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Ypres: The British Army and the Battle for Flanders, 1914 Hardcover – 9 Sep 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Longman; 1 edition (9 Sept. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0582506123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0582506121
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.6 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,349,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'...this is a well-researched and readable book that should become the standard scholarly account of First Ypres.'

'Ian F W Beckett's study offers a new examination of First Ypres based on a much broader range of sources, including British and French archival materials as well as memoirs, contemporary accounts and modern schloarship.'

Nikolas Gardner, University of Salford, The Journal of Military History

'...this title earns its place on the bookshelf of anyone with a considered interest in World War One.'

SOFNAM, February 2005

'A first rate work by one of the leading specialists on the First World War, this study draws appropriate attention to the role of the Belgian  and French forces at First Ypres...'

Jeremy Black, University of Exeter, Historical Association Reviews July 2005

"… a very well respected historian of World War One… Beckett has an engaging writing style… this is an accessible account of a key battle"- Military Illustrated January 2007

 

 

From the Back Cover

First Ypres in 1914 was a devastating battle for the British and a turning point for all four of the major armies involved.

Ypres: The First Battle draws on a wide range of British, French, German and Belgian sources in order to reconstruct the battle from all sides. Many of these personal papers and public accounts have never before been published.

Through a shrewd analysis of the most recent secondary works as well as archival materials, Ian F. W. Beckett appraises the significance of First Ypres as a key moment in the Great War marking the transition from war as it had been to war as it would become.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael David Booker on 9 Oct. 2006
Format: Paperback
If you are a military historian or family history researcher with an interest in the Great War and have around ten pounds to spare (yes - a bargain), here is one first rate work you will certainly want to include on your bookshelves.

The author of this splendid volume is acknowledged internationally as a specialist on the British army and the First World War- and as a result of his in depth research, where he has drawn on previously unpublished eye witness accounts and a wide range of other resources, he now provides the reader with a fascinating insight into this, the final major battle of 1914, which also marked the end of the "Race to the Sea"

As well as generally explaining both the significance and legacy of the actual battle, he also covers a wide range of fascinating, subjects that includes leadership and logistics, the land and terrain, the early actions and sorties, an overview of the armies in Flanders at the time and chapters on both Kindermord (the slaughter of the innocents) and the Race to the Sea. There is no doubt therefore, that everyone, no matter what their specialist interest might be, will find something of interest to them here.

In summary, although this is a paperback, it's a snip at this low price and in terms of what the reader will get out of it, is worth much, much more!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By goldsrobin on 14 Dec. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Beckett's book is the latest account of the first year of the first world war. The exploits of Britain's excellent 1914 army made up of regulars and reservists is described in the international and military context. The battles from Mons and Le Cateau to Ypres are well described with useful maps. It is an excellent account of the brilliant feat of arms during which the small British Army stopped the massive German assault through Belgium and into Flanders. In the early stages, four infantry and one cavalry divisions faced I and II German Armies. The Germans were advancing in column to outflank the French and pass around Paris to the west before circling back east to wrap up the French army. They did not succeed. One of the main reasons was the heroism and tenacity of the British Army. By the end of the year, they had ceased to exist. The German attack had been halted and the static phase of the war had begun.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. A. V. Reid on 3 April 2010
Format: Paperback
This is personally fascinating for me.
It documents very clearly the involvement of my grandfather Charles FitzClarene in
the first battle of Ypres.
I have been to the sites on two occasions and this book is a great addition to my collection.

Jane reid
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Well told WW I Story 8 Feb. 2005
By P. Nagy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Ypres: The First Battle, 1914 by Ian F W Beckett (Longman) First Ypres in 1914 was a devastating battle for the British and a turning point for all four of the major armies involved.

Ypres: The First Battle draws on a wide range of British, French, German and Belgian sources in order to reconstruct the battle from all sides. Many of these personal papers and public accounts have never before been published.

Through a shrewd analysis of the most recent secondary works as well as archival materials, Ian F. W. Beckett appraises the significance of First Ypres as a key moment in the Great War marking the transition from war as it had been to war as it would become.

The battle for Ypres in October and November 1914 represented the last opportunity for open, mobile warfare on the Western Front for the next four years. It marked the transition between war as it had been and war as it would become.

The first battle to associate the British army with the `immortal salient, and indeed regarded as the end of the old army, the mythologising of the British struggle has obscured the major role of the French and Belgians in defending Flanders.

But it has also been mythologised from the German perspective, the so called kindermord (slaughter of the innocents) providing a useable myth for the Nazis through the participation of the young Adolf Hitler. In the first study of First Ypres for almost 40 years, Ian F. W. Beckett draws on a wide range of previously neglected sources to reappraise the conduct of the battle, its significance and its legacy.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Ypres: The First Battle, 1914 by IFWB 1 Sept. 2012
By B.W. Autumn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read the book from cover to cover...I found the wording muddy, thus leaving the main points difficult to assemble. The chapters are extensively long for a 240 pg book with momentous volumes of mundane details regarding the various General's physical actions and irrelevant thoughts. One particular account that dragged on for two pages covers the possibility if Sir General Haig took his morning ride before or after Sir General French arrived at his Chateau AND if the arrival of Sir General French may or may not have delayed his afternoon ride... Overall I am very disappointed as the extensive overkill of irrelevant details and lack of pivitol actions within this book detracts from gaining a clear and resolute account of the First Battle of Ypres. Additionally, giving credit where credit is due, IFWB is a talented writer, however, this work displays his outstanding haughty writing style by illuminating extraneous mind-numbing facts (or fiction...)of "behind-the-line" activities, ultimately causing disinterest within a short period.
Ridiculously One-Sided 23 Aug. 2014
By Child of Herodotus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An extremely one sided account of the battle from-surprise!-the British perspective. Disturbingly one sided, in fact. If you're a patriotic British historian praising the gallant "Old Contemptibles" of the BEF in their struggle against the evil Hun, then so be it, but at least give us the Hun's side of the story, as evil as it may be. The Germans in this book are simply phantoms in feldgrau, a wraithlike mist enwrapping the battlefield. There's absolutely nothing on German planning for the autumn offensive in Flanders, much less the units involved in the offensive, their objectives or performance on the battlefield. At the end of one chapter, the author recounts the British dispositions on the eve of battle, October 20. Then, at the beginning of his next chapter, with absolutely no transition, he launches into a discourse about the casualty rates of various British regiments as of the third or fourth day of the battle. What were the cause of the casualties? Since he makes absolutely no mention of the beginning of the German offensive, one could conclude that all of the casualties he so assiduously recounts were the result of rampant syphilis. Surely it couldn't have been enemy action, since to the author, the enemy was apparently nonexistent.

The definitive account of the First Battle of Ypres? Most certainly not. Farrar-Hockley's Death of an Army, while dated, still holds that title. Oh, and F-H was a MUCH better writer.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
the first act 30 April 2010
By Guy Nanin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the history of the first act of the Ypres battle is well narrated . I had to print maps from the to-day michelin's maps to clearly get the geography of the area. these combats were over so such short distances.
it's hard to beleive it was nearly 100 years ago.
Excellent book.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Five Stars 2 Nov. 2014
By Larry Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love war strategy, planning and implementation, you'll love this book.
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