The Day of Battle

  • by Rick Atkinson
  • Narrated by Rick Atkinson
  • 10 hrs and 10 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In An Army at Dawn, Rick Atkinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, provided a dramatic and authoritative history of the Allied triumph in North Africa. Now, in The Day of Battle, he follows the strengthening American and British armies as they invade Sicily in July 1943 and then, mile by bloody mile, fight their way north toward Rome. The Italian campaign's outcome was never certain; in fact, Roosevelt, Churchill, and their military advisers engaged in heated debate about whether an invasion of the so-called soft underbelly of Europe was even a good idea. But once under way, the commitment to liberate Italy from the Nazis never wavered, despite the agonizingly high price. The battles at Salerno, Anzio, and Monte Cassino were particularly difficult and lethal, yet as the months passed, the Allied forces continued to drive the Germans up the Italian peninsula. Led by Lieutenant General Mark Clark, one of the war's most complex and controversial commanders, American officers and soldiers became increasingly determined and proficient. And with the liberation of Rome in June 1944, ultimate victory at last began to seem inevitable.
Drawing on a wide array of primary source material, written with great drama and flair, this is narrative history of the first rank. With The Day of Battle, Atkinson has once again given us the definitive account of one of history's most compelling military campaigns.

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What the Critics Say

"[An] empathetic, perceptive analysis." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Breathtaking

This is the brutal retelling of the Italian campaign. If you can stomach the vivid reality of war, this book will change your ideas about what WWII really was for the men fighting in Italy. Another marvelous piece of history and prose from Mr. Atkinson.
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- Alexis

Read if you plan to go to Italy.

This book gives you some sense of history. The war in Italy is often overlooked, but it lasted for years. We always have the idea that Italy is a sunny place, but in the hills in the winter it is cold and snowy. Parts of the movie Patton is set in Sicily, so you get the idea that its hot and dry in all of Italy.

The book does reinforce the idea that the Italians maybe make better lovers than fighters (although in Roman times that was not the case). The biggest problem when Allies land on the beaches in Sicily was what to do with all the Italian soldiers who would surrender as soon as they saw the Americans. Eventually the U.S. army just gives up and tells them to leave their guns and go home. After Sicily, the Allies are primarily fighting the Germans so things get much tougher. Places like Anzio were hard fought gains. Other interesting tidbits was that the allies could not bomb Rome because of the feared backlash of American Catholics if they were to damage the Vatican.
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- John S "Avid audible listener for over 10 years."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-24-2007
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio