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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 18 July 2014
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This review is from: Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 (Kindle Edition)
Very well written book and a cracking read which gave a strong sense of the context of the war and the developing views of soldiers and civilians on all sides. Hastings also I think is very good at not adopting a 'jingoistic' 'British perspective and concentrating on the failures of others, which makes it all the more surprising that when he outlines death rates by nation he omits to break down the British figures. These show that British troops from Scotland had a death rate of 26%, over twice the UK average and significantly higher than the French at 16%. My Scots Grandfather was an infantry solider during WWI. He was fortunately wounded: and decorated for saving men off the wire in no man's land. You really do feel for all of that social class and wider generation who were at the front line of this tragedy and no matter the number of clever arguments about the 'right' of longer-term British political objectives, you are still left with the feeling of utter tragedy and folly, and the careless attitude to life displayed by aristocratic, political and military elites of that day.
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