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The War Horses: The Tragic Fate of a Million Horses Sacrificed in the First World War Hardcover – 27 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Halsgrove; 2nd edition (27 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857040847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857040848
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 25.9 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Publisher

It is estimated that ten million fighting men, almost 800
000 of them British, died in the FirstWorldWar. Only a
fraction of those who were killed have a known grave -
thousands were simply blown into fragments or lie
buried, their graves unknown, in foreign soil. In the
decades following the war's end hundreds of books
appeared written by soldiers, politicians, poets and
preachers, each trying to make sense of the conflict, the
appalling conditions and the seemingly pointless
slaughter. Simply put, the 1914-18 war has become a
metaphor for hell on earth.
Alongside this tide of human cannon fodder was
formed an equally large army of horses and mules -
transport animals and cavalry mounts essential to
the bloody business ahead. While men cheerfully
volunteered in their tens of thousands, similar numbers
of horses were being stripped from farms, liveries, hunt
stables and from private ownership, packed on to ships
and sent overseas. Over 8 million animals were thus
engaged in the war worldwide. On theWestern Front
alone a total of a million horses died. Of those used by
the British Army, themselves numbering almost a million,
only around 60 000 are said to have been returned to
the Britain at the war's end.

About the Author

Simon Butler lives and works in the
Westcountry. This book grew out of
his interest in the GreatWar and his
friendship with those who keep alive
the bond between humans and the
horse.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Zloty Harbinger on 16 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover
An excellent and absorbing account of our debt to horses during the Great War. The author sheds a new light on a well-trodden period of our history through his focus on our four-legged friends. By turns heartbreaking, enlightening and well-detailed without ever becoming bogged down in tedious lists of facts or excessive sentimentality. Superb research and excellent illustrations complete the package - I can't recommend highly enough!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By KatieMB on 8 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent and very well written book giving the reader a very true insight and understanding of the otherwise unknown story of the events and sacrifices in the lives of of such noble and hardworking creatures during the first world war years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Heather Thomson-Stewart on 20 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very poignant book for me as my Grandmothers two pure bred hunters wer taken by the recruitment teams and sent to that hell hole. i often wonder what happened to the poor darlings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By lesley on 5 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wanted to find out about what really happened to all the horses in the First World War.A truly wonderful book with many photos.Some are very sad.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr Rupert Johnson on 28 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sad but enlightening, the sacrifice made in our name , this book was unputadownable, and hasbeen re read many times
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Edna P Reed on 21 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have rated this book five stars,although I didn't read it myself as it was a gift for my husband, he was so taken with it(being a horse lovers) he read it straight off and was very affected by it, such horrors but the love of the soldiers for their horses was very evident. Would recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ritathehomoeopath on 16 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is an easy read but packed with information and original photographs. Simon Butler explores the history of man's relationship with the horse, from charioteers through to modern cavalry. He covers the futility of WW1 without sentimentality, making what could have been a tearjerker into a detailed expose of the conditions in which men and horses struggled, but always lightened by anecdotes and an emphasis on the fondness the soldiers developed for their horses, particularly the draught and pack animals. Altogether a memorable book; he's now written a companion book in the same format called Goodbye Old friend about the demise of the working horse, also well worth reading. Both are books worth keeping or giving as presents.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By waterloo on 15 Jan 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was looking forward to reading this book as i have spent many years researching this very topic myself.I found the rather long introduction giving the history of horses in war somewhat dull and off topic, this book is meant to be about the Great war,not other earlier periods..Whilst many of the Pictures and drawings are new and most interesting, far to many are incorrectly captioned or titled.Whilst you can not expect precise details with such a "coffee table" book you should expect basic facts correct.. getting the wrong nationality of solders ,and im pretty sure i saw a WW2 poster being used (pg 103) and dates wrong (the "opening " of the battle of the Somme in September ??) And i found some basic details missing or un mentioned.
Overall it proved a little disappointing, lacking proper research,and just climbing on the band wagon of the Morpurgo book and film. could do better
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