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Playing the Game: The British Junior Infantry Officer on the Western Front 1914-18 (Helion Studies in Military History) Hardcover – Illustrated, 15 Sep 2011


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Playing the Game: The British Junior Infantry Officer on the Western Front 1914-18 (Helion Studies in Military History) + Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War: The Life and Death of the British Officer in the First World War
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Helion & Company Ltd; 1st Edition edition (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1906033846
  • ISBN-13: 978-1906033842
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 677,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

... this is a groundbreaking work; a detailed examination of the platoon and company commanders who had to make the plans of their seniors work. It is scholarly but immensely readable … an essential addition to the library of any military historian, whether professional or interested amateur. --Gordon Corrigan, author of Mud, Blood and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War and The Second World War - A Military History

A valuable contribution to our knowledge of the British Army in the First World War. --Dr Stephen Badsey, University of Wolverhampton

The strength of Moore-Bick's work is that it is accessible to the enthusiast as well as to the academic; thankfully, the familiar subjects are covered succinctly and freshly, including a lot of original research alongside discussion of the conclusions that other researchers have drawn. --Birmingham 'On War' - the unofficial blog of the War Studies research students at the University of Birmingham

Playing the Game is an ambitious work, and succeeds in ... taking a novel view of leadership in the Great War. --Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research

About the Author

Christopher Moore-Bick was educated at Winchester College. It was here that he gained his (to date limited) military experience as a member of the Royal Marine detachment of the school's Combined Cadet Force, also serving for a period as Lord Lieutenant's Cadet for Hampshire. He read history at Christ's College, Cambridge, concentrating on modern British, European and colonial topics including the culture of the two World Wars, intelligence in the 20th Century, and Kenyan independence. Graduating in 2001, he stayed in Cambridge until 2004 to research and write his postgraduate theses on the experiences and culture of First World War officers. During this time he also did some undergraduate teaching on the early decades of modern British intelligence. In 2005 he started working for the Ministry of Defence. He is married and lives in London.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Alex Hawley on 19 Oct. 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent book which has substantially added to my understanding of the Great War's junior, but critically important, commanders and the culture that produced and sustained them. It is impressively sourced and the arguments are carefully crafted but at its heart it is a book about people, what motivated them and how they responded to the most extraordinary of situations. Read this book if you genuinely want to understand the junior officers of the Western Front and the social and political environment that shaped them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Winslade on 2 April 2013
Although I have read many books on war history, few have so thoroughly changed my perception on a subject as this one. I would previously have subscribed to the popular notion that the British officer corps in WW1 were generally incompetent, aloof from and unconcerned about their rank and file troops, and only in command because of the legacy of the outdated Victorian/Edwardian class structure. I suppose I had bought into the notion that "Blackadder Goes Forth" was more than mere comedy, and that the carnage of the Somme assaults was because of an insensitive and out-of-touch officer corps.
Christopher Moore-Bick's book meticulously examines the the British junior officer class in WW1 in context and in great detail; it would be hard to read this book and not form a comprehensive picture of a complex phenomenon. The author poses questions about many aspects of the military-cultural regime, and presents many logical and cogent answers backed by extensive evidence from the writings of the officers themselves.
The quality of the writing is excellent, but it is not what one would call light reading (due perhaps to its obviously serious scholarly origins). I recommend the book, but would urge one to set aside plenty of uninterrupted time to get through it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By antonybird on 28 Dec. 2011
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A very well researched piece of work. The received ideas of the war are examined and found to be far too simplistic. The junior infantry officer in the Great War adapted himself surprisingly quickly to his new habitat,helped to a large degree by his public school and OTC preparation.
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Another new entry to my WW1 library. Very enjoyable read and well worth buying if your into WW1 military history. The other two reviews sums it up.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A good effort, but..... 10 Jun. 2013
By Robert A., Shoaf - Published on Amazon.com
I was looking forward to this book, but, I must say that I was disapponted. The author has done much research, and has some very good points to make, but, overall, I found the book to be a real slog to get through. The author's writing style, to me at least, was not very compelling, but dry, and academic in tone, despite nunerous short excerpts from a number of officer's memoirs of the First World War.
Having read quite a few memoirs, regimental histories, campaign studies, and general histories of WWI, I was hoping for some additional insight from this volume. I cannot say that I recieved it.
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