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The Rising Tide: A Novel of World War II

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Overview

A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century. The Rising Tide begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation’s most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and ...
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Overview

A modern master of the historical novel, Jeff Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War, and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century. The Rising Tide begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation’s most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and increasingly dramatic events that pulled America into the vortex of this monumental conflict.

As Hitler conquers Poland, Norway, France, and most of Western Europe, England struggles to hold the line. When Germany’s ally Japan launches a stunning attack on Pearl Harbor, America is drawn into the war, fighting to hold back the Japanese conquest of the Pacific, while standing side-by-side with their British ally, the last hope for turning the tide of the war.

Through unforgettable battle scenes in the unforgiving deserts of North Africa and the rugged countryside of Sicily, Shaara tells this story through the voices of this conflict’s most heroic figures, some familiar, some unknown. As British and American forces strike into the “soft underbelly” of Hitler’s Fortress Europa, the new weapons of war come clearly into focus. In North Africa, tank battles unfold in a tapestry of dust and fire unlike any the world has ever seen. In Sicily, the Allies attack their enemy with a barely tested weapon: the paratrooper. As battles rage along the coasts of the Mediterranean, the momentum of the war begins to shift, setting the stage for the massive invasion of France, at a seaside resort called Normandy.

More than an unprecedented and intimate portrait of those who waged this astonishing global war, The Rising Tide is a vivid gallery of characters both immortal and unknown: the as-yet obscure administrator Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose tireless efficiency helped win the war; his subordinates, clashing in both style and personality, from George Patton and Mark Clark to Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. In the desolate hills and deserts, the Allies confront Erwin Rommel, the battlefield genius known as “the Desert Fox,” a wounded beast who hands the Americans their first humiliating defeat in the European theater of the war. From tank driver to paratrooper to the men who gave the commands, Shaara’s stirring portrayals bring the heroic and the tragic to life in brilliant detail.

A new level of accomplishment from this already acclaimed author, The Rising Tide will leave readers eager for the next volume of this superb saga of the war that saved and changed the world.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The launch of Jeff Shaara's proposed WWII trilogy focuses on the brutal desert warfare of 1942 and 1943. The hard-fought Allied campaign against Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps eventually yields victory, but not without terrible losses. As the subsequent invasion of Italy stalls, the Allies begin to prepare for a major new offensive. Riveting battle fiction.
Publishers Weekly
Shaara (To the Last Man; Gone for Soldiers), who has written bestselling and critically acclaimed historical novels covering the American Revolution through World War I, takes on World War II in the wonderful first volume of a planned trilogy. As the book begins, Hitler's forces control western Europe, and U.S. troops face off against the Germans in North Africa. From fall 1942 through spring 1943, the Allies battle Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps. Shaara evokes the agony of desert warfare and the utter chaos of an airborne assault through the experiences of Pvt. Jack Logan, a tank gunner, and Sgt. Jesse Adams, a paratrooper. The challenges-and frequent frustrations-of command are seen through the eyes of such luminaries as generals Dwight Eisenhower, George Patton and Rommel. The Allied victory in Africa is followed by the conquest of Sicily and the invasion of mainland Italy in 1943. With the Italian campaign sputtering, the Allies turn to planning for the decisive event of the European theater, the cross-channel invasion of France, which is where Shaara concludes this sprawling, masterful opening act. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
This is the magnificent opening volume of a trilogy about World War II in Europe. Author Shaara has already shown his skills with his very successful fact-based novels on America's long military history (e.g., To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause). In Rising Tide, he takes readers from the early and uncertain days of the war in North Africa to the beginning of plans for D-day. Shaara says he does not write history. Instead, he enables readers to view history through the eyes of its participants, who in this case include both the greats e.g., President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, Gen. George S. Patton and the ordinary guys just trying to survive the war. The technique is exciting and engrossing and gives a "you are there" feel to the enormous events being described. Even readers who think they know a lot about the great drama and tragedy that was World War II will be fascinated, while those knowing little or nothing of the war will find themselves educated and intrigued. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/06.] Robert Conroy, Warren, MI Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The first in a World War II trilogy forms a weak foundation for the series. The author has covered many American conflicts in earlier works, most recently World War I (To The Last Man, 2004). This time the stage is World War II, but despite the scenery, the play itself is far from dramatic. In a lengthy preface, Shaara wonders what he can add to the legacy of writings about the conflict. He explains that his goal is to tell the story from multiple perspectives, "and to tell their story through their eyes." He chooses notable names (Eisenhower, Rommel, Patton) and a few dogfaces (including Private Jack Logan). The timeline runs from the North African campaign through the invasion of Sicily. The preface, lengthy introduction and overall framework give it the feel of a book for young readers. Here is Erwin Rommel, desperate for supplies in order to succeed in capturing Egypt. Here is Jake Logan peering down the sight of the main gun on his tank. Here is Dwight Eisenhower, trying to balance the egos of George Patton and Bernard Montgomery. Shaara relies on history to give the story cohesion, but his characters remain mere sketches. Both Rommel and the author seem to be running low on fuel. Shaara adds dialogue and inner monologue to otherwise traditional date/time/place historical text. The action of a tank battle occurs over a few pages, while the lengthy conversations at each side's headquarters can run twice as long. Highly charged moments fade quickly between the shuffling of perspectives. Lengthy summaries of minor movements and maps used to illustrate the text impede narrative flow. The multiple voices do not achieve harmony. Likely to appeal to younger readers, but World War II buffsand adult fans of historical fiction will expect more.
From the Publisher
Praise for Jeff Shaara

