AUSA Books Highlight Army's WWII Efforts in Italy, Africa

AUSA Books Highlight Army's WWII Efforts in Italy, Africa

Thursday, June 27, 2024

With the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion earlier this month, all eyes were naturally focused on the beaches of Normandy. The spectacle of that day, however, overshadowed another milestone of the war: the 80th anniversary of the liberation of Rome. On June 4, 1944, the American Fifth Army entered Rome after months of fighting their way up the Italian peninsula, becoming the first Allied troops to free a capital city from fascist control.

This serves as a reminder that World War II was indeed a global conflict, with widespread fighting even within the Western theater. The efforts of the US Army in northern Africa, Italy, and southern France were integral to the eventual defeat of the Nazi regime. The AUSA Book Program features several titles that focus on this wider war beyond Normandy.

Starting with the US Army’s first D-day in November 1942—the landings in Morocco and Tunisia in Operation Torch—War of Supply: World War II Allied Logistics in the Mediterranean highlights the challenges of supplying and maintaining armies thousands of miles away on other continents. Author David D. Dworak, a retired colonel who currently serves as Provost of the U.S. War College, details the strategic operations for every great Mediterranean campaign through the conclusion of the war.

A nice complement to Dworak’s overarching history is 1,271 Days a Soldier: The Diaries and Letters of Colonel H. E. Gardiner as an Armor Officer in World War II. This book provides a first-hand view of the fight in northern Africa and Italy from the point of view of a field-grade officer. Gardiner’s journal entries are expertly edited by Col. (ret.) Dominic J. Caracillo and supplemented with notes, photos, and maps. Lt. Gen. (ret.) H.R. McMaster provides the foreword in what Gen. (ret.) David Petraeus calls “a riveting and thoroughly engrossing read.”

A third AUSA book that covers the wider European theater is Sharpen Your Bayonets: A Biography of Lieutenant General John Wilson “Iron Mike” O’Daniel, Commander, 3rd Infantry Division in World War II.  This is the first full-length biography of one of the great fighting generals of the 20th Century. O’Daniel commanded the 3rd Infantry Division from Anzio to the end of the war in Europe. Along the way, the division invaded southern France in Operation Dragoon, fought through the Colmar Pocket, and liberated Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest (contrary to what was portrayed in a famous HBO miniseries). Military Review notes that author Timothy R. Stoy “has done a great service to the public” with his “superb biography.”

Please visit to order a copy of these and other titles in the AUSA Book Program. Use the promo code AUSA for select member discounts when purchasing directly through the publisher links.