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87 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Soldiers War.
I don't normally feel compelled to comment on any books I read, however this new book by Richard Van Emden is so good that I couldn't resist making my views known.
The book progresses year by year through the duration of the war, each chapter is full of amazing personal accounts most of which have never previously been published, through these Mr Van Emden sets out...
Published on 18 Oct 2008 by A.J.S. 62

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Great War through the eyes of soldiers
This is an interesting book if you are wanting to get some eyewitness accounts of the Great War and hear from the soldiers themselves. However, do not get a Kindle version if you are using it for academic study. While the book is very informative you cannot use any of the material for the essay because there are no page numbers which means you cannot reference specifics...
Published 15 months ago by Kindle Customer


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 Feb 2009
By 
V. J. Scorer - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Bought this for my partner for Christmas. He has thoroughly enjoyed reading it, although it is obviously quite a sad book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read, 28 Sep 2010
This review is from: The Soldier's War: The Great War Through Veterans' Eyes (Paperback)
I never write book reviews and do read quite a lot. I usually buy from Amazon and very often on the basis of the reviews that I've read on here.
However this book was bought for me about 18 months or so ago. This is not a book I would have chosen and so never really wanted to read it. However, as it was a present I thought I ought to at some point.
I wish I had read this when I got it!

This book is truly excellent. Sometimes I've laughed, sometimes felt sad and sometimes felt grateful for how different things are now. One or two entries are truly moving.

This is a must read for anyone to appreciate what life was like during the First World War. It wasn't all destruction and death and I was surprised at the level of boredom the soldiers had to endure (and at times how 'civilised' we were with Jerry). My understanding of this war is now very different but so much better. The book doesn't trivialise the events as its essentially a vast collection of diary entries, letters and private book extracts put into chronological order. In between there are occasional narratives to describe what events are actually happening so you can put in context what the soldiers are referring to in their writing.

If you've had any thoughts about buying this book, then please just GET IT - you won't go wrong.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 23 Jan 2014
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Richard Van Emden have produced a fantasic account of a horrendeous time in our history, I love the lack of Jingoistic nonesense that one comes across only too often theses days. Well worth buying. One to keep on your shelf and not pass on to anyone
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lest we forget indeed., 13 Jan 2014
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A collection of notes,letters and diary entries written by soldiers tells of the horrors and brutality of war seen through their own eyes, recorded in their own words. In the centenary year of the outbreak of World War 1, this book makes poignant but necessary reading, from the euphoria of joining up to the impatience of some to 'have at the Boche' ; and the often heart breaking descriptions of wounded and killed comrades, these men (and boys) tell it how it was. Here you learn how they experienced knee deep freezing stinking mud, avoiding sniper fire and almost constant bombardment. Well researched and put together a thought provoking collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of its kind I have read so far, 9 Dec 2013
By 
Mr M.R.Watkinson (Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: The Soldier's War: The Great War Through Veterans' Eyes (Paperback)
Forgive me if I compare a lot with the 3 Forgotten Voices books that are fully or partially about WWI. Let it be said, right at the start, this is the superior book. The universal fault of the FV series is that they print their photo's on ordinary paper. Here, they are printed on decent quality paper. This is just as well, as many of the photo's in this book are not of the best quality to start with. This is not a criticism; far from it. Barring one studio shot, all of the many photo's in this book were taken by serving soldiers (some of them German) on pocket cameras, and have never been published before. Any faults in quality, then, are entirely forgiveable.

The author states that he has used a variety of written testimony. However, many passages are in first person past-tense, and read as though they are transcribed interviews, possibly even audio. The FV series limited itself to the contents of audio archive of the Imperial War Museum, which was disappointing when it came to the VC book - more than half the VCs ever awarded were won in WWI, but there are disproportionately few accounts in the book because there are fewer accounts in the archive. Whether or not the author has used audio as well as written testimony, the fact is he hasn't artificially limited himself, and the selection of accounts is varied and uniformly excellent. As much of his material is also either never before published, or not widely published, there is little, if anything, that I have read before; another plus.

Finally, the title tells you exactly what the book is - it's the soldiers' war. Not the Navy, or the airmen; there's no German or French testimony here either. In actual fact, this is more limited in scope than the FV Great War book, which does include French & German accounts, and some civilians too. But that book is misleadingly titled; with a brief sidestep to Gallipoli, it focuses entirely on the Western Front armies, which was rather disappointing. Whilst I've no regrets at adding the FV series to my bookshelf (the FV Somme book is the one that comes closest to this in standard), this is much the best book of any of them. If you're only going to buy one book of the soliders' own testimony as to their experiences of WWI, it should, without any doubt, be this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible, 12 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Soldier's War: The Great War Through Veterans' Eyes (Paperback)
An incredibly moving account of the war by those in the midst of it. Giving a better understanding of the atrocities, the horror, the boredom, and amazing strength of mind shown by these men. I feel humbled after reading this, a debt owed by us all that can never be repaid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Legendary read, 3 Nov 2013
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Fantastic and invigorating as to what legends existed in the world. On both sides of the wire. We will remember them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very good book, 29 Oct 2013
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I am an big world war 1 fan and believe the best books are those that focus on the words and letters of the soldiers themselves. This book uses these letters and interviews to create a powerful book and a great read. One of the best WW1 books I have read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Soldier's War - Richard van Emden, 29 Oct 2013
An excellent read full of great detail from the grim
realities to the typical Tommy humour.
Impossible not to have at least a working idea of what
life was like in and out of the line.
If, like me, you're just looking for more detail to feed your interest,
this is another must read book.
# 2014centenarytour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Least we Forget, 21 Oct 2013
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A very good book using contributions from the men who were there in the trenches. This book is good in that it covers various subjects in the daily life of the men in the front line, and works year by year. It does not go into great detail about battle tactics and campaigns but more of the minutiae that affected the men such as leave, food, accommodation, weapons etc. A very good read.
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The Soldier's War: The Great War Through Veterans' Eyes
The Soldier's War: The Great War Through Veterans' Eyes by Richard Van Emden (Paperback - 1 Jun 2009)
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