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The Great War Generals on the Western Front, 1914-1918 [Kindle Edition]

Robin Neillands
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The verdict of history on the British generals of the First World War - Haig, French, Plumer, Gough and Byng - has been damning.

They sent hundreds of thousands of young men to their deaths on the Western Front - often needlessly.

But is it fair?

In this explosive book, Robin Neillands challenges the popular myth about the incompetence and callousness of the Great War generals and examines the battles of the Western Front through the eyes of the officers to explain the circumstances that led them to plan and fight as they did.

The death toll on the Western Front provides the main evidence against the generals but Neillands examines many other factors and spreads responsibility far beyond the generals and their staff, asking the questions:

· Why was Britain so unprepared for a European war in 1914?

· What role did the British politicians play?

· What was the truth behind Anglo-French relations?

· Can the Australians and Canadians really take credit for the great victories of the War?

· Was the arrival of the American army really decisive?

· Was any general really equipped with the knowledge and information to deal with the horrors of trench warfare?

· How much of what we now believe about the Great War is true?

This thoroughly researched and controversial book shatters many assumptions about the commanders who led the British Army through the Great War. It essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the conflict.

‘Absolutely first class: an eye opener for those brough up on the First World War myths’ –Major-General Julian Thompson, CB, OBE

‘One of our most readable military historians’ –The Birmingham Post

‘A highly readable and thought-provoking book’ –Peter Simkins, Senior Historian at the Imperial War Museum

Robin Neillands is the author of several acclaimed works on the First World War including ‘The Old Contempibles: The British Expeditionary Force, 1914’, ‘Attrition: The Great War on the Western Front, 1916’ and ‘The Death of Glory’.

Endeavour Press is the UK's leading independent publisher of digital books.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1526 KB
  • Print Length: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Endeavour Press (13 Nov. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GB0HYVQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,318 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Pruman
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Absolutely staggering, the things you don't know about WW1. Mr Neillands is highly readable, so long as you realise he has acquired an enormous amount of detail about which regiments were with which corps in what army under which General. Can be a bit heavy going for the non_military mind, but highly enlightening. Clearly even people of my age ( 65-70) seem to have been poorly informed about the army . Only 25% of the way through but astounded how misled we have been by popularity thinking! Go get it- NOW!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great book damaged by its format 30 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a well-rounded account, mainly of the British involvement, on the Western Front. It backs and justifies the relatively recent revisionism from Gary Sheffield et al where the problems for generals and their staff are set out and examined against the bad reputations they garnered at a later date.

What damages the book in this Kindle edition is the absence of a competent copy editor. There are literally dozens of stupid spelling mistakes (looking like 'find and replace' editing) including the hilarious, Freudian howler where British troops at Cambrai were held up by a 'machinehun' !

Also, ironically, where efficient communication is an issue in the execution of the war, the book lacks maps - making for difficult going in the accounts of actions.
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4.0 out of 5 stars No maps 1 May 2014
By Aillas
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very interesting book indeed. He explores the capabilities of the various key Generals and gives statistics to dispel many myths such as the notion that the Generals were safely tucked away many miles behind the frontline. A surprising number were killed in action (over 70 I seem to recall). Reading the book it becomes clear that the main problem in the first war was communication, which in the most part was not the fault of the Generals but simply a lack of suitable technology.

If you believe the slaughter of the first Great war was due to the blundering of the Generals you will find this book interesting.

On my kindle edition he refers to certainly 1 map which I never found.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Paul's Review 21 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this book to be a compelling , well-structured and balanced read.Having travelled across some of WW1 battlefields, I found I could relate to the arguments Mr Neillands has forged.

all in all a first rate book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Recomended 30 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read, I held the common negative views of the generals but this book has , in a very balanced argument, changed my view. If you have an interest in WWI I think you will find this book a facinating choice
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