By Lyn MacDonald

From Publishers Weekly according to letters, journals and memoirs, this 5th quantity of Macdonald's chronicle of the nice struggle as British infantrymen skilled it covers the battles of Neuve Chapelle and lavatories, the second one conflict of Ypres and the Gallipoli crusade. the writer offers an in depth examine the original trench tradition of the British 1st military and analyzes "lessons learned," resembling the right kind deployment of massed artillery and infantry reserves in the course of that bloody yr. Her overview of Allied method and strategies is unheard of in readability. Her facts extra dramatize the dying at the Western entrance in 1915 (Macdonald regards Gallipoli as an extension of the Western Front): Of the 19,500 sq. miles of German-occupied territory fought over, basically 8 have been recovered-an commonplace of 200,000 casualties according to mile. Macdonald's vividly rendered heritage inspires pity and awe on the slaughter. by means of Christmas 1915, she notes, there has been nonetheless a few desire of finishing the clash speedy, however it used to be not the wish of blameless optimism. photographs. Copyright 1994 Reed company details, Inc. From Library magazine Macdonald offers a historical past of the second one yr of the good battle, focusing nearly completely at the impressions and reviews of universal infantrymen accrued from interviews during the last twenty years in addition to from letters, journals, and memoirs. the writer has selected to not learn bathrooms, Ypres, Neuve Chappelle, and the creation of fuel battle intimately yet fairly to set the scene and allow the determined, patriotic, idealistic squaddies inform of their personal phrases how these traits have been expunged and the will purely to outlive left of their position. The e-book isn't really a alternative for a common heritage, yet Macdonald's massive ability in weaving her narrative makes this a superb addition to the literature. even if, this is often Macdonald's fourth compilations of worldwide battle I fabric; libraries conserving the others might ponder this another than they wish. *Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. military TRALINET Ctr., castle Monroe, Va.* Copyright 1995 Reed enterprise info, Inc.

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Now the infantry were returning the favour by turning out working parties night after night to labour alongside the sappers constructing defences. Working in the flooded marshland to the south of Armentieres where the River Lys, swollen by incessant rain, wound across the waterlogged plain and overflowed to mingle with a thousand streams and ditches, even the battle-hardened veterans who had been out since the start of the war agreed that this was the worst yet. It was a waterscape rather than a landscape.

They had dug the Army out of Mons, they had dug trenches for the infantry throughout the long retreat, blown bridges over rivers in full view of the Germans when the last of the infantry had safely crossed, and, when the tide had turned, they built pontoon bridges across the same rivers to take the infantry back, first to the Marne, then to the Aisne, and finally along the long road north as they raced the Germans back to Flanders. The engineers had toiled again at Ypres, digging trenches for reserves and supports and, always under shellfire, throwing up entanglements of barbed wire to protect them.

Many whose stories appear in this book have, alas, not survived to see them in print. Time is running out, and it is all the more important that we should listen, and listen carefully, before the curtain finally falls on the generation who experienced the Great War that was the watershed of the tumultuous twentieth century and the bridge between the old world and our own. It was a literate generation of inveterate letter-writers and diary keepers, and it is almost impossible to list the staggering number of people who have so very kindly sent me collections of letters, diaries, photographs, papers, belonging to their families or, occasionally, rescued from abandonment in antique shops.

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