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📒Boom Ravine ✍ Trevor Pidgeon
✏Boom Ravine Book Summary : The principal action that took place here in February 1917 was of short duration and failure but with fascinating overtones. This is the dramatic story of the events on the Somme after the great battle of 1916 ended and before the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line. Its focus is on a ravine easily as impressive as that at Beaumont Hamel.
📒The Die Hards In The Great War Vol 2 ✍ Everard Wyrall
✏The Die Hards in the Great War Vol 2 Book Summary : The 'Die-Hards' is the nickname of the Middlesex Regiment, earned at the battle of Albuera in the Peninsular War in May 1811. The Regiment was one of five that had four regular battalions before the outbreak of war, it also had two Special Reserve battalions (5th and 6th) and four Territorial battalions, 7th to 10th. During the course of the war another thirty-nine battalions were formed making the Regiment the second largest along with the King's (Liverpool), though not all battalions survived to the end of the war; twenty-four of them went abroad, serving on the Western Front, Gallipoli, Italy, Macedonia, Mesopotamia, India, Egypt, Palestine, Gibraltar and Siberia. Losses amounted to 12,720, 81 Battle Honours and 5 VCs were awarded. The Middlesex were in it right from the start, the first soldier of the BEF to be killed was L/Cpl Parr, 4th Middlesex, on 21 August 1914, and the first officer to be killed was from the same battalion - Major W.H Abell, at Mons on 23 August. This is not a history that deals with each battalion independently, there are too many of them. The narrative describes the fortunes of the twenty-four active service battalions (with very good maps) in the various theatres of war, though mainly on the Western Front, and on every page there is, in the margin the date of the action or event being described and the battalion or battalions involved. The first volume covers 1914 to the end of 1916, and the second takes up the story from the beginning of 1917 to the armistice, including a chapter on operations in Siberia and Murmansk involving the 25th Battalion which didn't get home till September 1919. Speaking of his battalion [25th] the CO said: "One and all behaved like Englishmen - the highest eulogy that can be passed upon the conduct of men." Sentiments like that expressed today would almost get you clapped in irons! There is no Roll of Honour nor list of Honours and Awards. There is a very useful appendix listing all the active service battalions with the brigades and divisions to which they were allocated with any subsequent changes, and the theatres in which they served.
📒The 18th Division In The Great War ✍ Captain G. H. F. Nichols
✏The 18th Division in the Great War Book Summary : The 18th (Eastern) Division was formed in mid-September 1914, part of Kitchener’s Second New Army. It was lucky in its first GOC, Ivor Maxse, who had been brought home from commanding the 1st (Guards) Brigade, an officer well known for his ability in training skills and for demanding the highest standards. He was to be their GOC until January 1917, when he was replaced by another highly capable commander, Richard Philip Lee, who remained in command for the rest of the war. With the advantage of having only two GOCs, both of such a calibre, the 18th Division reached a very high peak of efficiency and became one of the best in the BEF. It was awarded eleven VCs, the second highest number awarded to a non-regular division, after the twelve won by the 55th (W Lanc) Division, and gained over 4,300 other awards; total casualties amounted to 46,503. This is a well written history, one of the better works of its kind. It reads more like an adventure story than the somewhat stiff and formal style we find with some divisional histories. Cyril Falls rates it highly. The author was a journalist and this is reflected in his style of writing. He served in the division as an artillery officer in the 82nd Brigade RFA and his account takes in events great and small, the major battles and day to day happenings. He makes good use of official documents such as location states, operational orders, order of battle and citations as well as personal anecdotes and experiences. There is the curious statement that during a period of rest during Third Ypres the division was visited by the corps commander, Hunter Weston. In fact Maxse was the commander, their old divisional commander; the 18th Division never served in a corps commanded by ‘Hunter Bunter’. His account of the Battle of Boom Ravine (February 1917), suggests a clear cut victory, certainly not the case. He makes reference to the fact that Gough (Fifth Army Commander) ordered an enquiry immediately after the battle to ascertain why the attack on 17th February failed to achieve the objectives. He does describe an act of treachery in which two men from a neighbouring division went over to the enemy and revealed the time of the attack. This, too, was the subject of an enquiry ordered by Gough. This is an enjoyable read.
