home the cork ; "Count your children now, Adolf!" ; Tunisgrad
Summary: An account of the World War II campaign in Morocco and Algeria. Operation Torch, as it was called, became a proving ground where American officers learned to lead, soldiers learned to hate, and an entire army learned what it would take to defeat a formidable enemy.
Subject Headings: World War, 1939-1945 Campaigns Africa, North Operation Torch, 1942 Africa, North History, Military
Topical Term: World War, 1939-1945
Operation Torch, 1942
LCCN: 2002024130
ISBN: 0805087249
Branch Call Number: 940.5423 A
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Jan 28, 2014
  • Taweel rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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.

Oct 19, 2013
  • nelson21 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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
  • Indigo_Tiger_8 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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
  • Cabby rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Winner of the 2003 Pulitzer prize for history.


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