In concept, this is an unusual and, at first sight, attractive book. Imaginatively illustrated and with apparently well-crafted text, it sits nicely on a coffee table and serves as a useful primer to the study of Gallipoli, the Somme and Ypres - providing two "chapters" on each.
As a history, it is incoherent and very limited in scope, however, concentrating on the imagery of these battles rather than on serious study. The storyline jumps about inexplicably and is so packed with cliché and repetitive phraseology that the reader stumbles frequently, becoming (in this case at least) bemused by its clumsiness. This sentence, from one of 6 paragraphs on airpower in the 20th century that mention WW2 as a "moment in history", for example, hints at the overall quality of the text:
"Throughout July the work of the Royal Flying Corps in the gaining of supremacy was fought out as a grim battle above the positions below."
The English is so poor in fact - especially in the captions of some photographs -...
For its illustrations, I do not regret having received this Leo Cooper volume as a gift. I would be very wary, however, about ever putting another on my wish list and one has to hope that the publishers will do better next time.