- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Spellmount; illustrated edition edition (20 Jan. 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 186227357X
- ISBN-13: 978-1862273573
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 22.2 x 27.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 148,860 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Beneath Flanders Fields: The Tunnellers' War, 1914-1918 Paperback – 20 Jan 2007
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About the Author
Peter Barton, like so many others, derived his passion for the Great War from his grandfather, who served in a veterinary unit near Ypres, and from veteran friends like Bert Fearns, to whom this book is dedicated. He is a filmmaker and writer, and secretary of the All Party Parliamentary War Graves and Battlefields Heritage Group. Peter Doyle is a geologist - and latterly an archaeologist - with a special interest in the role of geology and terrain in the outcome of battles. Amongst others, he has made studies of the Great War battlefields of the Western Front, Gallipoli and Salonika. With Peter Barton, he is co-secretary of the All Parliamentary War Graves and Battlefields Heritage Group. Johan Vandewalle was born and bred in Zonnebeke. He grew up surrounded by the legacy of the Great War, and many childhood adventures involved things subterranean. Although today a skilled carpenter, his working life began as a professional civil engineer tunneller, and the combined knowledge of both disciplines has created a passion and technical understanding of the underground war which has made him the foremost explorer of the tunnels and dugouts in Flanders. Johan can be found on most evenings at his other business, the Cafe De Dreve on the corner of Polygon Wood, the home of the underground war in the Ypres Salient.
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Top Customer Reviews
There are plentiful contemporary diagrams and photographs of projected operations as well as modern colour photographs of the author's investigations. The three author's different specialties avoids the common author bias of single author books, with the eye for detail giving the military and amateur enthusiast alike a mass of information.
A must for the military and amateur enthusiast at a very reasonable hardback price, this book fills a gap of a little known but highly important theatre of operations, little known due to the secrecy involved in wartime mining.
The war beneath the "killing fields" of the Western Front has in my opinion until now been overshadowed and often neglected by authors and publishers by what took place above the ground. This truly magnificent book will, without a doubt do much to draw attention to the skilful , yet unseen game of "cat and mouse" that was taking place in the damp and dirty tunnels underground.
I can honestly say that this volume made interesting reading and succeeded in stimulating my own interest in carrying out further research into this fascinating aspect of the Great War. The authors (all tunnelling experts), have in fact been inundated with enquiries on this subject since the publication of Sebastian Faulke's "Birdsong" and have as a result carried out over twenty five years painstaking research, excavations and investigation to be able to produce this brilliant title.
The book is packed with a tremendous amount of gripping information and is backed up with a host of colourful maps, in excess of 450 colour as well as black and white photographs and many highly detailed and professional diagrams. Many of the photographs are unique and will keep the reader engrossed like I was for many hours.
If there is one book to buy on this intriguing subject, this is it - I am sure you will not be disappointed!
You'll find a bit of everything, the daily life of the sappers, the claustrophobia, the geology of Flanders and how technical problems were overcome, and the unfortunate and gruesome reality of war in the tunnels, or the frenetic digging from both sides as they both tried to gain an advantage and "lift" the other side with inordinate amounts of explosives planted below their trenches and strongholds. Specially interesting as well is the battlefield archaeology, the state of some galleries today that for some reason or other were drained, and that provide a glimpse into a surreal claustrophobic world complete with mattresses, bottles, spent cartridges, abandoned explosives where galleries had long collapsed.
If you're a mining engineer, a geologist, or have some interest in military engineer corps or in WW1 History in general, this book is absolutely mandatory. The way the authors manage to connect the many threads from many disciplines in a coherent narrative without burdening the reader with a dry speech while at the same time documenting solidly everything is superbly done. There's a good assortment of period photographs and the occasional diagrams illustrating shafts, galleries, geology, as well as contemporary photographs from recently found galleries, and their dangers. Many thanks to the authors for a splendid job.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought for my Husband, he finds it very interesting everything is explained very well,.it give you a very good in sight on what it was like, going to order another one for my... Read morePublished 23 days ago by p.c
What I would expect from Peter Barton, a very well presented study of Tunnellers for WW1.Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey Charles james Elson
Fans of Peter Barton will not be disappointed. Here is another meticulously researched book that at points leaves a lump in the throat and leaves one shocked by the courage and... Read morePublished 21 months ago by P. Reehal
Bought for a WW1 fan who found it very interesting... Lots of detail... And photosPublished on 20 July 2014 by Popo
I bought this for a friend who expressed an interest in The Great War mining business after seeing the BBC program 'Peaky Blinders' in which some of the characters were mining... Read morePublished on 8 Nov. 2013 by Tankhead Andy
I bought this book for my stepson who is into WW1 history after we went on an organized tour of the WW1 battle fields in Sept 2012 and where we met the author Peter Barton... Read morePublished on 16 Aug. 2013 by Jem
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