Book Review – The Retreat From Mons 1914: North, Casteau to Le Cateau

B1992

This book is the first of two books in the Battle Lines series, describing itself as “the Western Front by Car, by Bike, and on Foot”. It is a very practical guide that opens the battle lines to visitors of all ages and wealth. It is a highly illustrated guide, with crisp text, covering the fast moving campaign at the opening of hostilities.

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NAME: The Retreat From Mons 1914: North, Casteau to Le Cateau
CATEGORY: Book Reviews
DATE: 020814
FILE: R1992
AUTHOR: Jon Cooksey, Jerry Murland
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 157
PRICE: £14.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Great War, WWI, World War One, First World War, Western Front, war of movement, trench warfare, retreat, strategic withdrawal, German invasion, BEF, Belgium, 1914
ISBN: 1-78159-199-7
IMAGE: B1992.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/kvg4sat
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: This book is the first of two books in the Battle Lines series, describing itself as “the Western Front by Car, by Bike, and on Foot”. It is a very practical guide that opens the battle lines to visitors of all ages and wealth. It is a highly illustrated guide, with crisp text, covering the fast moving campaign at the opening of hostilities.

The Germans were surprised by the speed with which the BEF was inserted into the French and Belgium battle lines. They were also surprised by the determination and effectiveness of British troops. From first contact, the British Expeditionary Force had to give ground to a massive German superiority of numbers. It became a fighting retreat that slowed the German advance and then halted it with the establishment of the first trench lines.

The courage and achievements of the BEF were exemplary, but there was also innovation and civilian participation. One example was given when London buses were rushed across the Channel to the Western Front, loaded with troops, the first mechanized troop insertion of history. One day the civilian drivers were trundling through the streets of London, and the next, they were taking the ferries to France, driving up to the front in their repainted motor buses, with their valuable loads of reinforcements.

The book provides an excellent guide and introduction. Highly commended.

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