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Ypres: The First Battle 1914 [Paperback]

Ian Beckett
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.99
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Book Description

27 July 2006 1405836202 978-1405836203 1

The battle for Ypres in October and November 1914 represented the last opportunity for open, mobile warfare on the Western Front. In the first study of First Ypres for almost 40 years, Ian Beckett draws on a wide range of sources never previously used to reappraise the conduct of the battle, its significance and its legacy.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (27 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405836202
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405836203
  • Product Dimensions: 2.4 x 12.8 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,140 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'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

Ian Beckett

Front cover:

'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

 

Back cover:

'...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.

 


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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a bargain! 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
5.0 out of 5 stars 1914 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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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family history 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: 3.8 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ypres: The First Battle, 1914 by IFWB 1 Sep 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.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 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.
2 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Opening Chapter 20 Dec 2007
By Russell D. Melling - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent account of the first battle in the bloody tragedy of the Great War in Flanders.
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