Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Recommended Reading: "This will get expensive!"

The Day of Battle is volume two of The Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson and details the war in Sicily and Italy, 1943 - 44. I am one third of the way through, enjoying the read immensely and saying the following to my wife: What do I want for Christmas? Volume 1 and 3.

A month ago I had Volume 1 in my hand but replaced it with a book by a local author, Fuhrer, Folk and Fatherland, also a very good read. (More about that book later). I should have got them both. My father's first major battle was in North Africa, his second was Sicily, then on to Italy.

Though father's Navy memoirs contain information about both military engagements, Mr. Atkinson piles on meaningful details by the tonne. I'm knee deep in WW2 history and can't get enough. (Off to the bookstore I go if my wife doesn't find the two other volumes. My budget will take a whack but that's why I make birdhouses).

["Father circumnavigated Africa aboard SS Silver Walnut, 1943"]

Even the 25-page prologue I found information that relates directly to my father's Navy service: After the Allied victory in North Africa the Suez Canal reopened, "saving two months' sailing time for convoys going out to India from Britain, since they no longer had to circumnavigate Africa." As it turned out, however, the Canal did not open soon enough to prevent my father's trip around Africa on his way to Sicily, 1943. But that's another story.

For those wishing to learn more about Sicily and Italy, I highly recommend Atkinson's book.

Photos by GH    


Have you read a gripping book about WW2 recently? Let me know.

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