The Rising Tide

“This is Jeff Shaara at his best, giving us another superb historically grounded novel of one of the most dramatic struggles of World War II.”
–George McGovern

“The wonderful first volume of a planned trilogy . . . Shaara evokes the agony of desert warfare and the utter chaos of an airborne assault. . . . [A] sprawling, masterful opening act.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)

To the Last Man

“A gripping account of World War I.”
–General Tommy R. Franks

“[To the Last Man is] the best novel about the Great War since Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, which it greatly surpasses in depth, scope, and intensity.”
–John Mosier, author of The Myth of the Great War

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345461384
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/4/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 576
  • Sales rank: 174,739
  • Product dimensions: 5.16 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeff Shaara is the New York Times bestselling author of A Chain of Thunder, A Blaze of Glory, The Final Storm, No Less Than Victory, The Steel Wave, The Rising Tide, To the Last Man, The Glorious Cause, Rise to Rebellion, and Gone for Soldiers, as well as Gods and Generals and The Last Full Measure—two novels that complete the Civil War trilogy that began with his father’s Pulitzer Prize–winning classic, The Killer Angels. Shaara was born into a family of Italian immigrants in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University. He lives again in Tallahassee.

From the Hardcover edition.

Good To Know

Shaara didn't begin writing until he was 42 years old. In our interview, he explains, "My father had been the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Killer Angels, and died never fulfilled, nor successful as an author. I had no inclination to pursue writing at all, but was inspired by the suggestion of filmmaker Ron Maxwell, who suggested I continue the Civil War story my father had begun."

For 24 years, Shaara was a dealer in rare coins and precious metals. "The polar opposite career choice and lifestyle of an author," Shaara admits. "My criminology degree was inspired by a serious drive to find fulfillment as a wildlife officer (a game warden). With my coin business thriving, I never pursued the career."

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    1. Hometown:
      Kalispell, Montana
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 21, 1952
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Brunswick, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S. in Criminology, Florida State University, 1974
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

1. THE DESERT RAT

The Libyan Desert May 27, 1942

They huddled in the chill, encased in hard steel, waiting, energized by rumors. Behind them, to the east, the black horizon was visible, silhouetted by the first glow of sunrise. The wireless radio was chattering, the voices of nervous officers far behind the line, the men in tents, who pored over maps, unsure, powerless to do anything about an enemy who might be anywhere at all.

