The Rising Tide is military historical fiction and the first novel of a continuing series by Jeff Shaara based on certain theaters of World War II. It covers the North African Campaign from its position in late May to Rommel’s defeat. It also covers Operation Husky in Italy.
The main characters are two men from history, Erwin Rommel and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and two fictional young soldiers, Jack Logan and Sergeant Jesse Adams. Jack Logan was a tank gunner who was eventually taken as a prisoner of war by the Axis but then freed by Allied forces. Sergeant Jesse Adams was a paratrooper with the 505 PIR of the 82nd Airborne. He is selected by Colonel Jim Gavin when Gavin is promoted to Brigadier General to go with Gavin to go to England/Scotland to lead in the preparations for Operation Overlord (the D-day invasion).
This excellent book tells a well-known story in a new way. Jeff Shaara composes a very interest account of the battles in Sicily, Italy, and France forward from both an infantryman’s view and that of the leaders.
My edition of the book is 576 pages long book. The book started slow. It went through the war planning and diplomatic issues showing the interactions of the military personnel from the many countries who make up the allies.
North Africa and Sicily
The action in North Africa showed the difficulties of the soldiers dealing with the weather, inexperienced leadership, and tanks that fired shells that simply bounced off the German tanks.
As the reader, you get to jump into Sicily with the paratroopers. Jeff Shaara brings the reader into the battle. You experience many tense moments when things go wrong. The resourcefulness of the men in the field and how they learn to work together shines through in this part of the book.
Operation Husky with the battle for Italy receives minimal coverage. This section felt rushed through and is adjunct to the rest of the book.
I found the book an interesting read. It brought the events of the North African, and Mediterranean Campaign to life in a good and different way.