1915: The Death of Innocence by Lyn MacDonald

By Lyn MacDonald

From Publishers Weekly in response to letters, journals and memoirs, this 5th quantity of Macdonald's chronicle of the nice battle as British squaddies skilled it covers the battles of Neuve Chapelle and bathrooms, 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," equivalent to the right kind deployment of massed artillery and infantry reserves in the course of that bloody yr. Her review of Allied procedure and strategies is extraordinary in readability. Her information 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, in simple terms 8 have been recovered-an standard of 200,000 casualties in line with mile. Macdonald's vividly rendered historical past conjures up pity and awe on the slaughter. via Christmas 1915, she notes, there has been nonetheless a few desire of finishing the clash quick, however it was once not the wish of blameless optimism. pictures. Copyright 1994 Reed company info, Inc. From Library magazine Macdonald offers a historical past of the second one yr of the nice struggle, focusing virtually completely at the impressions and stories of universal squaddies amassed from interviews during the last twenty years in addition to from letters, journals, and memoirs. the writer has selected to not examine bogs, Ypres, Neuve Chappelle, and the creation of gasoline conflict intimately yet really to set the scene and allow the determined, patriotic, idealistic squaddies inform of their personal phrases how these characteristics have been expunged and the will simply to outlive left of their position. The booklet isn't really a alternative for a basic heritage, yet Macdonald's huge ability in weaving her narrative makes this a great addition to the literature. although, this is often Macdonald's fourth compilations of global warfare I fabric; libraries keeping the others might reflect on this yet one more than they want. *Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. military TRALINET Ctr., castle Monroe, Va.* Copyright 1995 Reed enterprise details, Inc.

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My friend Stephan Maenhout introduced his Tante Paula’ (Mevrow Hennekint née Barbieur) who told the story of her family in 1915. I must pay particular tribute to the senior members of my own much-loved French family, Pierre and Germaine Dewavrin, who have added so much to my understanding over the years, and whose recollections of 1915 appear in this book. Colonel Terry Cave most kindly helped with information on the Indians; Peter Thomas of Ρ & O and Vivien Riches in Australia between them researched different aspects of the story of the Southport; and Lord Sterling, Chairman of Ρ & O, also deserves my gratitude for his interest and for his generosity to the Old Soldiers.

Bernard Brookes, Brenda Field for the memoir of Trooper Harry Clarke, R. A. Watson for Alan Watson’s diary, and to the many other people who have so generously endowed me with valuable contemporary written material and given me permission to make use of it. It goes without saying that my archive of first-hand material, written and oral, will in due course (on my demise or retirement) be passed to the care of the Imperial War Museum for the benefit of future students and historians. My thanks are also due to the Imperial War Museum, and in particular to Roderick Suddaby, Keeper of Documents, for his great interest and assistance in the preparation of this book and for making available unpublished material which makes a considerable contribution to its scope.

But, as a weapon of conventional warfare, the machine-gun had not found favour with the hierarchy of the British Army. Some people in Germany had been quicker to appreciate its possibilities – and almost the first had been the Kaiser himself. The Kaiser’s passion for his Army was equalled only by his obsession with his Navy, and his dearest desire was that both should match the Army and Navy of Great Britain, and even surpass them in strength and magnificence. Military matters occupied a large part of the Kaiser’s attention.

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