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In this first volume of the Liberation Trilogy, Rick Atkinson shows why no modern reader can understand the ultimate victory of the Allied powers without a grasp of the great drama that unfolded in North Africa in 1942 and 1943.
The magnificent conclusion to Rick Atkinson's acclaimed Liberation Trilogy about the Allied triumph in Europe during World War II. It is the twentieth century's unrivaled epic: at a staggering price, the United States and its allies liberated Europe and vanquished Hitler. 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, in The Guns at Last Light, he tells the most dramatic story of all-the titanic battle for Western Europe. D-Day marked the commencement of the final campaign of the European war, 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 Operation 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. Atkinson tells the tale from the perspective of participants at every level, from presidents and generals to war-weary lieutenants and terrified teenage riflemen. When Germany at last surrenders, we understand anew both the devastating cost of this global conflagration and the enormous effort required to win the Allied victory. With the stirring final volume of this monumental trilogy, Atkinson's accomplishment is manifest. He has produced the definitive chronicle of the war that unshackled a continent and preserved freedom in the West.
"You are about to play a personal part in pushing the Germans out of France. Whatever part you take--rifleman, hospital orderly, mechanic, pilot, clerk, gunner, truck driver--you will be an essential factor in a great effort. " As American soldiers fanned out from their beachhead in Normandy in June of 1944 and began the liberation of France, every soldier carried that reminder in his kit. A compact trove of knowledge and reassurance,Instructions for American Servicemen in France during World War IIwas issued to soldiers just before they embarked for France to help them understand both why they were going and what they'd find when they got there. After lying unseen in Army archives for decades, this remarkable guide is now available in a new facsimile edition that reproduces the full text and illustrations of the original along with a new introduction by Rick Atkinson setting the book in context. Written in a straightforward, personal tone, the pamphlet is equal parts guidebook, cultural snapshot, and propaganda piece. A central aim is to dispel any prejudices American soldiers may have about the French--especially relating to their quick capitulation in 1940. Warning soldiers that the defeat "is a raw spot which the Nazis have been riding" since the occupation began,Instructionsis careful to highlight France's long historical role as a major U. S. ally. Following that is a brief, fascinating sketch of the French character ("The French are mentally quick;" "Rich or poor, they are economical") and stark reminders of the deprivation the French have endured under occupation. Yet an air of reassuring confidence pervades the final section of the pamphlet, which reads like a straightforward tourists' guide to Paris and the provinces--like a promise of better days to come once the soldiers complete their mission. Written by anonymous War Department staffers to meet the urgent needs of the moment, with no thought of its historical value,Instructionsfor American Servicemen in France during World War IInevertheless brings to vivid life the closing years of World War II--when optimism was growing, but a long, demanding road still lay ahead.
Based on the true story of Marty Maher, a humble Irish immigrant who rose through the ranks to become one of West Point's most beloved instructors. A rousing tribute to a remarkable man & his way of life.
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