Book Review – The Battle Book of Ypres, A Reference to Military Operations in the Ypres Salient 1914-1918

B2102

The author died in 1957, a poet, author, supporter of the Ypres League, and dedicated to remembering the efforts of the ‘Tommy’. She wrote first a shorter work, ‘The Imortal Salient’ in 1925 and followed with this book in 1927. It is a remarkably complete study of military action in the Ypres salient through the length of WWI, and the publisher is to be commended for returning this work to print. The author, perhaps with the poet’s eye has brought to life what might have been a very dry but comprehensive study. This is one of those essential books of life and death in WWI on the Western Front. Without it, it is difficult to achieve a firm understanding of the super human efforts of those caught up in the actions.

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NAME: The Battle Book of Ypres, A Reference to Military Operations in the Ypres Salient 1914-1918
DATE: 021214
FILE: R2102
AUTHOR: Beatrix Brice
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: hard back
PAGES: 273
PRICE: £19.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWI, World War One, First World War, Great War, Western Front, trench warfare, artillery
ISBN: 1-47382-123-1
IMAGE: B21002.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/q5yl728
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The author died in 1957, a poet, author, supporter of the Ypres League, and dedicated to remembering the efforts of the ‘Tommy’. She wrote first a shorter work, ‘The Imortal Salient’ in 1925 and followed with this book in 1927. It is a remarkably complete study of military action in the Ypres salient through the length of WWI, and the publisher is to be commended for returning this work to print. The author, perhaps with the poet’s eye has brought to life what might have been a very dry but comprehensive study. This is one of those essential books of life and death in WWI on the Western Front. Without it, it is difficult to achieve a firm understanding of the super human efforts of those caught up in the actions.

‘Ypres’ is often mistaken as a single battle by many of those who attempt to follow and understand the war on the Western Front. The Ypres salient was a continuing meat grinder of a conflict that consumed so many young lives for no conclusive result. The battles ebbed and flowed around the salient. Advances and retreats could be measured in metres, deaths in hundreds of thousands. The struggle spanned the length of WWI and turned the landscape into a sea of mud, the trees destroyed and the land ploughed by a seemingly endless bombardment, leaving a lunar landscape of craters.

The book includes a map of the area of the Ypres Salient, but there is no photographic illustration. This does not detract from the highly informative content. The author provided an alphabetical listing of actions, each with its own descriptive passage, and the text reflects the extent of particular battles. This makes it a perfect reference work to go to for guidance when reading other books of the struggle on the Western Front.

There are appendices that include an index of Formations and Units, which many readers will find enormously helpful in following the accounts by other authors, placing the struggle in context of time and participants.

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