In the first two volumes of his bestselling Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson recounted how the American-led coalition fought through North Africa and Italy to the threshold of victory. Now he tells the most dramatic story of all - the titanic battle for Western Europe.
D-Day marked the commencement of the European war's final campaign, and Atkinson's riveting account of that bold gamble sets the pace for the masterly narrative that follows. The brutal fight in Normandy, the liberation of Paris, the disaster that was Market Garden, the horrific Battle of the Bulge, and finally the thrust to the heart of the Third Reich - all these historic events and more come alive with a wealth of new material and a mesmerizing cast of characters.
With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Rick Atkinson's remarkable accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.
Adding to the trunkful of extended WWII histories by the likes of Sir Max Hastings, Andrew Roberts, Martin Gilbert, John Keegan, and Norman Davies, Atkinson, winner of two Pulitzers (for An Army at Dawn, the first in the Liberation Trilogy, and for reporting), concludes his series on the war in Europe and North Africa with this superb work. Though lacking an overall theme, the book is distinguished by its astonishing range of coverage peopling the pages are German, British, French, Canadian, and (primarily) American generals and common soldiers. Excerpts from the letters of dead soldiers on both sides, as well as from the diaries of captain generals, fill out the story. Atkinson takes readers through battles large and small, strategy as well as on-the-ground tactics, accompanied by vivid maps (courtesy of master cartographer Gene Thorp). Drama, the absurd, and the desperately sad weave throughout the narrative. War, Atkinson writes, is a chaotic, desultory enterprise of reversal and advance, blunder and lan, despair and elation. In his estimation, such was the war for both the victors and the vanquished. His lively, occasionally lyric prose brings the vast theater of battle, from the beaches of Normandy deep into Germany, brilliantly alive. It is hard to imagine a better history of the western front s final phase. Two 16-page b&w photo inserts, 29 maps.
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Guns at Last Light
Very informative read, with the historical accounts of the battles of the campaign towards the end of WW2 and incredibly personal accounts of the individuals involved.