Summary and Info
From Publishers Weekly Based on letters, journals and memoirs, this fifth volume of Macdonald's chronicle of the Great War as British soldiers experienced it covers the battles of Neuve Chapelle and Loos, the second battle of Ypres and the Gallipoli campaign. The author provides a detailed look at the unique trench culture of the British 1st Army and analyzes "lessons learned," such as the proper deployment of massed artillery and infantry reserves during that bloody year. Her assessment of Allied strategy and tactics is unparalleled in clarity. Her statistics further dramatize the loss of life on the Western Front in 1915 (Macdonald regards Gallipoli as an extension of the Western Front): Of the 19,500 square miles of German-occupied territory fought over, only eight were recovered-an average of 200,000 casualties per mile. Macdonald's vividly rendered history evokes pity and awe at the slaughter. By Christmas 1915, she notes, there was still some hope of ending the conflict quickly, but it was no longer the hope of innocent optimism. Photos. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. From Library Journal Macdonald presents a history of the second year of the Great War, focusing almost entirely on the impressions and experiences of common soldiers gathered from interviews over the last 20 years as well as from letters, journals, and memoirs. The author has chosen not to analyze Loos, Ypres, Neuve Chappelle, and the introduction of gas warfare in detail but rather to set the scene and let the desperate, patriotic, idealistic soldiers tell in their own words how those qualities were expunged and the desire merely to survive left in their place. The book is not a replacement for a general history, but Macdonald's considerable skill in weaving her narrative makes this an excellent addition to the literature. However, this is Macdonald's fourth compilations of World War I material; libraries holding the others may consider this one more than they need. *Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army TRALINET Ctr., Fort Monroe, Va.* Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
More About the Author
Lyn MacDonald, is a British military historian best known for a series of books on the First World War that draw on first hand accounts of surviving veterans.
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