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An Army at Dawn: Book summary and reviews of An Army at Dawn by Rick Atkinson

An Army at Dawn

The War in Africa, 1942-1943, Volume One of the Liberation Trilogy

by Rick Atkinson

An Army at Dawn

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Book Summary

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is an epic story of courage and calamity, of miscalculation and enduring triumph. An Army at Dawn begins on the eve of Operation TORCH, the daring amphibious invasion of Morocco and Algeria. After three days of hard fighting against the French, American and British troops push deeper into North Africa.

But the confidence gained after several early victories soon wanes; casualties mount rapidly; battle plans prove ineffectual, and hope for a quick and decisive victory evaporates. The Allies discover that they are woefully unprepared to fight and win this war. North Africa becomes a proving ground: it is here that American officers learn how to lead, here that soldiers learn how to hate, here that an entire army learns what it will take to vanquish a formidable enemy.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2003

Reviews

Media Reviews

"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." - PW

"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." - Library Journal

"A story of epic proportions . . . An awesome feat of biographical reconstruction." - The Boston Globe

"An Army at Dawn may be the best World War II narrative since Cornelius Ryan's classics, The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far." - Wall Street Journal

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

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The Liberation Trilogy, Vol 1

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