16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Horsemen in No Man's Land: British Cavalry and Trench Warfare 1914-1918 (Hardcover)
I called this review finally, because, finally a serious, in depth study, of the British, (and Commenwealth)cavalry, in the First World War.
David Kenyons book, although very detailed, gallops along (sorry) at a cracking pace, exploding myths along the way. These, indeed all, arguments, are backed up with extensive maps, and notes.
The authors love of the mounted arm comes through, although he is not afraid of detailing failures, as well as success, of the horsemen, this, unlike a lot of WW1 books, leads me to trust the research more than in other books on the subject.
The notes about his father, and Richard Holmes, both heavily involved in this book, neither of whom lived to see it's publication, actually made for moving narrative, much like a lot of the tales of loss, on many scales, contained in this, excellent work.
In conclusion, and I don't say this lightly, the book against which all other WW1 Cavalry books should be judged.
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Initial post: 12 Sep 2013 07:19:14 BDT
David Johnston says:
A marvellous piece of work, tightly argued, and balanced in its conclusions, The quality of research from the dusty halls of Sandhurst to the muck of Flers is clear and David's understanding of both the animal and the élan in the corps is clear. No-one currently combines this level of academic rigour with practical insight.
This is quite simply a 'MustRead' as while there is a growing body of writing on horses in WW1 much of it is sentimental, superficial and frankly patronises those that were there in ways they would detest.
I remember my grandad explaining his frustrations about Flers to me as a youngster - he was with the 4RIDG in the MGC(C) and spent 14-18 in service before being wounded (unhorsed) in March 18. He recovered (in Alnwick) and went on to serve until 22 on the north west frontier too, such was the camaraderie of this unit.
David helped me put so much of what he went through in context - much of what happened baffled even seasoned NCOs like my grandad - they could not see what this work so skilfully maps.
Thank you David, from me certainly - but I'm sure 'paddy' of the MGC(C) would give you a nod of appreciation too (and that's as good as it ever it got from those warriors).
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