Trial By Fire: Command And The British Expeditionary Force In 1914

Hardcover | August 31, 2003

byNikolas Gardner

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While existing accounts of this period have elevated the exploits of the British soldiers on the battlefield to almost legendary status, the operations of the British Expeditionary Force in the dramatic opening campaign of the First World War remain poorly understood. Based on official unit war diaries, as well as personal papers and memoirs of numerous officers, this study sheds significant new light on the retreat from Mons in August 1914, the advance to the River Aisne in September, and the climactic First Battle of Ypres in October and November. In addition, Gardner provides important insights into the ideas and values of British officers in the initial stages of the war. Beyond explaining the conduct of the 1914 campaign, Gardner analyzes the initial stages of the "learning curve" experienced by British officers as they grappled with an unaccustomed type of warfare, including the unprecedented scale and intensity of the conflict as well as the advent of trench warfare. He also demonstrates the impact of rivalries among senior officers on the operations of the army. As a whole, the study adds depth to our understanding of command in European armies during the First World War.

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From the Publisher

While existing accounts of this period have elevated the exploits of the British soldiers on the battlefield to almost legendary status, the operations of the British Expeditionary Force in the dramatic opening campaign of the First World War remain poorly understood. Based on official unit war diaries, as well as personal papers and m...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:280 pages, 9.7 × 6.12 × 1.02 inPublished:August 31, 2003Publisher:Praeger PublishersLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0313324735

ISBN - 13:9780313324734

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"A perceptive and thoughtful book which makes an excellent read. An important examination of the exercise of command in the BEF up to the end of first Ypres concentrating on command at Corps level and at GHQ. This important work is essential reading in understanding how the BEF operated in 1914."-Stand To! Journal of the Western Front Association