'Thorough and scholarly'
Professor Sir Michael Howard in Times Literary Supplement
A first rate work by one of the leading specialists on the First World War'
Professor Jeremy Black in History
'Should become the standard scholarly account of First Ypres'
Dr Nik Gardner in Journal of Military History
'A valuable addition to the growing library of scholarly studies of the British Army's experience on the Western Front'
Professor Peter Simkins in English Historical Review
'The scholarship of the work is massively apparent on every page'
Society of Friends of the National Army Museum Newsletter
'Gripping, pulse-quickening detail'
Worcester Evening News
From the Back Cover
The First Battle, 1914
'A first-rate work by one of the leading specialists on the First World War.' History
"First Ypreswas the stuff of legends. And this excellent book explains why in gripping, pulse-quickening detail." WorcesterEvening News
'...this is a well-researched and readable book that should become the standard scholarly account of First Ypres.' The Journal of Military History
"This is a good account with something for everyone, soldier, descendant, Western Front enthusiast, or student of leadership, intelligence or logistics in war." The British Army Review
"Professor Beckett is one of the great unsung heroes of modern scholarship in British military history...The scholarship of this work is massively apparent on every page...this title earns its place on the bookshelf of anyone with a considered interest in World War One." The Society of Friends of the National Army Museum
"Beckett's survey is thorough and scholarly, and gives to Britain's allies, and to Foch, all the credit due to them." Professor Sir Michael Howard - TLS
The battle for Ypresin 1914 represented the last opportunity for open, mobile warfare on the Western Front for the next four years. It was an end of innocence, marking 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 mythologizing 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) proving a useable myth for the Nazis through the participation of the young Adolf Hitler. Ian Beckett draws on a wide range of sources, including never before published personal accounts, to reappraise the conduct of the battle, its significance and its legacy.
Professor Ian Beckett is an internationally known specialist on the Great War, his publications including acclaimed titles such as The Great War, 1914-1918 (2001), The First World War: The Essential Guide to Sources in the UK National Archives (2003) and (co-edited with Keith Simpson) A Nation in Arms: A Social Study of the British Army in the First World War (1985). Ian Beckett is Professor History at the Universityof Northampton, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and Chairman of the Army Records Society.