The First World War remains a controversy: the bitter reality clouded with damaging and popular myths. Many of these misconceptions relate to the competence of the generals. However, the reality of these battles has been gradually concealed by the allegation that the men were 'lions led by donkeys', and the donkeys - the generals - can therefore absorb much of the blame.
In this well-researched and highly readable book, Robin Neillands reveals the truth behind this fallacy and the events surrounding the battles, and sets them in a wider context. 1915 was a tough year for the British in France, and the burden of fighting was shifting from the British Army to the Territorial Forces who, at this time, were enthusiastic amateurs at best. The battles were either disasters or inconclusive, but the real reason for despair was that this war, entered into for the liberation of Belgium, had lost its moral argument and was now just another bloody, senseless slaughter.
Millions died on the Western Front in 1915 on muddy battlefields. There was no glory attached to their deaths: to all concerned, the war seemed endless and hopeless.