November 17, 2002
An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943 by Rick Atkinson
(C-SPAN, November 17, 2002, 8 & 11 pm)
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 17, 2002 1:12 PM
The approving interview with the author on NPR
said it was important because "nobody knows"
about N. Africa, just as our big-city interviewers
always preface stories about the war in
Korea, or Burma or just about anyplace
except Vietnam and Normandy with
They are probably correct. None of them ever
show the slightest sign of knowing about
any of that stuff.
But doesn't the fact that practically everybody
knows nothing about the history of 20th
century warfare disqualify practically
everybody from having an opinion about
No one knows anything about anything, but that's okay, because no one's opinion is worth anything anyway. Or so I believe. But I don't know.
Thanks for calling my attention to this book. I can't wait to get my hands on it. It was in North Africa that my dad was field commissioned in the Big Red One. Nasty little scrap with a battery of 88s. Dad came out on top after everyone else he was with was killed. Don't tell me no one knows about North Africa. I just hope he covers what happened after the victory in Tunisia. The First Division apparently kicked the asses of the rear echelon pantywastes who tried to keep the bars off limits to the GIs after all they had been through. Those big brutes apparently didn't deserve a party.
You and me and who else, Jerry?
Might check this out since Atkinson's book on the Gulf War was a great read.
I havn't read the book yet, but I definitely will. I have an opinion on the subject, however, based on somewhat dated (70's-80's) USMC Amphibious Warfare and Landing Force Staff Planning courses. Desert warfare is combined arms warfare with a very heavy emphasis on the air combat element. I submit that the war in North Africa was proof of the principle that, in the desert, when you're out of air power, you're out of beer.
Very likely. Another interpretation of the fighting in N. Africa (with reference to Libya more than northwest Africa) is that it was the closest analogue on land of sea warfare: plenty of space, mobile gun platforms, supply difficulties, no terrain to speak of and no need to concern yourself with civilians getting in the way.