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Attrition: Fighting the First World War
 
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Attrition: Fighting the First World War [Kindle Edition]

William Philpott
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Product Description

Book Description

The magnum opus of the First World War, from the outstanding historian at the King's College Department of War Studies.

Product Description

The First World War was too big to be grasped by its participants. In the retelling of their war in the competing memories of leaders and commanders, and the anguished fiction of its combatants, any sense of order and purpose, effort and achievement, was missing.

Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians and those managing the vast economy of industrialised warfare, Attrition explains for the first time why and how this new type of conflict born out of industrial society was fought as it was. It was the first mass war in which the resources of the fully-mobilised societies strained every sinew in a conflict over ideals - and the humblest and highest were all caught up in the national enterprise.

In a stunning narrative, this brilliant and necessary reassessment of the whole war cuts behind the myth-making to reveal the determination, organization and ambition on all sides.

From the Inside Flap

The First World War was too big to be grasped by its participants. Now, a century later, we might better view and understand that world-changing conflict than was possible during its grim aftermath, which was as much the product of an inadequate peace as of the war itself.

In this astonishing re-evaluation of the war and our perceptions of it, William Philpott argues that in the competing and emotionally charged accounts of the events of 1914-1918, memories have become muddled. A war of individual engagement and collective endeavour, the Great War was the first to fully mobilise the vast resources of industrial societies in a conflict over ideals: a struggle in which warfare changed both on and off the battlefield, sucking in whole societies, establishing the pattern of social, political and military affairs for the twentieth century.

Attrition provides a much needed corrective and, for the first time, explains why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought, examining the war across all its fronts: on land, at sea, at home, at the diplomatic table and between allies. With unparalleled insight, Philpott explores how the attitudes, conceptions and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, gave rise to the twentieth century's first ideologically-determined conflict and unprecedented carnage on and behind the battlefield.

In Philpott's stunning narrative, his brilliant and necessary reassessment of the whole war cuts behind the myth-making to reveal the determination, organisation and ambition on all sides.

From the Back Cover

The First World War was too big to be grasped by its participants. Now, a century later, we might better view and understand that world-changing conflict than was possible during its grim aftermath, which was as much the product of an inadequate peace as of the war itself.

In this astonishing re-evaluation of the war and our perceptions of it, William Philpott argues that in the competing and emotionally charged accounts of the events of 1914-1918, memories have become muddled.

Attrition provides a much needed corrective and, for the first time, explains why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought, examining the war across all its fronts: on land, at sea, at home, at the diplomatic table and between allies. With unparalleled insight, Philpott explores how the attitudes, conceptions and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, gave rise to the twentieth century's first ideologically-determined conflict and unprecedented carnage on and behind the battlefield.

In Philpott's stunning narrative, his brilliant and necessary reassessment of the whole war cuts behind the myth-making to reveal the determination, organisation and ambition on all sides.

About the Author

Dr William Philpott has lectured in military history in the Department of War Studies, King's College London, since 2001. He is a specialist in the history of the First World War, in particular British strategy and the history of the French army.
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