1915: The Death of Innocence by Lyn MacDonald

By Lyn MacDonald

From Publishers Weekly in keeping with letters, journals and memoirs, this 5th quantity of Macdonald's chronicle of the nice conflict as British squaddies skilled it covers the battles of Neuve Chapelle and lavatories, the second one conflict of Ypres and the Gallipoli crusade. the writer offers an in depth examine the original trench tradition of the British 1st military and analyzes "lessons learned," corresponding to the right kind deployment of massed artillery and infantry reserves in the course of that bloody yr. Her evaluation of Allied technique and strategies is unheard of in readability. Her information additional dramatize the death at the Western entrance in 1915 (Macdonald regards Gallipoli as an extension of the Western Front): Of the 19,500 sq. miles of German-occupied territory fought over, basically 8 have been recovered-an standard of 200,000 casualties in step with mile. Macdonald's vividly rendered historical past conjures up pity and awe on the slaughter. by way of Christmas 1915, she notes, there has been nonetheless a few desire of finishing the clash speedy, however it was once now not the desire of blameless optimism. photographs. Copyright 1994 Reed enterprise details, Inc. From Library magazine Macdonald offers a historical past of the second one 12 months of the nice conflict, focusing nearly totally at the impressions and stories of universal infantrymen amassed from interviews over the past two decades in addition to from letters, journals, and memoirs. the writer has selected to not learn bogs, Ypres, Neuve Chappelle, and the advent of fuel struggle intimately yet fairly to set the scene and enable the determined, patriotic, idealistic infantrymen inform of their personal phrases how these features have been expunged and the will simply to outlive left of their position. The e-book isn't really a alternative for a basic historical past, yet Macdonald's massive ability in weaving her narrative makes this an exceptional addition to the literature. even though, this can be Macdonald's fourth compilations of worldwide battle I fabric; libraries keeping the others could examine this yet another than they wish. *Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. military TRALINET Ctr., citadel Monroe, Va.* Copyright 1995 Reed enterprise info, Inc.

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The Geier also took off our boatswain and two of our firemen, who were all German and they went willingly enough, and one of our Norwegian sailors – a man with a good appetite!

Four feet of water in this part of the trench line. Return to billets about midnight. 15 Spend the morning trying to dry out our clothes. We are all covered in mud from head to foot. m. I go with Captain Reed to the trenches and fix six pumps. m. m. and improve trenches for reserves. m. and make a bridge in the line of trenches about a hundred and fifty yards from Fritz. Return at daylight and rest remainder of day. 15 Again at work on the reserve trenches. At nightfall I remain with eight men and make the bridge again, it having been knocked into the stream.

And muscle-power. And hard grinding labour. The brunt of the work fell on the Royal Engineers. The 5th Field Company, Royal Engineers, had been out since the beginning. They had dug the Army out of Mons, they had dug trenches for the infantry throughout the long retreat, blown bridges over rivers in full view of the Germans when the last of the infantry had safely crossed, and, when the tide had turned, they built pontoon bridges across the same rivers to take the infantry back, first to the Marne, then to the Aisne, and finally along the long road north as they raced the Germans back to Flanders.

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