This latest offering from Richard Van Emden is a collection of highly readable accounts relating to the natural world and its relationship to the soldiers of the Great War. Containing thoroughly entertaining stories, from the really heart warming tales of man's love of animals, to others that made me squirm in horror, I found this book very difficult to put down. When we read about animals in the Great War, we normally assume that it will relate to either Horses, Mules, Dogs or the occasional Carrier Pigeon, however this book is so much more than this, there are also numerous tales of other species, such as Fish, Cats, Rodents, Maggots, Lice, and even Worms! in all some 61 species are covered. As the author suggests in his introduction, this book is not just about nature on the Western Front studied in isolation, it is about the human condition in war, explored through the soldiers relationship with the natural world around them. This work also contains some really superb images, most of which I believe have never been previously published. All in all, I think this yet another winner from Mr Van Emden, and I thank him for covering a rarely touched subject. Highly recommended.
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