An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa (1942-1943)

Abridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2002
7 hours 3 minutes
In the first volume of a remarkable trilogy, Pulitzer Prize winner Rick Atkinson provides the definitive history of the war in North Africa.
The liberation of Europe and the destruction of the Third Reich is an epic story of courage and calamity, of miscalculation and enduring triumph. An Army at Dawn begins on the eve of Operation TORCH, the daring amphibious invasion of Morocco and Algeria. After three days of hard fighting against the French, American and British troops push deeper into North Africa.
But the confidence gained after several early victories soon wanes; casualties mount rapidly; battle plans prove ineffectual, and hope for a quick and decisive victory evaporates. The Allies discover that they are woefully unprepared to fight and win this war. North Africa becomes a proving ground: it is here that American officers learn how to lead, here that soldiers learn how to hate, here that an entire army learns what it will take to vanquish a formidable enemy. Many great battle captains emerged in North Africa, including Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley, and Montgomery. Atkinson brings these commanders vividly to life. He takes us to the front lines of every major battle -- from Oran to Kasserine to Tunis. In North Africa, the Allied coalition came into its own, the enemy forever lost the initiative, and the United States -- for the first time -- began to act like a great power.
Atkinson casts a clear eye on the dark tragedies that haunt every war. The first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, An Army At Dawn is history of the highest order -- brilliantly researched, rich with new material and surprising insights, the deeply human story of a monumental battle for the future of civilization.
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Dio F.

Wow, truly a great presentation !

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Matt L

Detailed and always interesting, Atkinson continues to his tradition of writing excellence. The entire trilogy is outstanding.

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This narrative begins with Operation Torch, so much of the war in North Africa has already taken place when the story begins. I did not know there was so much hard fighting in the course of this part of WWII. Nor did I understand before the extent to which the U.S. war machine needed to harden and improve. U.S. failure to properly train the troops before deployment is a consistent theme. I found much to like in this recorded book and I heartily recommend it to others who may be interested in learning more about this important part of our history.

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David Goodrich

I truly enjoyed this book, having see part of the story on War Stories, which included the author. It is well written though a little hard to follow without a map in hand. Victory costs lives as do mistakes and the author shows the need to obtain Victory

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Michael Manning

One of the best books on Operation Torch and subseqent operations. I highly recommend it.

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Peter Maugle

I thoroughly enjoyed this account of an often overlooked theater of WWII. I thought the author used a good combination of narrative mixed in with some personal stories from the soldiers. Just FYI, this book does not cover the entire North Africa campaign, but specifically the American involvement from late 1942 and after.

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I was unaware of how ill-prepared we were as an army and did not know much if anything of the French fighting with the Germans in North Africa. Helps to place Casablanca in context . Enjoyable read.

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Daniel Wainwright

A very interesting historical look at the Allied invasion of North Africa in '42-'43. Not as many personal stories of individuas as Stephen Ambroise. This is much more of a historical look at the decisions and the decision makers as opposed to the ground soldiers. I enjoyed it.

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Michael Hayes

Excellent read. Can't wait to get to the other two books in the Trilogy.

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