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Arras: The spring 1917 offensive in panoramas including Vimy Ridge and Bullecourt Hardcover – 24 Jun 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (24 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845294211
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845294212
  • Product Dimensions: 21.7 x 3.3 x 26.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,062 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Barton and Banning have put together the story of this critical battle in a magnificantly moving fashion. (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

Unseen panoramas of the most dangerous battle of the First World War.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is a quite remarkable piece of work. Not only is in the best in-depth study around of this slightly less well known Great War battle - the Battle of Arras - but the shear quality of the images and the variety of the testimony is outstanding. This is the third on their books and Barton and Banning have never failed to deliver top-notch work. However, this one has to be the best of them all. The detailed maps will guide the reader through the various stages of the battle, and for the seasoned battlefield visitor this book will become an Indispensable asset in France. Really well done.
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Format: Hardcover
When this book was published, I already had Peter Barton's other panorama-based WWI battlefield works, all produced in collaboration with the IWM ('Battlefields of the First World War', 'the Somme' and 'Passchendaele'). All have greatly impressed me, not only because of the quality of writing and research but through the rich and helpful illustration (superb maps, diagrams, photographs etc., as well as the panoramas themselves). Also worthy of mention are what seems to me to be an ideal landscape format; the solid, weighty feel of each book; and the sheer quality of the publication. Electronic books have their place but this series proves, at least to me, that a 'real' book has a pleasure and satisfaction all its own. I had not expected that coverage of the infamously 'forgotten' battle of Arras would follow the first three, despite its horrendous butcher's bill - worse even than those of the Somme or Third Ypres (Passchendaele). So I was especially delighted when 'Arras' hit the shelves (or, in my case, Amazon's post room). On the strength of the first three books, I ordered it sight unseen - partly because of a particular family interest in the battle and partly because of entirely separate research for a written war memorial. My pleasure, and my confidence in the quality of Peter Barton's work, have been entirely justified. The opportunity to take this book (along with, in my case, Paul Reed's 'Walking Arras') to the area of the battle made a visit vastly more productive. Thus, the ability to refer to Barton's greater detail in the car or hotel room, in support of the pocket-sized battlefield guide, made a better understanding of the complexities of a massively important battle far more accessible - along with some slight appreciation of the courage and sacrifice that it generated. I recommend an excellent piece of work - and the rest of the set to which it belongs. They will remain close to hand by my desk.
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Format: Hardcover
Having previously purchased the three previous volumes of panorama campaigns I was thrilled to see that another volume was forthcoming and this one on Arras. Passchendaele, and the Somme were both magisterial works, while the panoramas of the western front incorporated some of the finest photography of the western front i had ever seen. Therefore when the much less known Battle of Arras was published i was thrilled to see it indeed, and snatched one up when it became available immediately.

I was not disappointed. This volume fills a gap in one of the truly horrific battles of the Great War. There were very few previous volumes written about the spring 1917 campaign and this fine work has completely redressed this situation. Although some previous works have been written about Vimy Ridge and the tremendous triumph of the Canadian Corps, or from the Australian perspective of the brutal battles of Bullecourt, the only previous work to discuss the entire campaign as a whole was Jonathan Phillips "Cheerful Sacrifice" Although his work was well done, Mr. Barton's and Mr. Banning's work IS the definitive general history of this campaign. Although little heard of, certainly outside of England, this 40 day battle produced casualty figures 25 percent higher then that on the Somme and nearly double those of Passchendaele on a day to day basis. The battles here are covered in detail, the triumph initially at Vimy, the indecision and inaction which followed, the blunders of leadership and lost opportunities, the degeneration into bloody stalemate, the few meager gains, stiffening German resistance, and the daunting Hindenburg Line.
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Format: Hardcover
I very rarely feel the urge to write reviews for the books I read, I normally leave it for others to articulate their views, but however this new work by Peter Barton and Jeremy Banning is so good that I just couldn't resist making my opinions known.
Quite simply, this book is by far the finest study of the Battle of Arras to-date. The intensive research and preparation required to produce such an in-depth volume shines through in the sheer quality of the text, the outstanding maps and stunning images used, a great deal of which I have never seen before.
Unlike other books on the subject, this book also covers the early engagements between the French and Germans in 1914/15, before moving on to the British involvement when they took over responsibility for the sector. Included are the preparations for the offensive before chapters covering each stage of the battle itself, starting on the 9/4/17 up to mid May when the offensive was effectively closed down.
As with the authors previous works, this book is very difficult down and will be an indispensable guide for anyone interested in this battle.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
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