They had climbed into the tank at the first sign of daylight, each of the four men finding his place, their commander perched higher than the rest, settling into his seat just beneath the hatch of the turret. It was still too dark in the west, and the narrow view through the prism of the periscope was too confining, and so he stood, his head and shoulders outside the hatch. The long, thin barrel of the two-pound cannon was just below him, pointing westward, where the enemy was thought to be. He stared until his eyes watered, tried to see the horizon. But it would not be there, not yet, not until the sun had given them enough light to distinguish dull, flat ground from the empty sky.

The air was sharp and cold, but that would not last. Once the sun rose, the heat would come again, and the infantry, a mass of men waiting far behind their armor wall, would seek whatever shelter they had, waking the insects and the scorpions and the snakes. The tank was as good a shelter as a man had in the desert, but there was a price for shade. The thick steel made a perfect oven, and the men would man their posts and glance instinctively toward the hatches, hoping for the faintest wisp of breeze. He blinked, wiped his eyes with a dirty hand, annoyed at the crackling intrusion from the wireless.

“Turn that off!”

“Sir, can’t do that, you know. Orders. The captain . . .”

He ignored the young man’s protest, stared out again. The sun would quickly rise, nothing to block the light, no mountains, no trees, no rolling terrain. In a few short minutes he could see flecks of detail, an uneven field pockmarked by small rocks. There was a shadow, right in front of him, beneath the barrel of the two-pounder. It was his, of course, the low, hulking form of the tank. It makes us a target, he thought. But, then, the Germans are in the west, will have to attack straight into the rising sun. We’ll be able to see them first, certainly. Stupid tactic. But what isn’t stupid out here? Sitting in a fat tin can, armed with a two-pound pop gun, hoping like hell we see him before he sees us.

There was a loud squawk from the wireless.

“Dammit, at least turn that thing down!”

“Sir, I think it’s Captain Digby. He’s upset about something.”

Digby. He stared at the horizon, clear, distinct, thought of the officer who sat sucking on that idiotic pipe. His tank smells like a Turkish whorehouse. And he’s upset. Good. Bloody fool. Carries fat rolls of maps so he can find his way. In a place with no landmarks, no signposts. Stuffs the damned maps into his ammo holders, and so, he runs out of ammo. Begs the rest of us for help. Just look at the sun, Captain. All the signpost you need.

The radio squawked again, and he heard the voice now. Yep. Digby.

“Rec report . . . enemy in motion . . . zzzzzzzzz . . . two hundred . . . zzzzzzzz.” The wireless seemed to go dead, and he looked to the north, could see the British tanks in a ragged line. The crews had climbed into their vehicles, and most of the tank commanders were standing up, searching for something across the vast emptiness. He still looked to the north, thought, yep, there’s Digby. The sixth tank over. Brew yourself a cup of tea, Captain. There’s nothing out here but us Rats.

He glanced down through the hatch, could see little, the tank dark. He knew each man well, more experienced than most, but so very young. They were better than the tank they pushed, the A9. She was fast, maybe faster than anything the Germans had, could maneuver easily over the rocky ground, spin around like a top. In training they had been told that the two-pounder was an effective antitank weapon, firing a solid-steel projectile, supposed to pierce anything the enemy had. It had certainly worked against the Italians, who had come at them with machines that were worn-out in 1918. The armor battles had been one-sided affairs, British tanks and artillery decimating the primitive weapons of their enemy. He remembered the first Italian tanks that had actually put up a good fight, something called an M13. But even that machine was small, and far too light, padded by a sad pile of sandbags around the turret. He could see it in his mind, the direct hit on an M13 that made it seem like an exploding sack of flour. And no one inside survived, ever. Bloody awful, that one. Target practice. Brave men sent to die in broken-down toys.

