The Day of Battle
The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944Book - 2007
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
In the second volume of his epic trilogy about the liberation of Europe in World War II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the harrowing story of the campaigns in Sicily and Italy
In An Army at Dawn --winner of the Pulitzer Prize--Rick Atkinson provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of Battle , he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome.
The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill, and their military advisers engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizingly high price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, and Monte Cassino were particularly difficult and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. Led by Lieutenant General Mark Clark, one of the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American officers and soldiers became increasingly determined and proficient. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable.
Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, this is narrative history of the first rank. With The Day of Battle , Atkinson has once again given us the definitive account of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.
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This is the second volume of the Liberation Trilogy (begun in An Army at Dawn, The War in North Africa 1942-1943). It is a comprehensive work of the entire Allied effort to invade Nazi-controlled Europe through its "soft underbelly"(as Winston Churchill put it). From the secret memos sent from Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill to the "just-in-case" letters written by soldiers the night before a battle, Rick Atkinson relates this epic story with utter compassion and meticulous care. While a bit technical at times, he pieces the different components of this far-reaching campaign together in a flawless manner.
The heartbreaking tragedies and needless casualties caused by ignorance and the supreme victory gained through hard-nosed determination and bravery gain equal attention in this book. Atkinson uses these counterpoints to illustrate the simple humanity of the people involved in this event that changed world history.
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