Meeting The Enemy: The Human Face Of The Great War

Paperback | August 26, 2015

byEmden Richard Van

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A British soldier walked over to the German front line to deliver newspapers; British women married to Germans became "enemy aliens" in their own country; a high-ranking British POW discussed his own troops' heroism with the Kaiser on the battlefield. Just three amazing stories of contact between the opposing sides in the Great War that eminent historian Richard van Emden has unearthed--incidents that show brutality, great humanity, and above all, the bizarre nature of a conflict between two nations with long-standing ties of kinship and friendship. Meeting the Enemy reveals for the first time how contact was maintained on many levels throughout the War, and through its stories--sometimes funny, often moving--gives us a new perspective on the lives of ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary events.

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A British soldier walked over to the German front line to deliver newspapers; British women married to Germans became "enemy aliens" in their own country; a high-ranking British POW discussed his own troops' heroism with the Kaiser on the battlefield. Just three amazing stories of contact between the opposing sides in the Great Wa...

Richard van Emden has interviewed over 270 veterans of the Great War and has written fourteen books on the subject including Boy Soldiers of the Great War and The Last Fighting Tommy. He has also worked on more than a dozen television programs on the First World War, including Britain's Last Tommies, Britain's Boy Soldiers, the award-...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.25 × 1 inPublished:August 26, 2015Publisher:Bloomsbury Press AgencyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1408843358

ISBN - 13:9781408843352

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"Remarkable . . . Richard van Emden is a World War I specialist who has found a niche, little explored, charting the personal contacts between Britons and Germans and their feelings about each other as the war progressed . . . Makes you think rather differently about the so-called 'Great War For Civilisation.'" -Daily Mail"Richard van Emden's tour-de-force of research casts a fascinating new light on the human face of the Great War, allowing us into the strangest of meetings between British and German enemies in the trenches, behind the lines and on the home front . . . Extraordinary and often inspirational stories of comradeship between foes . . . Among many compelling photographs in this book, there is a grainy and heartbreaking image of a bowed and broken British prisoner tied to a post and left in the snow." -Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, The Times"From the horrors of the First World War battlefields are tales of extraordinary camaraderie between British and German soldiers." -Daily Express"In Meeting the Enemy, the historian Richard van Emden shifts his focus from the grim fields of the First World War to the small, all but unknown instances of compassion across enemy lines." -New Statesman"Richard van Emden uncovers myriad encounters between German and British forces . . . Van Emden's tales of friendship and honour between enemies only heighten the mystery of how these men slaughtered each other in their millions for four years." -Metro"Meeting the Enemy is a meticulously researched account of contacts between the British and Germans during the war, mainly in the trenches, but also as prisoners of war and as 'enemy alien' wives. It is full of fascinating information and will appeal particularly to great war gluttons, the people who can't get enough of this stuff." -Observer"An interesting chapter on what happened to those in mixed Anglo-German marriages . . . Van Emden wants to remind us that not all was hellish: there was also humour, mutual baiting and occasional easy-going relations. As well as direct contact during the Christmas truces, this book explores indirect contacts, using many unpublished letter and diaries." -Peter Conradi, Spectator"A real cracker." -Literary Review