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German Army on Vimy Ridge 1914 - 1917

German Army on Vimy Ridge 1914 - 1917 [Kindle Edition]

Jack Sheldon
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

The book starts with on the capture of Vimy Ridge and the nearly spur of Notre Dame de Lorette in October 1914.

The major battles of spring and autumn 1915 is described as is the twelve month period from late autumn 1915 when British forces occupied the lines on the western Ridge. The period from late autumn 1916 onwards when the Canadian Corps was preparing for the April 1917 assault on the ridge, is given detailed treatment, with special emphasis (based on original German intelligence and interrogation files) on how the defenders built up a detailed picture of Allied plans and how they intended to counter them.

The battle (9 - 14 April 1917) is described in detail and the conclusion summarizes the aftermath of the battle and its consequences for the way the German army prepared for the Third Battle of Ypres.

The book employs a similar format to The German Army on the Somme 1914 - 1916 and The German Army at Passchendaele; the greater part of the text is based on the words of the German participants themselves.

Commentary and evidence from senior commanders is introduced as necessary; the aim once more being to produce a work of popular history, which nevertheless provides an important contribution to the overall historiography of the Great War.

About the Author

Jack Sheldon is now firmly established as the leading authority on the German Army in the First World War. A retired soldier he lives in France and is fully engaged researching and writing. His German Army on the Somme has been a great success and he now has three books to his credit

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 4360 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword (19 Sep 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008KMOE9S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #188,792 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This excellent volume commences with the capture of Vimy Ridge and Notre Dame de Lorette in October 1914 and concludes in 1917. In writing it, Jack Sheldon has once again triumphed in producing yet another outstanding and fascinating volume which I am certain will be sought after and will be sure to grace many military historian's and enthusiast's bookshelves in the years to come, as it is the type of publication that can be read over and over again! Those who have read this author's previous volumes will of course already be familiar with the quality of Jack's work and like me, praise his excellent style and ability to write both flowing and accurate narrative on what many consider to be fairly complex subjects! He has certainly gone to great lengths in his research to complete this splendid title and should be commended on that point alone, as his sources of information must have been numerous, widespread and often fragmented at times.

I am led to believe that the majority of the information contained in this publication may have been previously unpublished and therefore of immense interest to a widespread audience of readers. In my view, it will certainly challenge many previously held ideas and theories and therefore, may well prove controversial at times, however, having said that, in my opinion, that makes excellent and refreshing reading!

For anyone interested in the tunneling during the Great War, they will find this one aspect of the book alone, compelling reading. However I was personally engrossed with the tremendous amount of detail covering the fighting for Vimy Ridge and this along with German accounts covering interrogations of British and Canadian Prisoners of War made absorbing reading too!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sheldonian triumph on Vimy Ridge 26 Jun 2008
The word "Sheldonian" should now enter the lexicon of Great War historiography.

With THE GERMAN ARMY ON VIMY RIDGE, Jack Sheldon completes a superb trilogy, following his chronicles of the German experience on the Somme and at Passchendaele. Here we have meticulous research into Bavarian archives, a properly arranged narrative and a most cogent analysis of the German ordeal in this deadly sector of The Western Front.

Sheldon corrects the widely held view that Vimy Ridge was nearly impregnable. The narrow ridge, he explains, hindered deployment of artillery, and infantrymen, deprived of thoroughly constructed zones of support to the rear, were excessively crammed into the first line of defence.

The narrative is informative but dramatic. This was warfare of a particular intensity : on the ground, above it, and, most notoriously, below it. Never favouring the Anglo-centric view of the war, Sheldon reminds us that in Artois the French, in 1915, fought " a series of battles of extraordinary savagery." The first 130 pages deal mainly with this Franco-German fighting, which yielded lessons that the Germans used to such effect in their defence against the Entente on the Somme a year later. Sheldon concludes his survey of the 1915 fighting, observing that
" One of the ironies of Vimy Ridge is that local geographical factors, lack of depth and diversion of effort to more pressing priorities elsewhere, meant that few of these lessons could be applied here."

The following chapter deals with the trench warfare of 1916. Here we learn that the Germans, despite their predominantly defensive role on the Western Front, were remarkably aggressive and conducted many local attacks, consolidating their superiority and upsetting enemy plans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another fine effort by Jack Sheldon 10 Jun 2008
Author Jack Sheldon has performed a real service to readers in providing a rare glimpse into the first-hand accounts, thoughts and actions of German soldiers of the Great War. For the first time the authentic voice of German veterans can be read by non-German speakers.

Expertly combining first-hand accounts, archival material, as well as large numbers of narratives from German regimental histories, the author weaves together the story of soldiers in combat using their own words.

The value of his writing transcends those interested in the German Army, to those, who reading about their own countries troops, would like to learn more about the men who fought, and often died, "on the other side of the hill."

One of the primary sources left to those researching the German Army of the Great War is the extensive series of regimental histories. With the destruction of the Heeresarchives in 1945, along with almost all official operations and unit files, these histories take on an importance which cannot be overstated. Author Jack Sheldon displays his expert knowledge of the sources with a comprehensive explanation of the use and limitations of the regimental histories. By careful cross checking of facts contained in archival files with those detailed in the regimental histories he demonstrates the fidelity of the regimental accounts.

The primary purpose of the German regimental histories was for the veterans of the units themselves, and to maintain the traditions of units disbanded after the war. The actual writing of the regimental histories was undertaken by single authors or in some cases by regimental associations. With this in mind the author reminds us of the natural (and understandable) human tendency to put endeavors in their best light.
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