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Passchendaele: The Sacrificial Ground (CASSELL MILITARY PAPERBACKS) Paperback – 8 Nov 2001

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (8 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304359750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304359752
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 6.7 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 149,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Book Description

A compelling account of the battle for Passchendaele from grand strategy at the highest levels right down to the experience of the ordinary infantrymen

About the Author

Nigel Steel and Peter Hart are both historians at the Imperial War Museum in London. They have collaborated on three previous titles, on Gallipoli, Jutland and the war in the air


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Format: Paperback
This is quite simply an excellent book about the bloody slaughter in Belgium in late 1917. There are wonderful extracts from the men who fought and died in Flanders, and some breathtaking descriptions conjure a vivid and harrowing picture of the scene. One can almost feel the cold and misery of the troops, as they were lashed by rain and machine gun bullets.
This is a book that although fairly academic, is remarkably easy to read, however it would be nice to hear more from the German point of view, and to maybe see more extracts from German combattants.
On the whole an excellent book, well written and a thoroughly good read. I would recommend this as a good introduction to 3rd Ypres.
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Format: Paperback
The authors of this book are right when they state that most of the familiar images of the First World War come from the Third Battle of Ypres or Paschendaele as it has come to be known.
The appalling conditions of mud, degredation and terror are conveyed in this book by those best able to comment - the men who fought in the Ypres Salient themselves. The authors access to the Imperial War Museum archive is clear and skilfully used.
I also liked the balance between the traditional (as it has become) view of the First World War - this appalling wasteful slaughter, Lions led by donkeys - and the more revisionist views espoused by writers like Gary Sheffield and Niall Ferguson.
Indeed Plumer was an excellent general as far the the first war general could be excellent. And his 'bite and hold' tactices were far more effective than Hubert Gough's over-ambitious early thrusts, but, as this book points out, 'bite and hold' was so slow that the Germans could go on plugging the gaps. Although Ludendorf was worried by the steady British advance, there was no danger of breakthrough (or break out) unless the German army collapsed, as the Germans themselves hoped the French would do at Verdun.
The descriptions of trench life are both poignant and entertaining. The extensive quotes from accounts, letters and diaries bring the men who fought back to life in our minds.
The only criticism - and this is because of the archive they were working with - is the lack of Germans. There are no accounts from ordinary German soldiers. I fel this would have enhanced what is a very good book.
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Format: Hardcover
Nigel Steel and Peter Hart's third book covering the Great War deals with the Third Battle of Ypres, better known as Passchendaele. This book joins a long list of other titles covering this most horrendous battle of World War One. As in their previous books the authors utilize the accounts of many of the participants in this great struggle. From gunners and footsloggers to the men in the air trying to gain mastery of the airspace above the salient. Using first-hand accounts, interviews, letters and after action reports they put together a fairly comprehensive story of the fighting as experienced by British and Commonwealth soldiers. It must be said that there are very few similar accounts used in this book from the German side.
Overall they do reasonable well in presenting the story of the fighting in the Ypres salient from 1917-1918. However I feel that they may not have done as well as some previous books. At times I found that the narrative appeared to drag or lose its continuity. The authors have attempted to be very fair in their assessment of the British High Command and the involvement or lack of involvement of the politician's back home. The book does not appear to have an axe to grind in regards to any one person's culpability in regards to the tremendous casualties suffered for so little tangible gain. The authors simply present the facts and allow you, the reader, to determine who may be at fault for the loss of so many innocent lives.
I found that the authors offered a very good overview of the circumstances leading to this battle, the tactics used and the decisions of the Commanding Generals.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Extremely good read. Brought home he true horrors of the events. Not to be missed.
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Format: Paperback
A very good read! Good seller....arrived on time....many thanks! Allan Dawkins
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