- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 915 KB
- Print Length: 240 pages
- Publisher: Pickle Partners Publishing; PP1 - Kindle Formatted edition (7 May 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00CP6UVWY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 143 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #666,775 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||£9.95|
Save £7.81 (78%)
A Subaltern On The Somme In 1916 Kindle Edition
|Length: 240 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
Plowman himself is capable and brave, well-respected by his men and fellow officers. He is acutely aware of how character determines a man's response to the demands of war in the front line, in both officers and men. Character portrayal is a strength of the book.
Top Brass is seen as falling short too often: "...the colonel himself ...never managed (though to give him his due he tried very hard) to reach the trenches". And " At Beauquesne we passed some large country houses that are said to be in use as army headquarters. One could not help admiring the command's taste". Also "For the higher command the war is a great adventure and into it they can and do put tremendous zeal and endless thought. At the same time they have all the excitement of a bigger game than any other"
He is also concerned about the mechanisation of war. "We have endowed machinery with the power once confined to a man's right arm, and now the machine continues to function long after our natural instincts have spent themselves. That is what makes this war so ghastly. It is machine-made."
Plowman became increasingly disillusioned with the conflict. If only the British public knew what was going on, he thought: "...in the words of our battle-hymn, 'They'd never believe it'"
Following recuperation in England from a bomb blast he wrote to his battalion adjutant asking to be relieved of his commission on the grounds of religious conscientious objection to all war. What is not in the book is that he was arrested and tried by court martial for refusing to return to his unit. He was dismissed from the army without punishment.
I read this book in a couple of days, and almost at once became dismayed at how fast it was going by and how near I was to the end. I am about to read it a second time: it is that sort of book.
I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for an unadulterated and raw look into the events that occurred on the Western Front through an intelligent author's perspective.
It is clear that the men were poorly equipped at times, the battle got away from the generals and the stalemate was complete.
I liked the human thought that away from the guns pounding positions with impersonal fallout. But if the guns fell silent the troops would lose the inclination to pull their triggers, they lacked the will to kill, being tired and at their physical limit. Yet discipline under pins all the soldiers life, routine and orders must be followed.
All aspects of daily life, the tedium, the need for morale are touched upon. The desire to punish and a court-martial. The need for foot management, lice, mud, rum ration and awards/ribbons.
The disconnect with home but the desire for leave. The bodies lying around unburied, where they turn up and the troops superstitions around touching the dead.
The constant drilling of the men. the dangers moving even behind their lines, the courage of the stretcher-bearers and the simple working classes that filled the ranks. This is in stark contrast to the commissioned ranks that were middle class or products of public schools became the officer class with servants and privileges no-one questioned.
It is an honest account told with a degree of pain, few complaints and a honesty that reads well. It brings more pride to my remembrance of these simple acts. Brings clarity and depth to events that still make one angry and how little we have had to overcome as young people.
As a reader I don't feel manipulated or emotionally played. I was moved by a first hand account that sought to explain but not justify events.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not to bad I would readily read on a train bound for any were as some of this is a drudgePublished 1 month ago by T.S.B.
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