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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I believe that most readers choose a book from the publisher's advertisements. [eye catching illustrated dust jackets / the publisher review(s) on the jacket flaps]. FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, I HAVE A SUPPLIED A PHOTOGRAPH OF THE BOOK, AND HERE IS WHAT THE JACKET STATES :

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According to the official records of the British Army a total of 346 officers and men were summarily executed at dawn following their convictions by courts martial in the field between the outbreak of the First World War and the end of March 1920. The details of their trials and executions have been closed to the public ever since, but during the last decade there has arisen a sense of profound uneasiness regarding the circumstances surrounding their deaths.

In the preparation of this book Anthony Babington has made use of a great deal of new evidence which has only recently come to light and which has enabled a full and accurate account of these matters to be written for the very first time. It is now apparent that although the majority of the excecuted men were guilty, or technically guilty, of the charges that had been laid against them, many of them were treated with considerable injustice and considerable inhumanity. They were usually tried by comparitavely junior offices; their defences, such as they were, were seldom adequately presented; after the trials had finished the papers were passed for review to a succession of senior commanders who were kept in total ignorance of the mitigating factors which should have influenced their decisions; the condemned were informed of their impending executions either on the evening before, or on the actual morning that they were to be taken out and shot; and there was no proper procedure by which they could appeal. There can be little doubt that a not insubstantial proportion of them had been suffering from emotional shock or nervous exhaustion at the time they had committed their 'offences'.

Few of those who shared the responsibilty for the excecutions will emerge with credit from these revelations, be they senior officers, doctors, or government ministers. This grim, at times horrifying story. But most people will feel that it is a story which should no longer remain untold.

There is a postscript to the book by Major-General Frank Richardson in which he explains the attitudes of the medical profession which prevailed at the time, particularly their failure to acknowledge the existence of shellshock.
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on 29 January 2015
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on 17 September 2014
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