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The First World War: An Illustrated History (Penguin Books)
The First World War: An Illustrated History (Penguin Books)
by A J P Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AJP Taylor, 23 Feb. 2013
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Outstanding overview by one of the twentieth century's foremost historians. Terrific.
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Goodbye to All That (Twentieth Century Classics)
Goodbye to All That (Twentieth Century Classics)
by Robert Graves
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Goodbye!, 23 Feb. 2013
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An outstanding recollection of life during the Great War. It is so helpful for those who wish to attempt to think constructively about 'the war to end all wars', to read about how those involved at the time felt and thought. We have heard so much from those who would characterize all involved as deluded. It is good to be reminded of the real challenges the army faced and the camerarderie felt towards those they served with.

A first class read.


Mons: The Retreat to Victory
Mons: The Retreat to Victory
by John Terraine
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Months, 13 Jan. 2013
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John Terraine writes as an enthusiast as well as a scholar. His account is very well written and provides a gripping account of the valour as well as the confusion as the main enemy force met a highly professional, but small army of only 5 divisions. Inevitably confusion was a major element on both sides in the very fluid early days.Often the valour of small groups operating almost independently was all that stood between defeat and victory. By the time the remnants had rached the Marne, the German plan had been defeated and the 'Old Contemptibles' had ceased to exist. It is a compelling story.


1914 : The Days of Hope
1914 : The Days of Hope
by Lyn Macdonald
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1914, 14 Dec. 2012
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Lyn Macdonald has written a very readable account of the first year of the Great War. She manages to combine scholarship with a personal dimension that results from her discussions with so many of those who took part. Her account brings to life the actions of that 'contemptible little army' in outclassing and out-shooting the German military machine. The heroism, tenacity and professional excellence of the British Army comes over clearly, as does the shocked courage of the Germans, massacred time and again, advancing against small, and often dislocated, portions of British infantry, cavalry and artillery. By the end of the year, that British Army had ceased to exist, but so had the German momentum and ambition. After that it became a war of attrition while we searched desperately for a solution to the weapons and communications impasse.


Ypres: The First Battle 1914
Ypres: The First Battle 1914
by Ian Beckett
Edition: Paperback
Price: £15.99

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1914, 14 Dec. 2012
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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.


Ypres, 1914: Death of an Army (British Battles)
Ypres, 1914: Death of an Army (British Battles)
by Anthony Farrar-Hockley
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1914, 14 Dec. 2012
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General Farrar-Hockley writes with a soldier's eye. He graphically describes the momentous battle that became known as the First Battle of Ypres. Unlike subsequent battles of the 'trench' phases, First Ypres was still a battle of manoeuvre. The British Army was massively outnumbered but the German Army was outclassed. British marksmanship with the Lee Enfield rifle repeatedly stopped massed assaults in their tracks. Despite repeated assaults, heroism and military excellence, won the day. All this is described with verve and detail in a fascinating account of one of the brilliant exploits of arms of the First World War.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2015 9:15 AM GMT


The Great War
The Great War
by John Terraine
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great War, 14 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: The Great War (Paperback)
John Terrain writes fluently and expertly on a subject about which he was very knowledgeable. In this short overview, he provides a great account of the unfolding events that no-one, at the time, really understood. Not only was warfare in a new and uncharted phase, but international diplomacy was being forced from a professional, but fratenal, nineteenth century business into a new era. Into this maelstrom marched the most professional army Britain has fielded. Unexpectedly, it found itself facing the main thrust of the main enemy attack through Belgium. If fought courageously and tenaciously back from Mons, then around Ypres. By the end of 1914, it had been destroyed but it had stopped an enemy that always outnumbered it by at least two or three to one. One of the leading German Army commanders, von Kluck, described it as "an incomparable army". It was replaced by the Kitchener Army of volunteers, and the rest, as they say, is history.


Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War: The Life and Death of the British Officer in the First World War
Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War: The Life and Death of the British Officer in the First World War
by John Lewis-Stempel
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

5.0 out of 5 stars A Welcome Reappraisal, 19 Oct. 2012
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I have to say that this book delighted me, so much so that I am reading it again, already. I believe that the book lays to rest a number of deeply rooted misconceptions. It addresses the role of the public schools in creating the officers that were sacrificed in their thousands; it acknowledges the role of the OTCs in instilling military awareness; it gives delightful insights into how troops relieved the tedium of trench life and it illustrates the close, dependent relationship of officers and men. The book addresses the different leadership styles of the nations involved showing how officer-led patrols, wiring parties and attacks avoided resentment on the part of the men and forged strong bonds that lasted lifetimes.

Every aspect is illustrated by excerpts from dairies, letters and books that keeps it highly personal. I would highly recommend this to anyone interested in understanding more of the enormous contribution made by very young officers in WW1.


The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia
The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia
Price: £14.29

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essays from the Right, 8 Sept. 2012
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This collection of essays is a welcome corrective to the almost continuous assault on our institutions and society from those who would have yet more involvement of the State in every aspect of our lives. It is written in an academic style yet is eminently readable due to its division into separate essays. Those essays are divided into three sections dealing broadly with relativism in politics, literature and art. I recommend this book to anyone interested in the shape, nature and values of the society we are creating.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2013 4:16 PM BST


Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years [DVD] [1968]
Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years [DVD] [1968]
Dvd ~ Clint Eastwood
Price: £95.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Clint Collection, 29 Jan. 2012
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I have thoroughly enjoyed this collection of Clint's films made with Warner brothers over 35 years. It is a must have for any serious fan of his work. It comes well boxed and presented and is a pleasure to own.


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