The First World War, Nery and the Retreat From Mons

D0190

As so often in British history, a victory was impossible because the odds against the BEF were so large, but a form of victory was delivered. The German master plan to hurl massive forces through neutral Belgium to the Channel Coast and then swing round to take Paris and cut off the French Army was defeated by the British fighting retreat. At this stage it was a battle for infantry, cavalry and field guns with the British Quick Firing horse artillery performing superbly. The German lost momentum and the front came to a halt, foxholes and short trenches developing into two opposing lines of ever deeper trenches that stretched from the Channel Coast to the Swiss border.

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NAME: The First World War, Nery and the Retreat From Mons
CLASSIFICATION: Video, DVD, reviews
FILE: D0190
DATE: 040315
PRESENTER(S): Paul Oldfield, Ed Church, Ian Woodbridge, Mike Peters, Tim Saunders, Tom Dorner, Andrew Duff
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword Digital
MEDIA: DVD
FORMAT: Dual layer
RUNTIME: 100 minutes
PLAYERS: Linux Workstation, Personal Computer, Mac Computer, DVD Player
INTERNET:
PRICE: £13.50
GENRE: Non-Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, battles, tank battles, 1941, Eastern Front
ISBN: 0-24762-116-1
IMAGE: D0190
VIDEO:
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/k6p6z74
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: For those viewers new to BHTV military history DVDs, first glance at the jacket leaves the feeling that the presenters are a cast of thousands. This is the reason BHTV produces excellent presentations and the style is unique. The presenters are a band of historians, ex-soldiers, enthusiasts and battlefield guides. They know their subjects intimately and they have great enthusiasm for the subjects of the DVD. Having ex-soldiers in the team means that there is an eye for terrain which determines the outcome of most land battles. Adding into the presentation enactment groups, who are enthusiasts spending much of their spare time researching their uniforms and equipment and learning the stories behind the battles they re-enact, add a further valuable dimension, colour and movement. The elements of a BHTV presentation combine to produce not only a program of great authenticity, but a level of excitement that is entirely natural, deriving from the real events, and in great contrast to many television documentaries where the presenter has little knowledge or enthusiasm for the events, where artificial excitement is injected to keep things moving and getting in the way of the real story.

The Retreat from Mons is almost the story of the British Army and the British military in general. Down the Centuries, venial politicians have always spent the ‘peace dividend’, leaving the British soldiers, sailors and more recently airmen, inadequately equipped and supported, their numbers inadequate for the battles they will have to fight. The Kaiser saw this and regarded the BEF as a Contemptible Little Army that presented no danger to German soldiers. His assumptions were common through all levels of the German military and acted to give the British an unseen advantage.

From first contact, the British fooled the German commanders and troops. They put up such a fierce resistance and well-managed fighting retreat that the Germans thought they were fighting the whole BEF in engagements that were sometimes only at company strength. Well-drilled British rifle fire with the Lee Enfield rifle was so rapid and accurate that German soldiers thought they were facing machine gun fire.

As so often in British history, a victory was impossible because the odds against the BEF were so large, but a form of victory was delivered. The German master plan to hurl massive forces through neutral Belgium to the Channel Coast and then swing round to take Paris and cut off the French Army was defeated by the British fighting retreat. At this stage it was a battle for infantry, cavalry and field guns with the British Quick Firing horse artillery performing superbly. The German lost momentum and the front came to a halt, foxholes and short trenches developing into two opposing lines of ever deeper trenches that stretched from the Channel Coast to the Swiss border.

It is sad to see British Forces now reduced prior to absorption into a European Union Army, losing some of its greatest units, particularly the Gurkas, at a time when Europe needs to re-arm as NATO to stand against a fresh threat from a petty Russian dictator. This is a DVD for normal people to enjoy and for the corrupt political classes to be force-fed before they irreparably wreck the British Army.

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