An Army at Dawn - Rick Atkinson

An Army at Dawn

By Rick Atkinson

  • Release Date: 2007-05-15
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 331 Ratings



In the first volume of his monumental trilogy about the liberation of Europe in World War II, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson tells the riveting story of the war in North Africa.

The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is a story of courage and enduring triumph, of calamity and miscalculation. In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943. That first year of the Allied war was a pivotal point in American history, the moment when the United States began to act like a great power.

Beginning with the daring amphibious invasion in November 1942, An Army at Dawn follows the American and British armies as they fight the French in Morocco and Algeria, and then take on the Germans and Italians in Tunisia. Battle by battle, an inexperienced and sometimes poorly led army gradually becomes a superb fighting force. Central to the tale are the extraordinary but fallible commanders who come to dominate the battlefield: Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, Montgomery, and Rommel.

Brilliantly researched, rich with new material and vivid insights, Atkinson's narrative provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.


  • History Revealed

    By L D Herring
    Detailed account of the North Africa campaign of 1942-43. A must read for everyone interested in military history.
  • Fills a void in US WWII history - must read

    By JaxonM1
    Without a doubt this is a must read for anyone who claims to be a WWII history buff, or anyone who just loves to read about WWII. It is by far the finest of Rick Atkinson’s trilogy series books, and the two later books will disappoint after reading this one. Having said that, this book really sets the stage for understanding the weak status of the US military machine before and during the initial years of WWII in the African campaign. There are few, if any, books that tell this less glamorous part of US army history. By reading this book, you will appreciate how much the US army grew in a short time to take its place a a military powerhouse.
  • Great writing, maps need improving

    By ModelRocket
    As someone in his mid-twenties this was an important read for me. My knowledge and view of WWII has greatly expanded through such a well written narration of the war in Africa. What fell short for me was the resolution of the maps. They did not hold up well on the retina display making them difficult to study.
  • Interesting

    By Oracle1259
    I found many of the details very interesting reading. Obviously a lot of research went into this book. It seems very accurate. I enjoyed it immensely.
  • As good as it gets

    By Timothy Flint
    The American Army's drive across North Africa in the early days of World War II is a tale of an inexperienced army stumbling its way from blunder to blunder at the cost of thousands of lives before finding the strength to regroup and drive the German and Italian armies out of Tunisia. No one could tell it better than Rick Atkinson, who uses official records and the letters and memories of the soldiers to tell this great story, the first of a series on the American Army in the war.
  • An Army at Dawn

    By One Lung McClung
    I am a WWII junkie. I totally loved reading this book. I already knew about the North African Campaign but never in such detail. If you want to read in depth about the ground campaign of WWII in Europe and Africa, this is the first of a three volume set you should read. I have read both volumes and I'm anxiously awaiting the release of the third.
  • Great read!

    By Gustogeef
    Knew the basics, but Rick really brings out the detail in a very readable way. Shocked to learn we had to fight the French before we could fight the Germans! Rommel was a genius and we were lucky he didn't have a higher priority from Berlin for men & materials. His style is so engaging, you catch yourself wondering the outcome of battles even when you knew ahead of time the results. The way school history books should read....engagingly!