An Army At Dawn

Read An Army At Dawn   by Rick Atkinson.   Well written with Much detail about                an important campaign little commented upon by historians.   Some important conclusions – one Eisenhower was a Babe in the Woods, never should have been Supreme Commander,  lots of guys died because he was such child.  But one has to understand that he was only a place holder – An Army At DawnMarshall’s idiot boy who would do what he was told until Marshall himself crossed the pond to command Overlord (The invasion of Normandy in 1944) and Roosevelt only put a spoke in that wheel in 1943.  Another conclusion is that with command of the sea the Torch force should gotten back in their ships and landed five hundred miles further east saving themselves that wearing assault through the mountains.  Another point is that Patton was a nutcase and shouldn’t have been allowed to command as much as a guard detail in Nebraska.  Can you imagine Robert E. Lee peeing in A.P. Hill’s bed in order to prod him into action?  Or ordering a commander to have some of his officers killed so as to encourage the troops?  Driving around with a siren blasting standing up in his troop carrier like a Roman Emperor at a triumph.  Montgomery was of course overrated too.  The fact that he had a ten to one superiority in guns and tanks and fifty to one in aircraft having a lot to do with his victory at El Alamein , his only real victory of the war.  He fumbled badly later on in Sicily and disastrously on D-Day when instead of taking Caen on D-Day plus one it took him a month and so unhinged the breakout.  But he was picturesque and so the people loved him.  But that is other terrain.

All in all An Army At Dawn is a good teaching read.  Something to curl with in front of the fire on a winter Saturday.