Atkinson's visceral sympathies lie with Ward; his subtext from earlier books remains unaltered: in war, they send for the hard men. Despite diction that occasionally lapses into the melodramatic, general readers and specialists alike will find worthwhile fare in this intellectually convincing and emotionally compelling narrative.
By the end of the campaign in North Africa, the author convincingly argues, the American army emerged from North Africa ready to lead the Allied forces onto the European continent to finish off the Nazi threat ... The most thorough and satisfying history yet of the campaigns in North Africa.
The book's main strength is its arsenal of battle-by-battle accounts, which will engross military history fans and have war buffs hovering over their maps for hours ... Complementing the battlefield exploits, Atkinson drawing upon thousands of letters, diaries, memoirs and official and unofficial records has unpacked facts that will lift many eyebrows ... Atkinson leaves no doubt he thinks the effort spent in North Africa was critically important because it enabled an inexperienced, bumbling U.S. army to forge itself into an effective fighting machine.