A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front Paperback – 7 Apr 2003
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"A dramatic, thoughtful, and extremely humanistic treatment of this heartbreaking chapter in early twentieth-century history."
"This is a storyteller's narrative of handy size....Groom is very good at describing the constant terrors of this species of warfare."
"At a time when patriotizm is strong among Americans, it would be good to read this entertaining and instructive narrative."
A vivid page-turning narrative of the most horrific battle in history by a soldier-turned best-selling novelist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The author has attempted to give you, the reader, an insight into the lives of the soldier huddled in his wet trench under constant artillery fire, where thousands of soldiers lost their lives in daily 'wastage', even during quiet periods. The story is told mainly from the British point of view, with numerous first-hand accounts offered throughout the book. The narrative is fast paced and you never get tired or bored with the story. I have read many books on the Great War and I never cease to wonder why these brave men endured what they did and for so long.
The author provides the reader with details about the introduction of new weapons of destruction unleashed for the first time during the Great War. Stories of how poisons gas was utilized by the Germans and then the Allies, followed by accounts of the victims and witnesses to the effects of gas are truly horrendous. Then follows the introduction massive underground mines and the flame-thrower to combat the trench systems and machine gun posts of the enemy.Read more ›
"A Storm in Flanders" is such a book, focusing on the British experience in the Ypres Salient during World War I. Groom wrote "Forrest Gump," as well as several history books. He knows how to put a sentence together and how to tell a gripping story. Once I picked this book up and started reading, I was hooked.
Much as Stephen Ambrose did in his elegant books about World War II, Groom moves seamlessly between the generals in their chateaus and the grunts in their trenches. He makes use of diaries and poetry to tell the human story of a struggle that is all too often reduced to an abstract description of maneuver and battle. And he is very fair in his assessments--he acknowledges the criticisms of General Haig and many of the other leaders of the war, but he is always careful to balance these views with other considerations. The result is a well-told tale, fair and sympathetic to everyone involved.
The story of the Ypres Salient is not pretty. Groom does not pull his punches and does his best to give the reader, sitting in a comfortable armchair, some sense of just how horrible the Great War was.
How anyone could live and fight in such conditions without going mad is simply beyond my comprehension, yet many British, French and German soldiers managed to do just that for four years running. Groom doesn't delve too deeply into the psychology of the soldiers, observing that "the search for 'why' and 'how' remains elusive and any effort to reason it out is to fashion a mirror of hell itself.Read more ›
A Storm in Flanders gives a clear overview of how events led up to the war itself, the battles, conditions and logistics throughout, and the aftermath. He gives a mix of factual information, including a very useful table of unit size and names , and personal accounts, citing letters from soldiers fighting, contributing to an overall perception of what happened. This isn’t just a historical overview; A Storm in Flanders confronts and highlights the human reality of the impact. Groom points out that this was not an American victory, but a shocking and awful loss of millions of men, regardless of nationality or rank.
I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in improving their understanding of how WW1 came about, and want to do so from a clear, insightful and respectful narrator.
It would make us feel grateful for the lives we live today instead of whinging at the slightest deviation from norm.
It also makes the modern charity Help The Heroes more important too. Give generously and think of all our soldiers , whatever era.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is extremely readable and doesn't get bogged down with minute details. As the book was written primarily for an American audience it isn't biased when describing the... Read morePublished 12 months ago by July Japer
You can feel the emotions of ever soldier every wife mother father and child that fought this war of wars.
God bless them all.
Well written and well researched. A good read for anyone interested in the subject.
Bought this for 99p, an absolute bargain, I would have paid five times the price. An excellent read, surely a must for anyone interested in the first world war.Published 15 months ago by Benjamin Andrew