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The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #2)
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THE SECOND WORLD WAR > WE ARE OPEN - WEEK FOUR - THE DAY OF BATTLE - February 2nd - February 8th - Chapter Three: "Into Battle with Stout Hearts", "How I Love Wars", Snaring the Head Devil , Fevers of an Unknown Origin....etc. (123-178) - No Spoilers

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message 1: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 18, 2015 10:14AM) (new) - added it

Jerome | 4310 comments Mod
Hello, Everyone,

For the week of February 2nd - February 8th, we are reading Chapter 3- "Into Battle with Stout Hearts" - "How I Love Wars" - Snaring the Head Devil - Fevers of an Unknown Origin - A Great Grief - "In a Place Like This" - pages 123-178 of the book-The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson.

The fourth week's reading assignment is:

Week Four- February 2nd - February 8th, 2015
Chapter Three ~ February 2nd ~ February 8th - "Into Battle with Stout Hearts" - "How I Love Wars" - Snaring the Head Devil - Fevers of an Unknown Origin - A Great Grief - "In a Place Like This" - pages 123-178

We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other spotlighted books.

This book is being kicked off on January 12th

We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, local bookstore or on your Kindle.

This weekly thread will be opened up on February 2nd

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Bentley will be leading this discussion and back-up will be Assisting Moderators Bryan, Kathy, Jerome and Jill.

Welcome,

~Jerome

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

The Day of Battle The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #2) by Rick Atkinson by Rick Atkinson Rick Atkinson

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS - ON EACH WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREAD - WE ONLY DISCUSS THE PAGES ASSIGNED OR THE PAGES WHICH WERE COVERED IN PREVIOUS WEEKS. IF YOU GO AHEAD OR WANT TO ENGAGE IN MORE EXPANSIVE DISCUSSION - POST THOSE COMMENTS IN ONE OF THE SPOILER THREADS. THESE CHAPTERS HAVE A LOT OF INFORMATION SO WHEN IN DOUBT CHECK WITH THE CHAPTER OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY TO RECALL WHETHER YOUR COMMENTS ARE ASSIGNMENT SPECIFIC. EXAMPLES OF SPOILER THREADS ARE THE GLOSSARY, THE BIBLIOGRAPHY, THE INTRODUCTION AND THE BOOK AS A WHOLE THREADS.

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

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If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Introduction thread:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Table of Contents and Syllabus:

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary:

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

Glossary - Part One- https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary - Part Two - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Glossary - Part Three - https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Bibliography:

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations. No self promotion, please.

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts - SPOILER THREAD

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

The Day of Battle The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 (World War II Liberation Trilogy, #2) by Rick Atkinson by Rick Atkinson Rick Atkinson

Directions on how to participate in book discussions and how to follow the t's and c's - look at directives given for the discussion Landslide - What Do I Do Next?

https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 2: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new) - added it

Jerome | 4310 comments Mod
All, we do not have to do citations regarding the book or the author being discussed during the book discussion on these discussion threads - nor do we have to cite any personage in the book being discussed while on the discussion threads related to this book.

However if we discuss folks outside the scope of the book or another book is cited which is not the book and author discussed then we do have to do that citation according to our citation rules. That makes it easier to not disrupt the discussion.


message 3: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (last edited Feb 18, 2015 10:14AM) (new) - added it

Jerome | 4310 comments Mod
Everyone, for the week of February 2nd - February 8th, we are reading Chapter 3- "Into Battle with Stout Hearts" - "How I Love Wars" - Snaring the Head Devil - Fevers of an Unknown Origin - A Great Grief - "In a Place Like This."

The fourth week's reading assignment is:

Week Four - February 2nd - February 8th
Chapter Three - "Into Battle with Stout Hearts" - "How I Love Wars" - Snaring the Head Devil - Fevers of an Unknown Origin - A Great Grief - "In a Place Like This" - pages 123-178

Chapter Overview and Summary:

Chapter 3: An Island Redoubt - "Into Battle with Stout Hearts" - "How I Love Wars" - Snaring the Head Devil - Fevers of an Unknown Origin - A Great Grief - "In a Place Like This"

Part Three


An Island Redoubt

"Into Battle with Stout Hearts"

General Bernard Montgomery arrives at the front, and his activity becomes subject to harsh criticism by American commanders. Feldmarschall Kesselring arrives in Sicily as another airborne disaster delays Eighth Army's breakthrough attempts.

"How I Love Wars"

Patton gets his army into battle despite British doubts regarding their ability. Italian troops continue to surrender in droves.

Snaring the Head Devil

Allied commanders continue to debate courses of action in the Italian theater. Churchill favors an invasion of mainland Italy, while Eisenhower remains conflicted until Sicily's conquest persuades him to mount a mainland campaign. The first allied air strikes hit Rome.

Fevers of an Unknown Origin

Logistics and medical problems plague American forces in Sicily, partly due to Patton's indifference. Patton infamously slaps two shell-shocked privates he accuses of cowardice

A Great Grief

Sicilian terrain and German defenses hinder both the progress of Allied ground forces and the effectiveness of air support. Bradley controversially relives Terry Allen of his command.

