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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all those interested in the Great War!, 29 Jan 2002
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
This book is highly recommended for all those who are enthusiasts of the Great War and especially for those whose interests focus on the soldier in the front line: the man in the mud. As a Machine gunner, George Coppard was at the cutting edge of operations and in the thick of the fighting; his descriptions of the conditions of battle leave little to the imagination and help to fill in those gaps left by sources which cannot draw on personal experience.
This book will be of special to those who are researching deatils concerning the battlefield experiences of relatives who fought on the Western Front who may have left very little to go on; my grandfather fought at Passchendaele as a machine gunner and never spoke about it. George Coppard's account of his experiences helped me to piece together the few threads of information I possess.
A must, therefore!
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant, 24 Sep 2002
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Having read most of the 'standard' texts on WWI such as those by Sassoon, Graves etc I stumbled upon this book almost by accident and having no knowledge of it wasn't sure what to expect.
I needn't have worried as this book is certainly the best I have read on the subject. Mr. Coppard describes in vivid detail what it was like to have fought in some of the worst localised conflicts on the Western Front. He does it with a rare flair and with humour. It's a story about comradeship and muddling through in great adversity and although I'd never wish to endure what they went through, I almost envy them the comradeship which comes from something I can never fully understand.
One part of the book that is interesting after the descriptions given earlier is the 'Epilogue' where Mr. Coppard travels back to Flanders and Picardy more than 50 years after fighting there. His descriptions of his travels visiting cemeteries (including those of his erstwhile German enemies) etc really make you think. His comment that:-
"Politicians would do well to tour all the cemeteries of France and Belgium and resolve never to act rashly, nor deliver ultimatums or threats of any kind, but to hold their hand, striving to their utmost to achieve harmonious relations with all peoples."
is now particularly apt I think coming from someone who experienced the firsthand results of politicians warmongering.
Mr. Coppard has produced a brilliant book; I wish I could have met him.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 10 Nov 2005
By 
Robjblack (London,England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
A Brilliant Read Describing George Coppard`s First World War Experiences.I Have Read Many WW1 Books but truly found this to be
the best one i have read.You almost feel that you are reliving
George`s Life with him.It`s a truly wonderful Diary of Events from a man who saw more than His Fair share of action in this awful war.It is a tribute to George that he came through this and had a long and interesting life.I Lent my copy to a friend
and can`t remember which one.I want to get it back as it is so good i want read it again.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SUPERB BOOK WRITTEN FROM THE HEART AND MIND, 7 Dec 2000
By 
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
I only wish George was around today to talk to, I would shake his hand and thank him for leaving us such a record of the misery of man in the trenches. God bless his memory and of all the others that suffered this horror.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for anyone interested in the first world war, 31 Jan 2002
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
A brilliant account of how the common soldier struggled to survive in the trenches of the western front. Should be read by children today to try and make them understand the suffering and sacrifice made by their great grandfathers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply brilliant, 3 Oct 2002
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Having read most of the 'standard' texts on WWI such as those by Sassoon, Graves etc I stumbled upon this book almost by accident and having no knowledge of it wasn't sure what to expect.
I needn't have worried as this book is certainly the best na done of the most emotive I have read on the subject. Mr. Coppard describes in vivid detail what it was like to have fought in some of the worst localised conflicts on the Western Front. He does it with a rare flair and with humour. It's a story about comradeship and muddling through in great adversity and although I'd never wish to endure what they went through, I almost envy them the comradeship which comes from those shared experiences; something I can never fully hope to understand.
The 'Epilogue', both fascinating and poignant after the descriptions given earlier, where Mr. Coppard travels back to Flanders and Picardy more than 50 years after fighting there makes this book something more than the average text. The descriptions of his travels visiting cemeteries (including those of his erstwhile German enemies) etc really make you think. His comment that:-
"Politicians would do well to tour all the cemeteries of France and Belgium and resolve never to act rashly, nor deliver ultimatums or threats of any kind, but to hold their hand, striving to their utmost to achieve harmonious relations with all peoples."
is now particularly apt I think coming from someone who experienced the firsthand results of politicians' warmongering.
Mr. Coppard has produced a brilliant, moving book; I wish I could have met him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book moved me to tears., 12 Feb 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
George Coppard may not be the worlds greatest writer, but he certainly knows how to put the reality of human acceptance of war across. This book has made a huge impression on me , I'm sure if you read it you will feel the same way too. You will never watch a 'good' war film again. War was not good and no-one enjoyed it. I first read this as a library book many years ago. As much as I searched I could never find it in a shop. I had to have a copy of my own and now I have. Everyone should read it. It is an absolute classic.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A simple look at the experience of a young soldier, 8 Oct 2000
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
This book takes a simple look at the great war. Writen from the real diaries of a serving soldier it dispences with the romance. The book is based upon the experiences of an under age soldier in turmoil that was the first world war. George Coppard tells of his life in the infantry and then in the machine gun corps. It is written with a blunt point of view of you everyday enlisted man. The is no drama of the war its a simple read with many experiences.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must read', 18 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
For an ordinary lad observing the war around him, Coppard proved to be a masterly writer. His descriptions of his lonely machine-gun outpost at Loos, facing the grim bulk of Fosse 8, are marvellous. A 'must read'.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning eye-witness account, 19 Jan 2000
By A Customer
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This review is from: With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) (Paperback)
Yes - we've all read the spate of novels about the First World War. But this book is an eyewitness account, told dispassionately but not coldly by a man who joined up underage, and served throughout the war, much of it in the front line. Read this if you want to know what it was REALLY like.
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With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks)
With A Machine Gun To Cambrai (Cassell Military Paperbacks) by George Coppard (Paperback - 4 Nov 1999)
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