Baptism of Fire by Nathan M. GreenfieldBaptism of Fire by Nathan M. Greenfield

Baptism of Fire

byNathan M. Greenfield

Paperback | October 20, 2008

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The Second Battle of Ypres was, by any definition, a brutal event in a brutal war. The already terrible conditions of trench warfare, punctuated by the unimaginable horror of shell fire that turned men into “pink mist,” became even worse when the Germans introduced chlorine gas. But despite the terror, the battle marked a key moment in the formation of Canadian identity and pride. After the Germans’ initial gas attack opened a 12-kilometre-long hole in Allied lines, it was the heroic 1st Canadian Division—men who had been in the trenches for just over a week—who rushed to fill the gap and block the enemy advance.
    Drawing on never-before-published material, Nathan M. Greenfield, author of The Battle of the St. Lawrence, presents a gripping new account of the Second Battle of Ypres. Here are the voices of the soldiers themselves—both Canadian and German—reaching across more than 90 years with a stunning immediacy.

NATHAN M. GREENFIELD, Ph.D., is the Canadian correspondentforThe Times Educational Supplementand is acontributor toMaclean’s,Canadian GeographicandThe TimesLiterary Supplement. He is the author ofBaptism of Fire, whichwas a finalist for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction, and the widely praisedThe Battle of the St. Lawren...
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Title:Baptism of FireFormat:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.25 inPublished:October 20, 2008Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0006395767

ISBN - 13:9780006395768

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Testament to Canada. Most Canadians have heard the stories of the: success at Vimy, the poem of Flanders, and the dreariness of Passchendaele, but the story of Ypres is one that deserves its place as one of Canada's most compelling military events. Nathan Greenfield paints the picture in an horrific but exquisite manner, one that moved me to the point of tears and disbelief throughout the entire book. Canada's first taste of battle in the First World War was also the first successful poisionus gas attack in history. Unfortunately, they were on the receiving end. As a history major, I have never read such an accurate depiction on the chaos of war, and Greenfield is extremely successful in making it very personal. He takes the time to account for numerous individual experiences, and give actual depth to these people (ie. where they are from, how old they were, etc.). As any successful historian, Greenfield also does a superb job of indicating flaws and maintaing as much of an arbitrary approach as possible. As a Canadian, I couldn't help but think very deeply as I read the tragedy of 2nd Ypres. However, pride is the only word that comes to mind when summarizing this work. I am proud to know the sacrifices of the men who experienced the horrors of war, especially at such an extreme at Ypres. This book truly is a testament to what it means to be Canadian: an unwaivering resolve combined with compassionate sacrifice for the greatest good. In the midst of the Remberance Day season, I'm not expecting everyone to grab a military history book and study up on our past. But what I do expect, is for at least one moment, one single solitary moment, each and every one of us can just understand that these soldiers sacrificed everything, so we would never have to.
Date published: 2008-10-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Ridiculous! I'm glad I only wasted eight dollars and half an hour to find out this man only knows how to form complete sentences! I decided to write my disappointment immediately after reading that my regiment was mistaken for the Royal Highlanders of Canada, or the 13th Btn. We C Scots still wear the number 16 on our collar and an oak leaf upon our shoulders to display our pride in the impact the 16th Btn had in the battle this book is about, and he had the audacity to overlook not only the whole regiment, but the men we left in France! I'm not as familiar with the other regiment's histories within this battle, but I'm certain there are a huge number of other serving members of those regiments that share my sentiments. I hope you read this before considering this book. The only good thing about it IS the cover.
Date published: 2008-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Book For Canadian History Enthuisists A very well written and informative book. I have found myself putting down the book because I felt like I was there. What the soldiers went through, the tactics the Germans were using, and the bravery of the Canadian soldiers is all very enthralling. Even though the first world war has been over for nearly a century, I guarantee that this book will stir your emotions as if the war was taking place today.
Date published: 2007-11-21