Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front

Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front

Richard Holmes

Language: English

Pages: 752

ISBN: 0007137524

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it.

Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded. This is the story of these men – epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins – and the women they left behind.

Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years 1914-1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders. He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea.

Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy. It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians.

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Flowering: the Corps of Signals was formed in June 1920 and became Royal that same August). Another crucial responsibility was surveying, mapping and printing. Twentieth-century armies’ reliance on maps is so obvious that it is often scarcely mentioned. However, British sojourn in France and Belgium in 1914–18 was accompanied by the need to produce accurate maps on a previously undreamed-of scale. Some were area maps for which French and Belgian national resources provided at least a basis,.

That his countrymen had no idea what the war was about. I don’t believe you in England realize what was is, and invasion is the only thing to do it. I am not at all sure that invasion wouldn’t be the best thing to happen to England. All this fuss about recruiting is very galling to us out here. We are firm believers in National Service and would like the slackers out here for a week or two. Nobody can realize what it is like unless they have heard shells rushing overhead, and have seen all the.

Of the Hindenburg line at Flesquières they had lost ground to the north and south. It was a thoroughly unsatisfactory end to a grim year. There was never much doubt as to what would happen in early 1918. On 11 November 1917 Ludendorff met a select group of advisers at Mons to elaborate plans for the coming year. Their discussions were overshadowed by the knowledge that American entry into the war would eventually change the balance of forces on the Western Front. Although a peace treaty was not.

Posted back to a battery at Aldershot with some decent training under his belt, he found that he had fallen into the clutches of a battery commander of the horsier persuasion. ‘I don’t believe in all these angles and things,’ he announced. ‘What I say is – “Gallop up to the top of the hill and poop off”.’140 On 1 December 1914 Second Lieutenant Jim Mackie of 2/4th Somerset Light Infantry, himself only commissioned in September that year, told his brother Andrew: I heard the Colonel saying this.

Experienced cadre around which it could be rebuilt.’32 Recovery time was also important: in mid-1917 divisional commanders generally thought that a month would enable their divisions to be properly reconstituted after a gruelling spell in the Passchendaele battle. During the Hundred Days 12th Division had five prolonged episodes in battle or in the line, and lost 6,940 officers and men, 69.5 percent of its total strength and about 75 percent of its infantry. It was consistently successful, and.

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