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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "anecdotal" history., 20 Jun 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Cheerful Sacrifice: Battle of Arras, 1917 (Hardcover)
The Second Battle of Arras in April 1917 is an important Great War Battle which has, undeservedly, received little attention in modern popular histories. Modern authors have tended to concentrate on the more famous Battles of the Somme 1916 and Third Ypres 1917. Yet Arras was a huge Battle for the British Army. Important and interesting in its own right; it was also an important phase in the development of British tactics that led from the debacle of the First Day of the Somme to the triumphs of the Hundred Days.
"Cheerful Sacrifice" therefore, usefully fills a gap in modern histories.
We are particularly fortunate that this book is very well researched and written, with excellent and helpful maps. It covers the whole Battle from its successful opening to its costly conclusion. The lesson of when to "close down" a battle would not be learnt by the British until 1918.
It is what I term "anecdaotal" history in that it presents a series of individual accounts woven together into a coherent story with background explanation. It is in the style of the excellent "The First Day on the Somme." Not only does one gain an understanding of the whole Battle: one also gains something of an understanding of the experiences of the individual "Tommy."
It is an interesting and moving (particularly for those of us who had relatives fighting in the Battle) book. Time has moved on since it was researched and a book like this could not now be written on the Great War. Highly recommended: a must for those interested in the Western Front.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars History with heart, 13 April 2005
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This review is from: Cheerful Sacrifice: Battle of Arras, 1917 (Hardcover)
I was going to give this book 4 stars but could find no reason to mark it down from 5! The research is exhaustive. The writing is clear and authorative without sounding bossy. It resists the point-scoring and dryness of a number of the more 'academic' texts on the later part of the Great War. Illustrations actually complement the text as opposed to the random sample we seem to get in many WWI books. There are several good maps too. After just returning from the Arras battlefield I feel that I actually understand it better because of this book. I also appreciate the men who fought and died (and who fought and then had to live on without their pals)far more than I would have done otherwise. Not a book on generalship for the armchair strategist, but one that anybody with a heart as well as a mind will appreciate. I find it sad that the British actions in the Chemical Works at Roeux remain little known. Remedy this and read the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, but..., 5 Dec 2013
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I first bought this book nearly 20 years ago when it first came out.

So, when I saw it available on Kindle, I thought it would be good to have this version as well (protect the original, easy to carry, all those reasons for which we buy Kindles..).

The book is just as good, if I were to just buy one book on Arras, this would still be it.

But come on Amazon, if you are converting books to Kindle, do it properly, there are a lot of mistakes in copying it over..a lot. Including for a chapter title, "Orce" rather than "Force".

If it wasn't for these, I would give it 5 stars....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and thought provoking, 5 Jun 2014
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Having visited the area recently it was good to read such a comprehensive and human account of the action. It includes so much material from those who took part that I was completely immersed in their world.
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Cheerful Sacrifice: Battle of Arras, 1917
Cheerful Sacrifice: Battle of Arras, 1917 by Jonathan Nicholls (Hardcover - Jun 1990)
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