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Jim Bow
01-29-2009, 09:04 PM
I'm reading Rick Atkinson's "An Army At Dawn", about the totally green US Army's invasion of North Africa in 1942.
One of the initial phases was called "Operation Reservist". It was a plan, drawn up by the Royal Navy, to send 2 250 foot ex USCG cutters, each carrying 300 infantry, into the port of Oran. It was thought that they would sail into port and off load their infantry onto the docks.
The first ship in crashed through the anti submarine boom and was immediately pummeled by French shore batteries and shipboard guns.
The second ship fared no better. All their gun crews were KIA within the first seconds, and within 5 minutes the invaders had suffered 90% casualties.

The book is a fascinating, almost novel like, history. It's the first of a trilogy, and it took a Pulitzer last year. Two thumbs up.

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-29-2009, 09:57 PM
Just finished it. I can see why it got a Pulizter. I think I liked it because it got into the emotional content of all the big-name players. The author must have spent years in research. There must be 150 pages of notes and sources.
Operation Torch must have been the dicesiest invasion ever attempted.
I'm about 100 pages into the companion book, "The Day of Battle". The Allies have just landed on the southern shores of Sicily.

Captain Blight
01-30-2009, 02:00 AM
Another great read about the war in the Mediterranean is Operation Pedestal, about the convoy that resupplied Malta. Unbelievable heroism.

It should be to our national shame that the brave men of the United States Merchant Marine--who fought the same war as the Navy boys-- have been denied veteran's status for so long.