Raleigh Trevelyan

The Fall of Rome

The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943–1944

By

Little, Brown 816pp £25 order from our bookshop

Rick Atkinson’s An Army at Dawn, which covered the Allied victories in North Africa, won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003. This, its sequel, which takes us to the fall of Rome, ought to win another. Vivid and humane, it is deeply researched, using many primary sources based on diaries and letters home. Atkinson was an editor on the Washington Post, so understandably the slant is on American achievements, personalities, and tragedies (the book is full of grim as well as heroic stories), but the British side is by no means ignored, and this includes Canadians, New Zealanders, Indians and Poles in the Eighth Army. Atkinson excels also in character portraits of the leaders, from Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Churchill to Patton, Montgomery, Alexander and Mark Clark, hate-figure for most British historians writing about that war.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,
    • 'Readers have no more power to predict where the next story is going to take them than the prisoners had to determi… ,
    • 'Ho was no Soviet or Chinese puppet. He was a nationalist first and foremost. Had the Americans just realised this.… ,