The Day of Battle : The Liberation Trilogy

  • by Rick Atkinson
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis
  • Series: The Liberation Trilogy
  • 32 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The utter waste and horror of war...

I have listened to and read a great deal of material on both world wars and thought I had a clear grasp of the essential action. Here I was proved wrong. "The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944" is the second of a trilogy covering the North African, Italian and Western Europe theaters. I stumbled across this one first without listening to the others.

Besides my interest in history I have spent much time in Italy and thought this would add detail to the places I have visited and explored. This indeed was the case. I will never view Monte Casino and the surrounding countryside the same again, nor the pleasant hills and villages of Sicily.

The narration is perfect, Jonathan Davis has just the right blend of voice quality and pace to take you through these years of destruction, stupidity, ill fortune and bravery. The author Rick Atkinson provides a good balance of both the Allied and Axis viewpoints and you get a real feel for what forces caused which actions. For you the book is a significant investment in time (not to mention if you get the entire trilogy) but it is well worth the listen.

The research is significant and, although you already know how the story will end, you are continually amazed at the unending calamitous action from both perspectives. I was also introduced to participants from countries that I had not realized were involved, such as the Indian and Polish units that played significant parts in these battles.

It is hard to grasp that these young men (even the generals were relatively young) were our fathers and grandfathers and their epic trials are still within living memory. You will never look at these men the same again after hearing what they went through. By the end of the book you are actually weary of war and death and need a rest.
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An excellent history of an important campaign

What did you love best about The Day of Battle?

My father (J. Nelson Howard, Texas A&M class of 1944) participated in the events in this book, first with the 36th Division and latter with the 88th Division. I have a letter he wrote home on June 5, 1944 from Rome. The day after he was one of the first GI's into Rome.

Dad didn't talk a lot about his time Italy, but I know he hated Mark Clark, as did his Aggie friends.

I learned some of the reasons why from this book, and also heard Clark's side of the story.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Day of Battle?

Reading about the 36th and 88th Divisions.


What about Jonathan Davis’s performance did you like?

Davis's performance was excellent. His Italian was excellent. His German, British, and French accents were a tad off, but at least he didn't overdo them.

Overall production value of this recording was excellent, there were no dropouts, changing speeds and volumes, or repeated clips.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's a long book, but well structured to keep one's interest high.


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- Jim In Texas!

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-16-2013
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio