The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944

Written by:
Rick Atkinson
Narrated by:
Rick Atkinson

Abridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2007
10 hours 12 minutes
The harrowing story of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.

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 American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943, attack Italy two months later, and then fight their way, mile by bloody mile, north toward Rome.

The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and their military advisors bitterly debated whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even wise. But once underway, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizing price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, the Rapido River, and Cassino were particularly ferocious and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. Led by Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark, among the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American troops became increasingly determined and proficient. With the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory in Europe at last began to seem inevitable.

Drawing on extensive new material from a wide array of primary sources, and written with great drama and flair, The Day of Battle is narrative history of the first rank.

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Valerie P.

This is an excellent second part to his trilogy regarding WWII. Written from known facts and selections from diverse diaries, he writes an accurate history which does not whitewash any historical character.

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This is war history very well-told. We get a glimpse of the personalities involved. I recommend this book.

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A most interesting, and sobering listen. Incredible what the U.S. and their allies had to endure to finally win that portion of Sicily, and Italy. Great insight into the minds of some of those in command, that made errors in judgment because of their own egos. It really makes one stop and think of the courage, and bravery these men had, going up against such great odds. I felt like cheering when they finally won the long fought battle for the monastery on Mt. Casino.

You never know with history books if they are going to be as dry as the desert or so well done you want to stay in the car and listen once you get to work. This is in the latter category. The author takes you there so you can paint a full color 3D picture in your mind. Much of it is not pleasant. Much is brutal; but more than any other WW2 book I've listened to, this one paints a riveting picture of both the heroes and the incompetents.

I greatly enjoy this book. I had read a number of books and saw some movies of some of these events but this account gave a good overview of the battles and problems encountered. The political overlay was most insightfull. I learned a lot from listening to this book.

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Michael Hayes

This second book in the Trilogy is just as good and insightful as book 1. Can't wait to get to book 3. He does not whitewash history here. This is the brutality of war. Highly recommend! I like this narrator better than the first one. The first one tried to do a British accent and it was terrible.

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