This is a fine collection of personal accounts from the opening year of the First World War which recorded the battles at Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne, the Aisne, Antwerp, Armentieres and Ypres. A good number of these have not been published before. What makes this particularly interesting is the number of German accounts which are included.
The opening battles on the Western Front marked a watershed in military history. A dramatic, almost Napoleonic war of movement quickly gave way to static, attritional warfare in which modern weaponry had forced the combatants to take to the earth. Some of the last cavalry charges took place in the same theatre in which armoured cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes were beginning to make their presence felt. These dramatic developments were recorded in graphic detail by soldiers who were eyewitnesses to them. There is a freshness and immediacy to their accounts which Matthew Richardson exploits in this thoroughgoing reassessment of the 1914 campaign. His vivid narrative emphasises the perspective of the private soldiers and the junior officers of the British Army, the men at the sharp end of the fighting. SELLING POINTS: New history of the British and German armies in the first battles of the Great War Features previously unpublished photographs and eyewitness accounts Fascinating reassessment of the switch from mobile to static warfare Describes the experiences of young soldiers who later became famous: Bernard Montgomery, Brian Horrocks, Adolf Hitler and Rudolf Hess 100 colour and b/w illustrations