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Death of an army Hardcover – 1967

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 195 pages
  • Publisher: Barker; First Edition edition (1967)
  • ASIN: B0000CNOQP
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,711,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Dixie on 13 Mar. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read his book before,. many years ago. It was worth rereading. I enjoyed it. Particularly as this is the commemoration year
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 6 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gives the account of the first months of the war from all sides and the utterly barbaric waste of human lives for a few yards of ground.

For researchers best to know the divisions, brigades and battalions beforehand. Other than that a great read and does not hold back from criticism of the leaders who led the men on the English, French and German side. Should be on a GCSE list of books, if they can put the fictional "Heroes" by Robert Cormier on the list then "Death of an Army" should be there as well.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Why Ypres? 27 July 2000
By Mark Howells - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What were the events that caused that famous part of the Western Front to form around the little Belgian town of Ypres during World War One?
This small volume provides the answers and it is a gem to read. It follows the British Expeditionary Force of the Great War during the months of October and November, 1914 - the battle known as First Ypres to the British.
This was a critical (and ultimately fatal) time for the BEF. The war was still one of movement and this period saw both the Allies and the Germans attempting to flank each other while closing the lines of battle towards the coast.
The book goes a long way towards explaining the "why" behind the eventually static positions of the trench warfare in Flanders. It's interesting to read about topographical features such as chateaus and woods which still stood in their original form when the opposing armies first arrived and came into contact. The remains of these same features would become famous as points of reference on the barren hell-scape of the trenches in just a few months time.
The book does assume that the reader has knowledge about the course of the war up to October of 1914. The retreat from Mons, the Marne, and the BEF's position on the Aisne are touched on only in a cursory manner. For the prelimiaries to First Ypres, see Barbara Tuchman's general introduction "The Guns of August" or more specifically Richard Holmes' "Riding the Retreat: Mons to the Marne 1914 Revisited".
Written in the mid-1960s by a British author, the book is not overly jingoistic. It does a fair and scholarly job of viewing the action from the German point-of-view. The author's criticisms of the BEF's leadership is present yet understated.
Perhaps the author's only (understandable) fault is his lionization of 'Tommy Atkins' - the British common soldier. That they were a completely professional army with more than their share of courage is unquestionable but the author tends to focus on the saints rather than the sinners in the Old Contemptibles' abilities to withstand superior numbers (often at 7-to-1), disaster, confusion, and poor leadership.
My great great uncle soldiered with the 3rd Cavalry division of the BEF and was wounded in October, 1914. This book gave me a clear idea what he had been up against. The BEF was bled dry at First Ypres and ceased to exist as a fighting force due to their exertions. They had bought time for Lord Kitchner to train and equip his "citizen-army" to fight in 1915, but Britain had forever lost its small professional army.
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