📒Britain S Last Tommies ✍ Richard van Emden
✏Britain s Last Tommies Book Summary : In the later 2nd century BC, after a period of rapid expansion and conquest, the Roman Republic found itself in crisis. In North Africa her armies were already bogged down in a long difficult guerrilla war in a harsh environment when invasion by a coalition of Germanic tribes, the Cimbri, Teutones and Ambrones, threatened Italy and Rome itself, inflicting painful defeats on Roman forces in pitched battle Gaius Marius was the man of the hour. The first war he brought to an end through tactical brilliance, bringing the Numidian King Jugurtha back in chains. Before his ship even returned to Italy, the senate elected Marius to lead the war against the northern invaders. Reorganizing and reinvigorating the demoralized Roman legions, he led them to two remarkable victories in the space of months, crushing the Teutones and Ambrones at Aquiae Sextae and the Cimbri at Vercellae. The Roman army emerged from this period of crisis a much leaner and more professional force and the author examines the extent to which the 'Marian Reforms' were responsible for this and the extent to which they can be attributed to Marius himself.
📒Courcelette ✍ Paul Reed
✏Courcelette Book Summary : Courcelette is one of the many Somme villages that became a German stronghold in their tenacious fight to keep the British armies at bay. Well behind the lines on 1 July, it came into prominence on 15 September when it fell to an attack by the Canadians.
📒The Die Hards In The Great War 1916 1919 ✍ Everard Wyrall
✏The Die hards in the Great War 1916 1919 Book Summary :
📒Walking The Salient ✍ Paul Reed
✏Walking the Salient Book Summary : Following on from Walking on the Somme, Reed has produced this remarkable voyage around the Ypres Salient, which saw some of the most memorable campaigns of WW1. Illustrated throughout, this book gives an insight for visitors and armchair travellers.
📒My Father And Myself ✍ J. R. Ackerley
✏My Father and Myself Book Summary : When his father died, J. R. Ackerley was shocked to discover that he had led a secret life. And after Ackerley himself died, he left a surprise of his own—this coolly considered, unsparingly honest account of his quest to find out the whole truth about the man who had always eluded him in life. But Ackerley’s pursuit of his father is also an exploration of the self, making My Father and Myself a pioneering record, at once sexually explicit and emotionally charged, of life as a gay man. This witty, sorrowful, and beautiful book is a classic of twentieth-century memoir.
📒Mametz Wood ✍ Michael Renshaw
✏Mametz Wood Book Summary : The Battle for Mametz Wood is normally associated with the endeavours of the 38th Welsh Division and was the first of those great battles to secure possession of the woodlands of the Somme. The author looks at events after the 1st July, but also relates the story of the 17th Northern Division who attacked the quadrangle, a defensive system guarding the western approaches to the wood. Also related is the demise of both generals commanding these divisions who were sent home.
📒The Greater Game ✍ Clive Harris
✏The Greater Game Book Summary : From the athletic fields to the fields of battle—these great sportsmen gave their all and sacrificed their lives for their countries in World War I. As the First World War swept across Europe, millions of eager and idealistic volunteers lined up to serve in what was to be the War to End All Wars. All were expected to do their duty—and those rare men who were idolized as the greatest athletes of their time were bound and determined to keep up their end. But no one could have foreseen the true horrors of war that awaited them all . . . This fascinating book examines the deadly impact of the Great War on a number of leading professional sportsmen of the age. Their untimely deaths underscored how even the fittest and most gifted were as vulnerable as any normal soldier—and their loss was felt by far more than their families and friends. Among those featured in this illustrated book are such luminaries as Donald Bell, the only professional football player to win the Victoria Cross; Anthony Wilder, the glamorous Wimbledon champion who fell in May 1915; Francois Faber, the Tour de France star; Percy Poulton Palmer, the England Rugby Captain; and many others. Here, the authors explore the effect that famous athletes have on their countrymen and fellow soldiers in a time of war, and the devastating consequences that World War I had on the emerging world of professional sports.