But then the Germans came, and they brought the real thing, heavier, faster tanks, bigger guns, and suddenly the A9 crews were no longer as fond of their machines. There was something else the Germans had, a particular genius for weaponry. They had an eighty-eight millimeter antiaircraft cannon, long barrel, that threw a shell high enough to churn any pilot’s guts. But the Germans figured out that lowering the barrel and pointing it horizontally made for an antitank weapon like no other. Most of the larger artillery on both sides was like the basic howitzers, firing their shells in an arc. You could hear them coming and might even have a brief second to prepare for impact, time enough perhaps to dive into a slit trench. But the long barrel of the eighty-eight blew a shell right through you in a straight line. No high-screaming wail, no warning. And there wasn’t a single British machine that the eighty-eight wouldn’t blow to pieces.

He lowered himself into the hatch, tried to see the wireless operator, Batchelor, the man who doubled as the gun loader.

“Batch. Did Digby say anything else?”

“I’m trying to raise him, sir. He said something about the rec, then I lost him.”

He pulled himself up, stared out again, mulled over the word: rec. Reconnaissance. Hell of a job, flitting all over the place in light armored cars. They run right up to the Jerries, see what’s what, then run like hell to get away. Nothing but machine guns for protection. Ballsy chaps, those fellows.

Below the gun barrel in front of him, a small hatch opened, and a head emerged. It was the driver, Simmons.

“It’s warming up a bit, sir.”

Simmons was the youngest man in the crew, with bad skin and an unfortunate natural odor that even soap could not seem to cure. But there was no soap here, barely enough water to keep a man alive, and so Simmons had become just one more tank crewman who had to be accepted by his own, regardless of whatever unpleasant personal traits he might bring to the confined space. By now, they all smelled bad enough to offend anyone but themselves. Like Captain Digby’s pipe smoke, it had become a part of each tank’s personality.

“I say, sir. What’s that?”

Simmons was pointing out to the left of the barrel, eleven o’clock, and he stared with the young man, could see the cloud rising up, dark, obliterating the horizon. Simmons said, “A dust storm. Big one. Bloody hell.”

The young man disappeared into the tank, the hatch pulled down over his narrow compartment. The cloud seemed to spread out to the south, farther left, swirling darkness, sunlight reflected in small flecks. The radio squawked again, a chaos of voices, and now he could see new motion, a vehicle emerging from the storm, then two more, their dust trails billowing out behind them as they roared toward the line of tanks. His heart jumped, and he raised his binoculars, saw that they were armored cars, their own, the rec boys. He glanced toward the north, toward Digby’s command tank, looking for the colored flag that would tell them to start the powerful engines. But Digby’s wire antenna held nothing but the command flag, no other sign yet.

He glanced down into the tank, said, “Hands off triggers. Those are ours.”

It was an unnecessary order, the big gun not yet loaded, the machine guns still waiting for the belts of ammo that would feed them. The armored cars rolled past the line of tanks, did not stop. He said aloud, to no one in particular, “Jeez. They’re moving like hell.”

He calmed now, ignored the new sounds from the wireless, thought, guess those chaps don’t like eating that dust storm any more than we do. He looked out toward the dark cloud again, no more than a mile away, rolling closer. He let out a breath. Sure. Why not start the day with another one of these damned storms? By all means let’s eat dirt for breakfast. He began to move, lowering himself into the tank, then he stopped, frozen by a new sound. He looked again toward the great swirling cloud, ugly and familiar, the dull roar of wind and fine grit, a dozen tornadoes winding around themselves. But there were other sounds now, familiar as well. Tracks. Steel on rock. Engines. He froze, stared at the sounds, felt a light breeze in his face. That’s not a dust storm, you bloody idiot. That’s armor. Making their own damned storm.

“Jerries!”

Close by, he heard engines turning over, great belches of black smoke spitting from the other tanks in the formation. He looked that way, saw men disappearing into their tanks, hatches closing. He did not wait for the order from Digby, dropped down to his hard leather seat, pulled the hatch shut, shouted, “Fire ’er up!”

