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29 Reviews
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78 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, detailed, comprehensive and compelling
Richard Holmes is by far our most famous and readable contemporary military historian. The strength of his writing is not so much his grasp of strategy and tactics as his understanding of the soldier. Holmes understands what makes the fighting man - and especially the British fighting man - tick. He knows all about the recruitment, training, equipment, doctrine,...
Published on 25 May 2004 by Peter Fenelon

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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tommy by Richard Holmes
An excellent book but i would urge anyone who has a printed copy to keep it. Yet again Amazon and the publishers fail to notify potential kindle readers that this book has no plates/illustrations as in the print edition, this is not only easily solved but is I think a slap in the face to those people who download the book in good faith. It is in others words an incomplete...
Published on 23 Dec 2011 by Kindle Customer


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4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and heartfelt, 25 Sep 2013
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There are many books that tell the soldier's story, often with lengthy excerpts from interviews, diaries or letters. Some develop the context, fill in the detail and add colour - such as this. Alongside Lyn Macdonald, Richard Holmes is a must read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The sadness of the First World War, 26 July 2013
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This review is from: Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front (Paperback)
It is a very detailed description of the First World War- a historian's description. Great detail about battalions, corps,etc. -too much for the ordinary reader. It is made alive by the numerous quotations from the diaries and writings of the men who were there.. Probably best to skim some parts and still understand the tragedy of the War.
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5.0 out of 5 stars TOMMY by Richard Holmes. Recommended by Ian Hislop in The Week, 12 July 2013
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Richard Holmes in depth understanding and treatment of the British Soldier on the Western Front during the First World War has at last helped me to sense for the first time the experience of my father on the Somme and Passchendale. It cost him so much ill health and trouble for the rest of his life, which he could not communicate to me.

The book arrived within a day. In perfect hard-back condition, at a very good price.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richard Holmes at his best!, 2 Feb 2007
This review is from: Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front (Paperback)
Thomas Atkins or Tommy for short, the affectionate nickname often used throughout the world for the British Soldier, first came about in 1815, when the name was used as an example, showing soldiers of the day how to fill out the name section in their Soldiers Pocket Book!

This superb book, written by Britain's top military historian - Professor Richard Holmes, tells the fascinating story of the ordinary British Soldier during the Great War. Covering just about every angle of the ordinary soldier's daily life ("warts and all") from the day he enlisted through to the day he was either de-mobbed or was killed in action, this brilliant book makes compelling reading for the family, military or social history researcher, the battlefield tourist as well as those who just like a "good read",

The author is a most brilliant story teller, he has the reader hanging on his every word and the detailed and fascinating narrative in this volume, is backed up by many superb black and white photographs, making this publication an excellent source of reference and exceptionally good value for money and a must for any bookshelf .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 20 Aug 2014
This review is from: Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front (Paperback)
Fantastic read as usual from Richard.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 13 Sep 2014
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This review is from: Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front (Paperback)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 16 Sep 2014
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good in parts, 25 Aug 2009
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P. B. Hunt (UK) - See all my reviews
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Holmes has an encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, and this reads just like an encyclopedia. Fine as a reference book to dip into for who did what, where and when, but really hard work if you want to read the story of the Somme. It purports to be dedicated to the ordinary soldier, but the first 1/3rd of the book is grinding detail on how units were formed, where the officers came from, and even where they obtained their uniforms! It isn't until after all that is got out of the way that Holmes gets onto the intended subject. The Martin Middlebrook is a far better source for people other than scholars who want to get a feel for what it was like and what happened, as it majors on personal accounts.
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6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tommy, 7 Oct 2004
By A Customer
this book was one of the best read that i have ever read, i was doing common entrance at the time, it helped me with my english and my history altogether a good book
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Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front
Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front by Richard Holmes (Paperback - 7 Mar 2005)
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