Passchendaele (Military Classics) Paperback – 30 Jul 2005
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About the Author
Philip Warner graduated from Cambridge, served in the British army during the Second World War in the Far East and became Senior Lecturer at The Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He is a noted historian of twentieth-century warfare and the author of over fifty books on military history, many published by Pen and Sword including Sieges of the Middle Ages (Pen & Sword Military Classics 2004).
Top Customer Reviews
Although originally published by Sidgewick and Jackson in 1987, I assumed that its appearance in the Wordsworth Military Library was just that company's cynical ploy to expand their budget range in a new direction. Well that may or may not be the case. Either way, we are given a second opportunity to discover what is actually a very well written book about the muddiest and bloodiest campaign of the Great War: the third battle of Ypres. In a nut-shell, the objective of the campaign, was to push the front-line around Ypres back approximately 10 kilometres across a front of about 30 km. Whilst at the same time, knock the Germans and their artillery off the ridge from which they had a commanding view over the allied front line. Also, this degree of activity would keep the German army sufficiently occupied that they would not be able to take advantage of the demoralised and mutinous French troops elsewhere on the western front.
Warner has written an excellent account of the campaign with a great deal of detail spent in describing how it took 6 months to complete a planned campaign of about 4 weeks. An endless sea of mud churned up by incessant shelling meant that an advance of 1500 m could easily be followed up by a withdrawal of half that distance. In the end, it became a battle of attrition: to keep slugging away with hundreds of thousands of casualties on both sides until only one army was still standing! Warner gives a scathing account of life for the general staff based many kms behind the front line but saves his greatest criticism for Haig and his cronies. There are plenty of examples of the life of the lowly private and also of the brave acts performed by individuals during the many assaults on the German line.Read more ›