The driver responded, the tank pulsing, a deafening roar that drowned out the ongoing noise from the wireless. He leaned forward, searched through the periscope, felt for his machine gun, shouted again:

“Load ’em! Guns ready!”

The men moved with tight precision, each one doing his job. He looked down, saw the gunner, Moxley, right below and in front of him. He slid forward, put his knees right against the young man’s back. It was the position they had repeated many times, and Moxley never protested, the discomfort of the pressure giving them both leverage as the tank rolled and tossed them about. He reached down, tapped the gunner on the shoulder.

“Wait for my order. Patience. Use the sights. How many rounds?”

“A hundred twenty.”

“They’ll go quick. Don’t want to run out. Not in the mood to be a sitting duck, Private.”

“Me either, sir.”

“Loader!”

“Sir!”

“My Vickers ready?”

“Fit to fire, sir!”

His fingers wrapped around the trigger, and he squeezed, testing, the machine gun coming to life, a brief burst of fire. It was the signal to Simmons to do the same, the driver blessed with two of the Vickers machine guns up front. Simmons let loose a short burst. Well, all right then. We’re ready for you, Jerry. He was breathing heavily, the diesel’s smoke swirling around them, and he focused through the periscope, the dust cloud rolling closer.

“Where the hell are they?”

He punched the button on the crude intercom, wanted to give Simmons the order to move forward. No, wait. Show a little patience yourself. We don’t know what’s out there, not yet. Find a target. He spoke into the intercom now, the only way they could hear him through the roar of the engine.

“Gunner. Anything?”

“Nothing yet. Just dust.”

He stared as they all stared, the fine sand blowing thin clouds against the glass of the periscope, blinding, his eyes watering. He pulled his goggles off the hook beside him, slid them over his head. He hated the goggles, the lenses scratched, blurred, but they kept his eyes dry. He caught a flash of movement, above the dust cloud, coming at them, fast, now right above them. He heard the scream as it passed by and he hunched his shoulders, instinct, shouted, “109s!”

More planes roared past, barely a hundred feet above them, and he tried to ignore them, thought, no sightseeing, you bloody fool. You know what a Messerschmitt looks like. And, we haven’t been blown to hell, so they’re not coming for us. The supply dumps or the support trucks, most likely. Strafe the infantry. Poor bastards. He thought of the antiaircraft gunners, far back, dug into patches of camel thorn brush, lucky to get a brief burst of fire at the low-flying planes. Shoot straight, boys. Knock a few Jerries out of their seats. He stared into the dust cloud again, scanned from side to side. He could still hear the Messerschmitts ripping past, thought, a good-sized flock. If there’s that many 109s, there’s something coming with them. Come on, where the hell are you?

And now he saw them.

On both sides tanks erupted from the dust, rolled right past, the air punched by dull sounds, streaks of white light. He turned in his seat.

“Port! Ninety to port. Move it!”

The tank lurched forward, then spun, pivoting to the left. The dust cloud was everywhere, churned into thick, gray fog by the movement of the big machines. The tank rumbled blindly forward over a carpet of small rocks, and there was a bright flash, a sharp streak of light, thunder on the right side. He jumped in his seat, searched the dust frantically. You missed me! Hah! The gunner spun the turret, and he saw the tank now, black crosses on the sand-yellow armor. The German turret was moving as well, the big gun trying to follow his movement. He shouted to Moxley:

“Ten o’clock! A hundred yards!”

The turret kept moving, painfully slowly, and he watched the barrel of the two-pounder slide into position.

Moxley said, “Got him, sir!”

“Fire when ready!”

The words still hung in the air as the tank rocked from the recoil of the big gun. He fought to see through the smoke and dust, saw the crosses again, said, “Again!”

The two-pounder fired again, and Moxley let out a sound.

“Hit him! Hit him!”

“Fire again!”

