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An Army at Dawn: The War in Africa, 1942-1943
by Rick Atkinson

Category: Non-fiction / Historical
680 pages; ISBN: 0805074481

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner


By 1942 the allies fighting force consisted of an out of date American military that lacked weaponry and experience, and a British army that had tasted defeat after defeat. It is the Tunisian Campaign in North Africa that hits home how poorly prepared the United States is as they battle the Germans. However, the author contends the war in North Africa is the turning point with changes in leadership, tactics, and weapons. In other words, this is the first effort to modernize the American military with ruthless leadership that under stood men die, but sends those men into helpless scenarios as part of an overall strategy with the United States as the senior ally with improved weapons to compete with the German tanks, etc. For it is in the desert that the Americans begin to end the mythos of the Nazi invincibility and start the path towards superpower.

AN ARMY AT DAWN, the first book in the “Liberation Trilogy” is a powerful look at World War II in North Africa during the early to middle stages of the war. The book grips the reader with easy to grasp data and even more intriguing anecdotes that make it difficult to put down especially when the author provides insight into leaders like Patton. Even more enlightening is Rick Atkinson’s defense of his hypothesis that this is the theater in which the dawning of modern America as a superpower occurs. The book World War II buffs, military aficionados, and anyone who appreciates a deep look at cause and effect will appreciate this superb tome from the author of THE LONG GRAY LINE.

Harriet Klausner


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