U.S. Army in Northwest Africa

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Warlord, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    After reading almost 400 pages of "An Army at Dawn", by Rick Atkinson, I have a notion that American forces in Northwest Africa made it to Tunis and Bizerte only because they had enough resources to overwhelm the German and Italian armies, and not exactly because of military prowess.

    It's true that individuals did put up good fights, but as a whole, the U.S. Army suffered an unending string of setbacks that only stopped with the Axis surrender, and then because of lack of an enemy.

    T├ębourba, Medjez-el-Bab, Sidi bou Zid, Kasserine, Maknassy... Even El Guettar ended up the way it did only because of the tons of steel the American artillery had at hand.

    And maybe if this is just an author's concept, what makes it relevant is the fact that he's an American, not British or French, and you don't usually get your own countrymen to bash you, unless there is a good reason.

    What do you lads think? Is greenness that dangerous? Or there's something else which shows itself, e.g., in the several Ronsons it took, on average, to destroy a Panther or Tiger?
  2. Earthican

    Earthican Senior Member

    I've seen some interviews of Rick Atkinson and I recall him saying he wrote military history with the view that history is one of the Humanities. By this I gathered he wanted to write the story of the US Army in WWII revolving around the people involved and events they had to deal with. I think he was trying to separate his work from many military histories today that tend more to military science.

    He may have also felt a need to correct Stephen Ambrose's 'Greatest Generation series'. I've heard Atkinson say something to the effect that in real history 'not all the men are valorous nor all the women virtuous'.

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