An Army at Dawn: The War In North Africa, 1942-1943 by Rick Atkinson - review by Simon Heffer

Simon Heffer

Where’s Monty?

An Army at Dawn: The War In North Africa, 1942-1943


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EVER SINCE THE end of the Second World War it has been a fivourite occupation of the British to find misrepresentations by the Americans of their respective involvements in the conflict. Usually, this has taken the form of complaints from British audiences about inaccuracies in Hollywood h.It b egan in 1945 with the preposterous Err01 Flynn vehcle Objective Burma, which suggested that the campaign against the Japanese in that country was fought without the help of a single British Tommy. The diplomatic incident this caused was so emlosive that the f&n was not released in Britain for another seven years, and then only with what Halliwell's Film Guide calls 'an apologetic prologue'.

Rick Atkinson makes much of the tensions between the British and American 'cousins' during the war. They seem to have been so serious that it is hardly surprising a section of Hollywood should have wanted the British written out of the script immediately aftenvards. In his account of the war

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