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Comprehensive and contemporary,
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This review is from: Bloody Victory: The Sacrifice on the Somme and the Making of the Twentieth Century (Paperback)
I'm getting through one of these a week so finding something that sets my head on the right track is a recommendation for anyone branching on from the AJP Taylor coffee-table illustrated World War One to a considered, 'three empire' war of 'attrition' in which the likes of Haig, following plans set out by Kitchener, knew that he had a long, complex, costly war ahead of him. Worth every page, with my notes, from just about every page, running into many pages. If you're in a hurry Chapters 15, 16 and 17 form an excellent summary of what has gone before. For reasons to complex to explain I have my late grandfather's ashes at my side ... he was a machine-gunner through 1916 and 1917 before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps. I used to sit with him in the early 1990s watching TV news on the Iraq War and adding to his recorded memoir of events. I will share with him what I have learnt from 'Bloody Victory' - that it was not a waste of time, that the generals had a plan that ultimately worked and that he wasn't alone in wanting to 'get on with the job' or to 'see it through'. Thus far I've bought another three or four books and will be looking for others to add to the growing library of books that I have on the First World War. If you only read three books on the First World War - this is one of them.
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