They worked in perfect unison, the loader feeding the shells into the breech of the gun, the spent shells ejected automatically into the canvas bag that draped below. He coughed, the cordite smell filling the cabin, and still saw the crosses right in front of him.

“Stop! Watch him!”

They jerked to a halt, and he could see smoke coming from the German tank, waited for the movement, saw it now, the hatch coming open. A thick plume of black smoke poured up from inside the tank, and the men appeared, scrambling out, escaping the burning hulk. His hand gripped the trigger of the machine gun, and he watched four men drop to the ground, staggering, wounded, blinded by the smoke and the shattering blast that had ripped into them. He pulled the trigger, sprayed the machine-gun fire back and forth, all four men going down quickly. He paused, took another breath, fought through the stink of gunpowder, saw movement beyond, more tanks, streaks of light. The fight was all around them, tanks and armored cars, perfect confusion, enemies only yards apart, seeking a target in the dust, firing point-blank.

“Move! Ninety degrees starboard! Forward!”

He searched for another target, all four men rising to the battle, all a part of the chaos, a desperate dance of men and machine.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 111 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(40)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 111 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 3, 2010

    RISING TIDE BY A HIGH SCHOOLER

    What I liked about this book is how it gives a insight into World War II. Rising tide by Jeff Shaara gives us the view of every body on each side. I do not think this would be a good read for the majority of high school students. You have to love history to like this book, you also have to have a sense of maturity to be able to handle this book, which most students do not have regarding this topic. I also believe that it won't be a good read for the high school body because most of us don't like to read historical-non-fiction. When we do read books rather for an assignment or for enjoyment we want action throughout the book not a lot of build up and then just half a chapter of fighting. I however rather enjoyed this book for its keen insight on a major war that changed history and so many things that came from this war. What I like is that the book taught me some historical facts that I didn't already know. The most significant one was that when we first started fighting in North Africa we were fighting the French. I think that it is interesting that we ended up liberating Paris even though they attacked us first. Finally, if you enjoy non-fiction war strategy, then Rising Tide is the book for you. If you want intense action of World War II then pick a different book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    Be veryyyyy prepared for a vigorous history lesson.

    I did enjoy this book; however it became very slow and textbook like. It is good in many places, but also becomes very docile and meticulous. In the end, reading The Rising Tide became a chore. The book was excellent when talking of the common soldier’s perspective and the madness and horror of the frontlines, but often the book would go far too much strategy and would often come out similar to a lecture. It was good at portraying the difficulty of being a leader and what it really means. Often the leaders in the book made mistakes or couldn’t account for something it made for he problems. By the way whenever Churchill is talked about or shows up he is very comedic and his stranger habits are often shown.
    There are many people I would recommend this to. For people who are fans of World War Two and/or US Generals it is a must read. The book shows how difficult it was under Hitler for even his officers. So people who enjoy reading about the holocaust or Nazi would enjoy this.
    For people in high school this is an excellent read… if you are a huge history buff. You must be prepared for the many aspects of history in the book and not expect it to be mainly action. Also, don’t be surprised by its length during certain points it goes by quickly.
    So overall the book was good, but I think I expected to much of a novel and not enough pure history. Anyway I would give this book a two and a half star rating out of five. It definitely taught me much more than I had previously learned about the role of Africa in World War Two. I will probably read some of Jeff Shaara’s other works.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 8, 2011

    Great book, looking forward to rest of series

    Great

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2014

    ok

    if you like reading about the big officers like mongomery, patton or Eisenhower then its good but I have always like the story of the everyday sailor/soldier/marine not the higher ups so if you like that it is a good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    great book

    Shaara is a gifted author that makes history come alive for the reader as if the reader were a front row witness. I have learned so much from reading his books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2012

    I've read many books by Jeff and if you like war, history and wa

    I've read many books by Jeff and if you like war, history and want to read it in a way that makes it more interesting, I would highly recommend reading his books. This book starts off the WWII series. It was good to read about the friction that Patton and the other generals had with each other. It's also interesting to learn about the other theatres of the war besides Western Europe.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    The First Book of An Excellent Trilogy of WW II

    What was it like to have been involved with WW II?
    Jeff Shaara gives you a good idea of the experience with just enough of the Movers and Shakers to keep you oriented with the Big Picture.
    This first book deals with the beginning of the American entry into the War and deals with the North African campaigns both Victories and embarrassments through the Sicilian invasion.
    I have read the trilogy several times and learn something new each time.

