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The Day Of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-44 (Liberation Trilogy) Paperback – 2 May 2013


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The Day Of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-44 (Liberation Trilogy) + An Army At Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 (Liberation Trilogy) + The Guns at Last Light: The War in Western Europe, 1944-1945 (Liberation Trilogy)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 816 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (2 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349116350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349116358
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 4 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 47,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Majestic... Atkinson's achievement is to marry prodigious research with a superbly organized narrative and then to overlay the whole with writing as powerful and elegant as any great narrative of war." --"The Wall Street Journal ""A triumph of narrative history, elegantly written, thick with unforgettable description and rooted in the sights and sounds of battle."--"The New York Times" "In "The Day of Battle," Rick Atkinson picks up where he left off in "An Army at Dawn," his history of the North African campaign, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. A planned third volume, on the Normandy invasion and the war in Europe, will complete "The Liberation Trilogy," which is shaping up as a triumph of narrative history, elegantly written, thick with unforgettable description and rooted in the sights and sounds of battle . . . He excels at describing the furor of battle, and the Italian campaign provides him with abundant raw material. . . Mr. Atkinson, a longtime correspondent and editor for "The Washington Post," conveys all of this with sharp-edged immediacy and a keen eye for the monstrous and the absurd."--William Grimes, "The New York Times" "Monumental ... With this book, Rick Atkinson cements his place among America's great popular historians, in the tradition of Bruce Catton and Stephen Ambrose."--"The Washington Post""A very fine book .... Anyone who devoured "An Army at Dawn" with relish will be delighted with Atkinson's account of the Sicilian and Italian campaign."--"The New York Times Book Review""[A] fascinating account of the war in Sicily and Italy."--"USA"" Today""Gripping .... [Atkinson] combines an impressive depth of research with a knack for taut, compelling narrative."--"Star Tribune "(Minneapolis-St. Paul)"Splendid ... the infantrymen who did the fighting will grab at readers' hearts."--"St. Louis"" Post-Dispatch""With "The Day of Battle, " Atkinson again proves himself to stand among the ranks of our most talent

Book Description

The second volume of Rick Atkinson's monumental trilogy about the Liberation of Europe in the Second World War.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Runner on 2 Dec 2010
Format: Paperback
I was impressed by the detail and research content of the first part of Rick Atkinson's Trilogy 'An Army at Dawn'. It seemed to make sense of the situation described to me by two relatives who served in that part of North Africa.

However, I am disappointed in his follow up book. It seems more partisan and omits some details which I feel would have been included before. My father was always distrustful of the American Army and Airforce due to his first hand experience of them. Rick's first book helped to explain why this might be so. This, his second book doesn't.

For example, use the index for 'British Army Royal Artillery' and you find some quotes from Spike Milligan's books. What you do not find is anything meaningful, such as any reference to the bombing of the Royal Artillery's 74th Medium Regiment by the American Air Force at Cassino. This resulted in 35 dead and injured, with a gun and equipment destroyed. As the USAAF had previously bombed the same unit in North Africa resulting in the CO being invalided back to the UK this incident should have been included as an example of why distrust between the two forces might fester.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Peter Monk on 29 Dec 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very revealing read and for one who lived through the period as a pre-teenager, quite a sobering window on the reality of what, then, seemed so brave and gallant.
Such a waste of so many good young lives through the pig-headedness and egoism of those in charge.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan Poole on 31 Oct 2013
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Book was mainly from the American view point.......I was looking for the British view as my father took part with the 8th army.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By D. Nelson on 8 Feb 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
..but not to this degree. Unfortunately, this book is part of the new 'ambrose' like breed of sensationalist and revisionist american military writing. The focus on and lauding of Mark Clark and Fifth Army is pretty transparent and laughable for a book which considers itself a serious historical account. A shame as the writing at times is powerful and emotive. I also feel duty bound to be unhappy with a book that would have you believe that commonwealth troops did not fight and did not fight effectively. Little important detail, little sense of operational scope and patently not a book about anything except the US soldier and their further development as a fighting arm. Avoid.
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By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWERTOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 Oct 2014
Format: Paperback
I bought this book during a visit to SE Sicily where we encountered several WWII cemeteries but heard little about their backgrounds. As it turns out, the very excellent "The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy" devotes about one-third of its substance to the 1943 landings in Sicily and the relatively short period of time it took to wrest the island from the Italians and Germans. For our purposes, it was sufficient to explain what happened in the areas around Siracusa, Gela and Catania where we were traveling. Thankfully, the action was over relatively quickly and Allied (and Italian) losses here were comparatively light. Fighting in the north of Sicily was quite a different story, particularly around Mt. Etna and Catania.

Author Rick Atkinson's great accomplishment in this massive account of the Sicilian/Italian campaigns is the skillful weaving of strategies, battle plans, and politics with actual on-the-ground events and personal experiences of individual soldiers and military leaders. In the latter case, he has gone to some extremes to provide details--often opinions or observations from colleagues and friends--of the prominent military leaders involved in these battles---Eisenhower, Patton, Montgomery, Alexander, Clark, Kesselring, etc.

The takeaway for me from this carefully detailed chronicle was more or less a surprise. I had always bought into the idea that in this "good war" against the Nazis and fascism, the Allied forces followed well-thought out strategies and applied careful tactics on the ground. Author Atkinson, without being hysterical about it, is saying that both strategies and tactics were often badly flawed and the products of political compromise and/or personal rivalries.
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By A W Jones on 3 Nov 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Exemplary writing by Rick Atkinson as always. He manages to cover everything from the high level political aspects down to the misery of the common soldier equally. Along the way, he reveals the incompetence, narrow-mindedness and sheer paranoia of many commanders - particularly Mark Clark, who insisted that every press release referring to Fith Army referred to it as 'Mark Clark's Fith Army and reputedly ordered soldiers holding the southern outposts of Rome to shoot any Eight Army (British) personnel who attempted to move into Rome central before he could stage his own triumphant entrance. This book also does a lot to establish the importance of the Italian campaign in the eventual Allied victory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Roger Trumper on 30 July 2013
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A well written account from a mainly American point of view. Of general interest to British and Canadian readers also.
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By chris maidment on 16 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this is the book to read about the italian campaign,well researched on the stratergy of both sides cannot wait to the authors other books,
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