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

The Few

The dis-oriented author has a special interest in World War II. I read the first installment of Rick Atkinson’s Liberation Trilogy, Army at Dawn. I bought
Day of Battle the day it was released. Army at Dawn chronicled the war in Africa and Day of Battle follows up with the war in Sicily and into mainland Italy.

After reading this book I wonder how we won the war.

After achieving success in Africa, the allies were at an crucial juncture. The British wanted to make sure that America remained focused on Europe. At the same time Britain was not prepared for a cross-channel invasion The army that had defeated Rommel’s Afrika Korps was sitting on it’s hands waiting for something to do.

Eventually, the British convinced the Americans to undertake an invasion of Sicily and then mainland Italy. Churchill suggested that this would be a short campaign that Hitler would be forced to pull resources away from the Eastern Front, relieving the pressure on our ally, Stalin. Stalin pointed out that while Russia was fighting the majority of the German army, America and England were not fighting the Germans anywhere.

This book describes the characters and events that led to Allied victory in Italy. It starts with the invasion of Sicily and follows with the landings on the Italian mainland. I could not put down the book when I read about Anzio and Monte Cassino. The conflicts between individual commanders played a big role in the campaign. It was also interesting to see the conflicts between the forces of the different allied countries.

This is an excellent book and I recommend it to anyone with an interest in World War II.

The Day of Battle gets 5 of 5 dis-oriented smileys  ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-) ;-)

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