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1915: The Death of Innocence by Lyn MacDonald

By Lyn MacDonald

From Publishers Weekly in keeping with letters, journals and memoirs, this 5th quantity of Macdonald's chronicle of the good struggle as British infantrymen skilled it covers the battles of Neuve Chapelle and bathrooms, the second one conflict of Ypres and the Gallipoli crusade. the writer presents 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 technique and strategies is unprecedented in readability. Her records extra dramatize the demise 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, purely 8 have been recovered-an regular of 200,000 casualties consistent with mile. Macdonald's vividly rendered background inspires pity and awe on the slaughter. through Christmas 1915, she notes, there has been nonetheless a few desire of finishing the clash fast, however it used to be now not the wish of blameless optimism. photographs. Copyright 1994 Reed company info, Inc. From Library magazine Macdonald provides a heritage of the second one 12 months of the nice battle, focusing virtually fullyyt at the impressions and reviews of universal squaddies accrued from interviews during the last twenty years in addition to from letters, journals, and memoirs. the writer has selected to not study bogs, Ypres, Neuve Chappelle, and the creation of fuel conflict intimately yet quite to set the scene and permit the determined, patriotic, idealistic squaddies inform of their personal phrases how these traits have been expunged and the need purely to outlive left of their position. The e-book isn't a alternative for a basic historical past, yet Macdonald's significant ability in weaving her narrative makes this a good addition to the literature. despite the fact that, this can be Macdonald's fourth compilations of global battle I fabric; libraries maintaining the others could give some thought to this yet another than they wish. *Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. military TRALINET Ctr., castle Monroe, Va.* Copyright 1995 Reed company info, Inc.

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Extra info for 1915: The Death of Innocence

Example text

Against primitive weapons, a couple of them could win a small-scale war. One anti-imperialist spokesman summed it up in an ironical verse: Onward Christian Soldiers, on to heathen lands, Prayerbooks in your pockets, rifles in your hands, Take the glorious tidings where trade can be done, Spread the peaceful gospel – with a Maxim gun. 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.

Dodd, SS Southport. ’ The German said, ‘Oh yes. ’ The officer made no reply. He said he preferred to wait until the captain arrived on board. But he was perfectly polite. There was nothing domineering about him, but he posted the armed guard around the ship, and they looked none too friendly. Then he wanted to know what provisions we had but when I told them of what straits we were in for tucker ourselves, they didn’t bother. Still, they went over the ship with a fine toothcomb and spent a long time in the engine room, fiddling about with things, which the chief engineer didn’t like at all.

By 1914 when Great Britain went to war with Germany, this standard annual order had not been increased. By now the Infantry Training Manual devoted just a dozen pages to machine-guns, and the Cavalry Manual still enjoined that ‘it must be accepted as a principle that the rifle, effective as it is, cannot replace the effect produced by the speed of the horse, the magnetism of the charge, and the terror of cold steel’. This principle was still held sacred by the army commanders when the British Army went to war with Germany in 1914.

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