World War II in Africa and Xerxes?

Rick Atkinson, author of “An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 19042-1943”, spends many pages at the beginning of the book making the point that this was one of the largest amphibious operations ever attempted. The combined American and British forces being sent by ship to the shores of North Africa was so big, according to Atkinson, that –

“Some belived it to the be greatest amphibous gamble since Xerxes crossed the Hellespont…”

While the American troops did not whip the Mediterranean for the bad weather they encountered, they did bring a Xerxes-liked confidence in their superiority in numbers and machinery. Thanks to Reading Odyssey member David Schrieberg for recommending the book to me. It does tell a story about the beginning of American involvement in World War II that I did not know well.


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1 Response to World War II in Africa and Xerxes?

  1. May 29, 2007 at 12:53 PM says:

    <p>Thanks for the plug, Phil…And I’m glad you found the book worthwhile.</p><p>Here’s another one for you, although somewhat tangentially related to leadership. I spent the past weekend (Ok, I played some tennis, too) with the best analysis I"ve seen yet of Europe’s struggle with immigration, clashing cultures and the resulting economic/social implications. Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance, by Ian Buruma. While focused specifically on Holland, it’s a terrific piece of reporting and thought about one of Europe’s current central dilemmas.</p><p>Now I’m ready to start on William Randolph Hearst for your project. In between books, I really do need to look for a job…</p><p>Best,<br>David</p>

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