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4.7 out of 5 stars36
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 11 August 2009
I bought this shortly before a trip to the battlefields late in 2008, thinking it would make suitable reading while away. I was wrong, not least since this is a very big, very heavy book. Definitely one to be sat before at a table and considered seriously.

So, no field-spotter's guide, but an amazingly revealing and informative reference book which has captivated me for many hours since my return.

It is almost impossible to envisage what that part of the world was like during the war by visiting it today, even on a cold, damp and misty November. However, this book and the panoramas it contains help you mentally overlay the contemporary scene and glimpse into the alien world millions of men fought and died in.

As with so much about the First World War, it comes as a shock, especially driving across today's customs-less borders, to think that so much effort and life was wasted doing little more than moving mud about.

Highly recommended, especially to those wishing to go beyond the usual history book format.
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on 28 November 2008
When it comes to buying something really exciting about the Great War then you will not do any better than Peter Barton's epic book. It shows a genuine commitment to furthering interest in the War by producing fascinating new material and to the highest standard. The panoramas alone are good enough to take your breath away, but the text and the intergrated images are superb; I can't imagine the amount of effort that went into this book. However, the results make the purchase worth every penny. Well done Mr Barton.
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on 3 July 2009
Having missed this product`s first printing i couldn`t wait for the second edition to come out. I already own `The Somme` and `Passchendaele` by the same author and this was not a disappointment, the detail well researched and panoramas unrivalled. I don`t know how long it takes to write a book like this but it was certainly worth the time. Between all 3 books there can`t be much of this sector of the Western front unchartered. I heartliy recommend this for any WW1 enthusiast.
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Pardon me if I eulogise a bit. I've read a great many history books down the years, and a very large proportion of those are on, or around, the topic of WWI. This is one of the best I have ever read. As you would expect from the IWM, the production quality is impeccable, the writing too is of the highest standard.

There have been "Battlefield" books before. This is unique, in that its core is panoramic photographs, taken by both sides for intelligence & planning purposes, of the battlefields, often from near-front line positions. It also utilises a large number of maps, so that you can easily make sense of what you are looking at & where it was. It does not merely confine itself to that. It is also heavily illustrated with many ordinary photo's, the vast majority of which I have never seen before, I am delighted to say. The ordinary photo's range from the small to full- and double-page spreads and, frankly, this book puts one or two that claim to be "Illustrated" histories to shame!

As for the text, this also has an unusual flavour to it. Before coming to the battlefields themselves, the author takes the trouble to explain the geography of the Western Front, how photography in warfare developed, who was taking the photo's and how. After that, the book works its way, more or less North to South, across the front held by the British, sector by sector; within chapters, feature by feature. Throughout, a good deal of eye-witness testimony is used, much of it from the Royal Engineers (including Tunnelling Companies), who rarely feature in more mainstream histories. Finally, there is the DVD, which includes all of the panoramas referred to in the book. As you might expect, these are arranged by chapter & are fully zoomable.

It really is rather hard to find anything negative to say about this at all, but I'll try... Simple limitations of space means that not all of the panoramas are printed in the book, which is a minor nuisance, as is the fact that detail is inevitably lost, for the same reason. You can read the book not in conjunction with the DVD, but it makes more sense to use both together. It would also have been a nice addition if a zoomable library of all of the ordinary photo's had been included on the DVD. There are more than a few that I would have liked to have been able to look at in greater detail than the book permits.

And that really is as much as I can find to criticise. This book, in my opinion, really is close to being nonpareil - without equal!
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on 18 December 2009
This is an incredible book and worth every penny, this is a must for anyone interested in the Great War. The book itself is a huge hardback cook in its own box, the presentation is of the highest quality and worth the price tag.

The book is full not only of incredible photos but also a vast amount of information on the war and includes a bonus DVD containing even more photos to complement the hundreds contained within the book.

After reading just part of this book its clear that the author has took the time to research the topic and some of the photos are absolutely breathtaking, the best book on the Great War I have read to date.
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on 25 January 2015
Firstly, this is a much enhanced re-publishing of a work from 2003. Secondly, I can not see how anyone can be negative about the content. It is well written and illustrated, with the photographs and panoramas augmented by maps. And it is the panoramas that stun. Anyone who criticises them can not have used the included dvd properly, that is where they come to life. Yes it is a big book, it has to be because of the subject matter, but at less than two-thirds of the price you would pay on the high street and given the huge content plus the interactive dvd this book is a steal.

One word of caution, I believe two versions of this book were re-published, the second much cheaper and not as comprehensive as this copy.
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This book is an astounding history of the battlefields of WW1. This is an updated version of this book with additional material,I have both. I don't think I have seen a book which solely concentrates on the actual battlefields before,but this book with its incredible "widescreen" photographs really does bring out the views of what the soldiers actually could see from the trenches,and this brought even more to life with the enclosed DVD.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough,for those with an interest in WW1,like myself,this really is a great addition to ones book collection,and to anybody coming new to the subject,it is a good place to start.
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on 27 June 2014
This is a must, for anyone with an interest in WW1. Though expensive, one can see why when the panoramic photographs are viewed on excellent quality paper. In fact the book, oozes excellence from start to finish. Have also purchased The Arras and The Somme books in the same series. Excellent all round, plus a DVD. Only downside is that DVD cannot be played on TV recorder, but on computer which may preclude some from viewing. Nevertheless there is enough in the book to keep you informed and occupied.
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on 17 December 2013
bought this as a gift
for Christmas
Just what i wanted
a good read
with DVD
highly recommend this book
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on 3 December 2015
This is the third of this excellent series that I have bought and it does not disappoint. It is the updated version of the original of the series. Good pictures of actual battlefields at the time are invaluable to an understanding of the conflict that raged on the British Sections of the Western front.
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