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The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (Volume Two of The Liberation Trilogy) Hardcover – October 2, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
I have a large collection of videos dealing with WWII and, of course, one can get "up front and close" to the action when watching them. The images, combined with the narration and the accompanying music in the background, provide the viewer with a true "you are there" experience. I felt almost the same experience while reading this book. Atkinson's ability to linguistically describe a situation so that the reader feels he or she is right there within the phenomenal frame of a battle is awesome. And I don't use the word "awesome" very often. But in this case it is genuinely applicable. I could actually visualize all the action as it was occurring; such is an excellent writer's ability to translate words into mental pictures.
There is one other thing I found absolutely compelling about this book.Read more ›
Two things will immediately strike the reader about this book: the detail with which Atkinson describes the fighting, and the dazzling prose that he uses to tell this story. Atkinson describes the personalities and details of the main characters in the story - the leaders, from Eisenhower to Kesselring to Patton to Mark Clark to - and also gives telling glimpses of the personal lives of the "grunts" who did the fighting on the ground. His emphasis on detail knows no bounds, as he describes Churchill's meals, the furnishings in Mark Clark's office, and the "Anzio Ritz" - the underground cinema at the Anzio beachhead that showed movies to the soldier's at the world's largest self-sufficient POW camp.
For many authors, these details would detract from the story, but through Atkinson's incredible writing, these details instead add life, character, and flavor to this story. He captures the frustrations and difficulties of preparing and leading these forces, such as when he says that "for reasons known only at echelons above reason" a typical convoy required more than six thousand pages of names.Read more ›
With the passage of time, the release of more documents (>50 years since the end of WWII) and the longer arc of history, it is now possible to write more objective and critical history of the US side of the ETO. The first work, Army at the Dawn, revealed how badly prepared the US Army was at the outbreak of WWII and how green they were when they landed in North Africa. In hindsight Operation Torch was necessary in order to help sort out what tactics and weapons worked, which generals and officers were up to the modern shooting war, and what was the character of the American Army. Though West Point supplied a professional officer cadre, every American Army has essentially been an amateur one - from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish American War, and WWI. Large numbers of keen volunteers which needed several years or campaigns to become a serious fighting army. The Second World War proved no different. Atkinson continues his narrative of the evolution of the American Army with a detailed discussion of the Sicilian and Italian campaigns - the flaws and successes, the personalities, and lesser known but important figures.
This work should interest all readers who have an interest in military history in general, and US military history in particular.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent follow-on to author's Army at Dawn.
Again weaving the grand scheme of things with individual soldier experiences that add flavor to this military history,... Read more
I'm not surprised Atkinson won the Pulitzer for his work. One of the finest histories I've ever read.Published 1 month ago by edward wolfe
Lots of detail. Sometimes a little tedious, but couldn't do without it. Would like to see more maps with more detail !Published 1 month ago by Philip R Brubaker
I have read over 100 books on World War II, including the other two in this trilogy. This is simply one of the very very best. Read morePublished 1 month ago by James K. Dalton
Jumps around a wee bit, but otherwise well written historical account that cuts through the egos and agenda's of the different personalities involved in prosecuting this part of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Steven Reeves
Superb, learned quite a bit about WW 2, and I read a fair bit of history before reading these.Published 1 month ago by Steve