    DR5x

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  • Posted May 15, 2011

    OMG!!!!

    This is like one of the best books ever! It puts you right in the action! Read it!

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  • Posted December 4, 2010

    Great book!

    His style of writing puts you there. He has the abilty to bring the characters alive for the reader. If you like military history, you will like all of his books. I will be reading the "Ther Steel Wave" next. Reading all of his booksd in historic order is great!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 27, 2010

    A GOOD LESSON IN WWII HISTORY

    Writer Shaara has made a detailed study of the WWII combats in all three books of these series. It is a rather American-sided view of the events, but then the European "Allies" would perish if it was not for the US Forces.

    It is also true that the French, with the exception of the Résistance, did little to help the war effort, due to their superiority complex as usual. No wonder many say "rather have them as an enemy, than an ally !"

    The English (I exclude the Scots & Irish here, thus not use the word British) as usual think of their superiority over the Americans, still living in Queen Victoria's days. Just think who saved them in WWI & WWII ?? So it's no wonder that they want to get all credits and just ignore what the US Forces do for them.

    As for the Italians, they were never known to fight. They much better things to do.....

    There are a few additions I'd like to make, for the benefit of the readers:
    * the clash of armours at the Kasserine Pass, was won by the Germans due to the very advanced German tanks at that time and Erwin Rommel's seasoned troops. But another very important fact was, that the US rolling material was mostly out of action due to a very mundane reason : Bad air intake filtration of all engines. The engine designs were made for the rust belt (MidWest) region where you never had to clean your filters. Dust wore out all engine pistons, liners and piston rings. It was calculated that 12 oz. of dust was enough to send an engine to the workshop. Try to find an old film (OPERATION HOURGLASS)through the Cummins Diesel dealers (need to find someone over 65 that still remembers it)that shows full details of this.

    * another point not taken in to consideration, was the cooperation of the Sicilian Mafia with the US Forces during the invasion of the island. Many US based members of the "Family" took it as their citizen's duty to alert their cousins and have them help the forces going ashore.

    * finally the map on page 510 has a wrong scale of distances. The correct distance should be 5 miles rather than 200 miles.

    I do hope new series on the Pacific War theatre would be on the agenda for writer Shaara.

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  • Posted March 28, 2010

    living the historical event

    I find Jeff's writing to be rich in detail and accurate historically. I love reading historical fiction. Jeff immerses you in the history of the period and makes it seem as if you are actually there. He makes history seem alive and very relevant. I patrolled the DMZ in Korea in 1969 and 1970. It is my earnest hope that he writes a novel about the Korean Conflict.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Great book for history buffs

    If you want to know all of the details of what was going on behind the scenes at this time when giants walked the Earth then Jeff Shaara's books are a must read. This is all about the men who made it happen and all of their hopes and dreams. Not only are the maps a big help to re-create the sprawl of war, the characters are painted in vivid color.

    I have one to go and can't wait to get my hands on it.

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  • Posted February 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The People Side of WWII--Fascinating

    Jeff Shaara's Rising Tide, part of his WWII trilogy, is a remarkable example of the strengths of historic fiction. 'Historic' because Shaara is painstakingly accurate about all knowable details of the war to end all wars, and 'fiction' because no one can really reproduce all of the personal conversations between generals and political leaders that drove that war. Shaara admirably lives up to--even surpasses--his father Michael Shaara's Killer Angels, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the Civil War, pretty much required reading in most high schools. Not only do readers become intimate with the reasoning behind the Allies Africa campaign, the German Panzer tank battles in Africa, the first use of paratroopers as a weapon, but the story is so compelling, I doubt anyone will ever forget details that would have never been remembered in a textbook. For example, I'm sure I knew at some point in the past that Rommel was sick during his tank campaign in Africa, but it took this book to drive the importance of that point home.

