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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A ripping yarn and also important social history, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: The Invasion of 1910 & The Great War in England in 1897 (Kindle Edition)
This book is one of those old fashioned ripping yarns that despite the somewhat dated language and a style with may feel a little alien to modern readers is a thoroughly enjoyable story. Probably not a very politically correct book by todays standards in the attitudes revealed towards Germany and German's but nevertheless an enjoyable read. The books greater importance to me is its value as a piece of social history. The 20 years before the Great War saw a complete reversal in British policy and relations, from splendid isolation to the triple entente where Britain's two traditional rivals (France and Russia) became our partners in an informal alliance against Germany, traditionally the German states had generally been friendly with Britain. A naval arms race and increasing rivalry resulted in a serious deterioration of Anglo-German relations and an explosion of xenophibic feeling and jingoism in both countries. In Britain this produced a new genre of invasion literature or war literature in which writers used shock and fear tactics to promote support for higher naval estimates and a strong foreign and defence policy. History books can tell you about the actions of great policy makers but an essential part of trying to understand the period is to try to understand social attitudes. This invasion sub-genre is an essential window into the heated fears prevalent at the time. The Invasion of 1910 is along with the Riddle of the Sands one of the two great examples and as such it fully merits being read by anybody with an interest in history as well as by those looking for a good story. As with much fiction it is best not to think too much about the story. Questions such as how Germany mobilised an army with nobody noticing, the exercises and training needed to perfect an amphibious operation, the seeming ease of shipping quarter of a million men when compared to the immense preparations and specialist equipment used to support smaller operations in WW2 and such like. The book is almost silent on naval aspects despite Britain's huge naval superiority over Imperial Germany at that time. The book was political propoganda to increase support for military spending and compulsory military train and is about as subtle as a sledgehammer. An enjoyable read and valuable reading for those interested in the history of Anglo-German relations prior to the great war though.
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