"In a Place Like This"

Allied armies seize more and more of Sicily. Allied air strikes kill thousands of of civilians and create so much rubble as to impede the Allied advance. Axis troops begin to evacuate following Messina's capture.


message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Folks, I have asked my assisting mod to fix message one - I have fixed the thread header - reading assignment for this week is from 123 - 178.


message 5: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig I did not know that Patton went to visit General Brooke to ask to take Palermo. It shows a deference for command.


message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Interesting the things we do not know. Absolutely that was surprising to me too.


message 7: by Skeetor (new)

Skeetor | 311 comments In reference to Patton slapping the soldiers...I tend to think that it was due to Patton's own battle fatigue. I imagine seeing the bodies of so many soldiers mangled and bleeding, and then seeing a soldier with a physically sound body not at the front probably was in such stark contrast that he forgot himself.


message 8: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig You make a good point, Skeetor, and I also think his head was living in a different time. He did not seem to understand the strains of serving in battle for long-periods. Now we have rotations, these guys had little time for breaks.


message 9: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new) - added it

Jerome | 4310 comments Mod
True. Back in that era, nobody really knew about PTSD, they just called it "battle fatigue." During the North African campaign, medics learned to treat these cases as soon as possible, but this wasn't actually done in Sicily, though I don't recall why.


Adelle | 232 comments I feel Atkinson gives a vivid description of the physical conditions and some of the stresses. Enough to make me, too, to give some consideration to battle fatigue.

A couple other things I thought pertinent: Patton 's daughter wrote that once when she had been hysterical, her father had given her a slap, to stop her crying... to bring her back to herself.

Her interpretation of the slapping incidents :

"He hated to see men killed; he honestly did not believe in battle fatigue--he called it cowardice --and he felt a coward has less chance to stay alive, because fear dulls intuition, and cowardice is catching--the ancient Greeks called it panic [....]"(D'Este, p545).


I'm reading The Day of the Battle and the book on Patton. If it's inappropriate for me to comment this way, please let me know.

And Bradley wrote that Patton had told him, "Sorry to be late... There were a couple of malingerers there [at the hospital]. I slapped one of them to make him mad and put some fight back in him."

Bradley wrote "He [Patton] honestly thought he was putting fight into these men" (D'Este, p535).

Patton A Genius for War by Carlo D'Este Carlo D'Este


message 11: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
I agree with you Adelle - I do not feel that Patton was being malicious - I think he honestly felt he was helping his men - "snap out of it" for their own good and safety. He was medically incorrect of course but he had I think honest intentions.


message 12: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig I also found it interesting to read about the conditions of the men: slow to heal, malaria, etc. Rough.

Then you have to enter a city like Messina with booby traps.


message 13: by Michael (new) - added it

Michael (michaelbl) | 407 comments In an earlier message someone mentioned that the slapping incident may have come from Patton's own battle fatigue. Patton is one of my favorite World War 2 generals. I used to think of MacArthur the same way until I found out how my dad (served under MacArthur in the Pacific) felt about him. Not quite the hard charger that we see in others. I think the incident was complex. Patton was a hard charger. It is likely we will never know how much pressure he put on himself to take ground with his armies (letters to his wife reveal some of this). I think he did have the best interest of his men at heart, and a "coward" in the ranks was, to him a threat to his boys. I think a lot of stressors came together to create the slapping incident. If I remember my reading correctly there were other times when he simply ordered these men to be handled in a location other than the field hospitals.


message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Folks this is the whole syllabus:

The Syllabus for:

The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy 1943-1944

Week One - January 12th - January 18th 2015
Prologue and Part One-1.Across the Middle Sea -Forcing the World Back to Reason - pages 1-46

Week Two - January 19th - January 25th
Part One - 1. Across the Middle Sea - Calypso' Island and The Horses of the Sun and Death of Glory and Part Two The Burning Shore - pages 46-91

Week Three - January 26th - February 1st
Part One -2 The Burning Shore - The Land of the Cyclops and The Loss of Irrecoverable Hours and "Tonight Wear White Pajamas" and "The Dark World is Not Far From Us" - pages 91-121

Week Four - February 2nd - Februrary 8th
Part One -3. An Island Redoubt - "Into Battle with Stout Hearts" and How I Love Wars and Snaring the Head Devil and Fevers of an Unknown Origin and A Great Grief and In A Place Like This - pages 125-175

Week Five - February 9th - February - 15th
Part Two -4.- Salerno - “Risks Must Be Calculated" and Plots, Counterplots, and Cross-plots and The Stillest Shoes the World Could Boast and The Moan of Lost Souls - pages 179-227

Week Six - February 16th - February 22rd
Part Two - 4.Salerno - A Portal Win and Part Two- 5. Corpse of the Siren- "I Give You Naples and "Watch Where You Step and Have No Curiosity at All" and The Mountainous Hinterland - pages 227-263