    I happened to read this at the same time as 100 Days, Sandy Woodward's account of the Brit war for the Falklands Island and realized what a massive difference there is between the American and British battle mentality. Americans focus on the end result--how do we win the war with the least loss of life--and the Brits focus on details--approvals, press reaction, cross t's and dotting i's. I mean no disrespect to either side, just an observation.

    The only regret you'll have reading this book is, it's a trilogy. Now, you have to read two more.

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  • Posted February 13, 2010

    Rising Tide

    Not a bad read. History details and character development was very good. Personnally, I like more action than listening to a bunch of generals have political and strategy discussions.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great

    This book is very good in its description of the minds of WWII's military leaders. I plan to read every book in this magnificent series

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    boring, boring, boring

    it keeps you wainting for an explosion of action that never comes. it looses you in all the back an forth politics of war. i read the killer angels and i loved it. but jeff falls short on this book.i am reluctant to read any of his books. i was dying to finish it. it was very boring

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2009

    Great book for a female history buff!

    As a voracious female reader, I usually read a mix of mysteries or "chic lit". I used to read a lot of American historical fiction, but seemed to have gone through them all. It was wonderful to discover this book, mostly because of the era of the war that it covered. Most of us know a fair amount about WWII batles in France and the rest of Nazi-occupied Europe. Or about everything Great Britain had to go through before America was forced into the war.
    But Shaara brings to reality a portion of the war very few of us are familiar with - the northern African campaigns, and the drive into Sicily and up the boot of Italy. It was an intriguing way of learning history, through the eyes of "possible" thoughts of Eisenhauer, Rommel, and Patton, as well as fictional soldiers who rode in the tanks. Now that the third book in this WW II trilogy has come out, I'm looking forward to getting the second one, then reading the newest. Assuming that Shaara did very detailed research, he has made his "novels" a fascinating way in which to learn history - much less painfully than in history textbooks.

    If I were a high school or college history teacher, I would assign Shaara's books on this war, as well as the others he has documented. I read this book almost non-stop, but I admit that most women or non-history lovers might not.

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  • Posted July 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The hell that is war

    Jeff Shaara made an admirable attempt to complete his father's Civil War series, but his sequels, valuable though they are, could not hold a candle to The Killer Angel. Well, Jeff has done a lot of writing since then, and his WWII series, if The Rising Tide is a fair indication, matches the work of his father. What Michael Shaara did for the Civil War, his son is doing for the Second World War. One of the marks of good historical fiction, for me, is the way it prompts me to start researching stuff on the internet. And that's what I found myself doing in Tide. Another of telling sign happens when I find myself living what the characters are going through, and in Jeff's chapters on the tank battles between Rommel and the Allies, I felt the awe. To a lesser extent, only because this topic receives less coverage, is his portrayal of the training and daring of the paratroopers. There are many similar scenes in Tide - POW camps, stress disorders, command failures - that truly bring home the complexity of the topic to readers who have never experienced warfare at any level. The only other WWII series that does this so well is Herman Wouk's Winds of War, and War and Remembrance.

    The Rising Tide is a valuable addition to WWII fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2007

    An oustanding read!!!

    This author has demonstrated time and again his abilty to lead us into the minds of great men. His current book is a page turner and should not be missed. I eagerly await his next book in this triology.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2007

    A reviewer

    As I finished I was ready to start the next book where this one leaves off. The author uses a good mix of high level and down with the grunts view of the North African campaign in 1942-43 for the US and German command. The maps provided keep's one orientated as to who is where as the battle moves across Libya , Tunisia, Sicily and Italy.

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