Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

I Can See Why it Was Awarded a Pulitzer Prize!

An Army at Dawn, The war in North Africa 1942-1943, by Richard Atkinson tells about the United States first involvement in World War II under code name, Operation Torch . It deals with the planning, shipping of troops to Africa, fighting and many more aspects of this hi...
An Army at Dawn, The war in North Africa 1942-1943, by Richard Atkinson tells about the United States first involvement in World War II under code name, Operation Torch . It deals with the planning, shipping of troops to Africa, fighting and many more aspects of this historical moment of the Second World War. It is a prized read, hence it won the Pulitzer Prize for journalism. This book goes into many details and covers all aspects of the campaign from General Eisenhower to the lowest private. This campaign was an incredible feat and little is known about it to the average American.
November 1942, the United States ships thousands of troops and supplies to the shores of Morocco and Algeria, under Task force 34. The objective was to fight the French and later the Germans in North Africa. The French were fighting under the puppet Vichy government that was loyal to Hitler because he threatened to take over the rest of France if they did not comply. US troops met some resistance and had its share of mishaps, but beat the French quite easily. Through diplomatic channels and negotiations the French quickly switched to becoming our allies. But, this was only a taste of what was to come because the Allies would soon face a well seasoned and trained Axis Afrika Korps under Field Marshal Rommel. Having been badly beaten by Montgomery's British Eighth Army a few months earlier in El Alamein, they were on the move westward to face the Allies.
Early attempts to reach Tunis by the Allies met with little success. Part of the problem was that the Allied Command was disorganized, poorly coordinated and split by rivalry and national chauvinism. Also, American troops were very green, were under poor field leadership, and critical supplies needed were not being delivered. Hence the Axis make gains in Northern Tunisia at Longstop Hill and at Medjez-El-Bab. With the infamous meeting of Churchill and Roosevelt in January of 1943 in Casablanca, pressure was mounting to finish off the Germans so that a new offensive could take place in the spring and early summer to land troops in Sicily under code name, Operation Husky. But it would not be quite that easy.
A bits and pieces war continued in Tunisia for the next two months. Heavy fighting continued at Faid Pass and the Axis made their greatest last attempt to stop the allies at Kasserine. Under operation, Spring Breeze, the Germans were planning, "to go all out for the total destruction of the Americans", General Kesselring declared. They pushed the Allies further back with the aid of their superior Tiger tanks against the weaker Shermans. It seemed like it would be no match. But as they neared the border of Algeria, they would go no further than Thala. Rommel realized that his Afrika Korps, use to freewheeling combat in the open desert had much to learn about this new type of terrain of vulnerable valleys in hill country. Also his supply lines were over extended and they were low on ammunition and fuel. This would turn out to be the high point for the Allies in Northwest Africa. The tide had swung. Torch saved the Allies in the war. It gave the United States a jumping off point to invade Italy, it diverted German air power to that region from others, and most importantly, it deferred a cross channel invasion from England, that would have been a disaster if carried out too early. The taste of war had come to an inexperienced American force that would get much better in the years ahead.
Robert Glasker

posted by Azpooldude on January 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

After reading An Army At Dawn I am sure that when the history of

After reading An Army At Dawn I am sure that when the history of our invasion of Iraq is rewritten Atkinsonn will do it. The text has gross technical errors, is full of the authors self aggrandizing opinions that have no factual bearing on events depicted. There are a ...
After reading An Army At Dawn I am sure that when the history of our invasion of Iraq is rewritten Atkinsonn will do it. The text has gross technical errors, is full of the authors self aggrandizing opinions that have no factual bearing on events depicted. There are a great many references shown but no citations in the text to verify then accuracy of questionable statements. Given the glaring discrepancies in the text on wonders if the references were used for anything other than filling pages. I have read a great many book over sixty plus years and have never read any book that I was moved to be as critical of and disappointed in, it begs the question, does no one do any fact checking or even a cursory review?

posted by GANTunison on June 9, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2013

    After reading An Army At Dawn I am sure that when the history of

    After reading An Army At Dawn I am sure that when the history of our invasion of Iraq is rewritten Atkinsonn will do it. The text has gross technical errors, is full of the authors self aggrandizing opinions that have no factual bearing on events depicted. There are a great many references shown but no citations in the text to verify then accuracy of questionable statements. Given the glaring discrepancies in the text on wonders if the references were used for anything other than filling pages. I have read a great many book over sixty plus years and have never read any book that I was moved to be as critical of and disappointed in, it begs the question, does no one do any fact checking or even a cursory review?

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Serena

    *she sighed and sat by herself in a tree*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Did nothing for me

    Not a full dictionary. Two or three pages of one word translations per letter of the alphabet. So far none of the words I have looked up are in here. Appears to cover 5% of the French language. A waste of time for me.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    nothing new

    nothing new

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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