The Liberation Trilogy


SOF Support
Sep 8, 2006
I've read the two published volumes and cannot wait for the third. I know the first volume, An Army at Dawn, is on several reading lists in the US military.

Having read the first two it tends to shatter a number of myths and misconceptions I and others have held or perhaps forgotten existed. We point to WWII as the last "good war," where the Allied cause was strong an unified, our enemies strong and highly intelligent with some of the best equipment on earth, and our warriors virtuous, hardworking, and more intelligent than our foes.

I'll say that our campaigns, and politics, in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy were painful and heartbreaking to read about at times. We kind of succeeded in spite of ourselves and while that shouldn't take away from what was accomplished and the horrific sacrifices made, it does place a lot of decisions, people, and actions in a more comprehensive light. Far from revisionist history, it is a brutal, candid look at the first few years of the war in Europe.

You fans of history should really check it out.
Thanks Freefalling. You've been giving me books to read, and I have to say I've been very satisfied. Band of Brothers (although I had seen the series a handful of times, the book was a great addition. Filled in a lot of the gaps, and gave a better view of the overall of what Easy did.), Helmet for my Pillow and With the Old Breed are fantastic reads.

Looking forward to this. Will pick them up within the week, as I'm almost through Helmet for my Pillow. I need to bookmark one of the threads with reading lists. Thanks again!!
Looking forward to this. Will pick them up within the week, as I'm almost through Helmet for my Pillow. I need to bookmark one of the threads with reading lists. Thanks again!!

LOL... Leckie's book is on my Kindle, waiting for some time from me.

De nada.
Necroposting my own thread...

Reading the last book now, it came out a few weeks ago. I'll write up something when I'm on my computer again. I have 24+ hours of flying and layovers in which to read. Great stuff so far.
So I'm only 21% into the book according my Kindle and we're up to the Red Ball Express/ arguments for Market Garden/ early Sep or so of 1944. If you're familiar with Cornelius Ryan's A Bridge Too Far and The Longest Day (if you aren't I feel bad for you) then much of the book to this point is a re-hash of D-Day planning, execution, the Falaise Pocket, St. Lo, the bocage, etc.

Atkinson's thorough recitation of events and details plus his willingness to address controversies make it worthwhile. I'll dig up some bookmarks later when I'm not so tired, but he has some interesting I found amazing is that SHAEF had a civil affairs team ready to govern Normandy AND a plan. Paging Donny Rumsfeld to the White (House) Courtesy Phone.....

Continuing some themes from earlier books that some folks shy away from: the Allied command didn't like each other, they weren't perfect, they had numerous flaws, and they still managed to muddle through. It wasn't the happy Nazi Killing Family most of us were taught about (if at all) in school.

Excellent book so far. The first two should be out in paperback for cheap and their Kindle versions are running $8.99 if you need to catch up.


ETA: Leckie's book mentioned above from 3 years ago. I HATED it. He's a good writer when he isn't moralizing about anything and everything, but I thought it detracted from his story.
There wouldn't be catching up if I was reading 'em... lol

250 page paperback in 1:03 :p paper books aren't worth the expense with the speed I read :(

Did you take one of those speed reading classes or are you just that fast? I'm pretty quick when I want to be, but I feel like my comprehension would drop dramatically at 250 pages/hr.

Also, adding this series to the long list of books to read. If I could only finish trudging through "Theodore Rex".
At the rate of 250 pages in 63 minutes, you will probably burn through your corneas by age 40 ;-). Just use one eye so you will have some unburned cornea for later :D.

RF 1
I wrapped up the book a few nights ago. On my Kindle it shows 53% as the final page of the epilogue, so the rest is his VERY extensive Notes/ Bibliography sections.

I thought I'd quote some of the last few paragraphs from the Epilogue, as I consider them to be both profound and timeless.

An AAF crewman who completed fifty bomber mission observed, "Never did I feel so much alive. Never did the earth and all of the surroundings look so bright and sharp." And a combat engineer mused, "What we had together was something awfully damned good, something I don't think we'll ever have again as long as we live."

They had been annealed, touched with fire. "We are certainly no smaller than our forefathers," Gavin wrote to his daughter. Alan Moorehead, who watched the scarlet calamity from beginning to end, believed that "here and there a man found greatness in himself."

Yet the war and all that the war contained - nobility, villainy, immeasurable sorrow - is certain to live on even after the last old soldier has gone to his grave. May the earth lie lightly on his bones.

I think if you're into history and don't have this series you are doing yourself a disservice.