Week Seven - February 23rd - March 1st
Part Two - 5. Corpse of the Siren - The Mountainous Hinterland and "The Entire World Was Burning" and Part Two - 6. Winter - The Archangel Michael, Here and Everywhere - pages 265-293

Week Eight - March 2nd - March 8th
Part Two - 6. Winter - "A Tank Too Big for the Village Square" and A Gangster's Battle and Too Many Gone West - pages 293-318

Week Nine - March 9th - March 15th
Part Three - 7. A River and a Rock - Colonel Warden Makes a Plan and "Nothing Was Right Except the Courage" - pages 322-350

Week Ten - March 16th -March 22nd
Part Three - 7. A River and a Rock - The Show Must Go On - and 8. Perdition - “Something's Happening" and Through the Looking Glass - pages 351-385

Week Eleven - March 23rd - March 29th
Part Three - 8. Perdition - Jerryland and 9. The Murder Space -This World and the Next World at Strife - pages 385-412

Week Twelve - March 30th - April 5th
Part Three - 9. The Murder Space - The Bitchhead and "Man Is Distinguished from the Beasts" - pages 412-441

Week Thirteen - April 6th - April 12th
Part Four - 10 Four Horsemen - A Fairyland of Silver and Gold and The Weight of Metal - pages 445 - 473

Week Fourteen - April 13th - April 19th
Part Four - 10. Four Horsemen - Dragonflies in the Sun and 11. A Kettle of Grief - Dead Country and "Put the Fear of God into Them" and "You Are All Brave. You Are All Gentlemen" - pages 473-509

Week Fifteen - April 20th - April 26th
Part Four - 11. A Kettle of Grief - "On the Eve of Great Things" and 12. The Great Prize - Shaking Stars from the Heavens - pages 509-536

Week Sixteen - April 27th - May 3rd
Part Four - 12. The Great Prize - A Fifth Army Show - pages 536-555

Week Seventeen - May 4th - May 10th
Part Four - 12. The Great Prize - The Cuckoo's Song and Expulsion of the Barbarians - pages 555-576

Week Eighteen - May 11th - May 17th
Epilogue - pages 577-588

Week Nineteen - May 18th - 24th
Book as a Whole and Final Thoughts


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Sorry to be so late folks

Well this is a gruesome reading from some aspects. Deals a lot with personalities - "special personalities"

It seems to reveal Montgomery as a jerk - no I really want to use another four letter word starting with an s and ending with a t - established on pg 124 para 4 and reconfirmed by the last para on pg 125.

I learned a lot that I think I never new - pg 146 - Malaria - "more cases in Sicily than battle wounds"

And the continuous occurrence of "lost limbs"

Pg 148 - Patton's quote that non-bleeding wounds was "an invention of the Jews" sort of illustrates to me a preconception that soldiers should be able to fight if they are not physically bleeding or broken. I think that is partly the way he thought. I will not give him the benefit of the doubt that he was suffering battle fatigue, as many of my fellow readers seem to, which justified his treatment of soldiers the way he did. The other commanders didn't do it. It was a failure of Patton - he could have been court-martialed for striking the subordinates - he risked the continuity of the offensive if he believed he was necessary to it.

Regarding Adelle's msg. 10 from D'Este (who I like but I haven't read his "Patton") - it may have been what he believed but he should have overcome it - he was the commander. Side note - planning a visit to Virginia and may go to VMI (Virginia Military Institute) where Patton went and one of the things I have read about it in my very brief pre-trip reading indicated that VMI was much tougher than West Point for example in what they subjected their cadets to.

This 20th century war needed pg 150 para 2 mules.

The severity of the fighting is illustrated from a soldier quote pg 151 para 3 - one GI about the heavy shelling of the hills "I don't care if I'm paying taxes for the rest of my life just so they throw that stuff at them instead of throwing me at them" & pg 157 para 2 hill 1035 "fought with grenades, pistols and rifle butts......."

Pg 158 - Troina - so much loss - before this I never heard of it.

Pg 158 - 160 Allen & TR being relieved - the personal anguish - they didn't slap men - maybe because they were closer to the real fighting than a Patton. I assume they had to be relieved but it is indicative of sacrifices at more levels - So far Patton seems to be living OK and with less exposure to danger - OK that is how it should be at his level

Pg 164 - was Patton so good? - maybe pg 169 Truscott had to wait for Patton to enter Messina (while the Germans were still escaping to some extent I guess)

And then Pyle pg 174 para 4 "...it's almost impossible to believe that anything is worth such mass slaughter and misery."

This section had both the strategic and military records and analysis beyond the battles to the overall world war view but it gave us also the picture of the men and their suffering and struggling. So mostly it made me aware of our debt to these fellows and the troops since then (fellows and ladies) - but I digress from the book.

Patton by Essame D'Esterre D'Esterre


message 16: by Bryan (new) - added it

Bryan Craig Thanks Vince. I am still behind too.

You will need to fix your citation:

Patton by Essame by Essame (no photo)


message 17: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 44200 comments Mod
Yes Vincent the Italians were suffering and not just from the war, occupation or Fascism.


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