The author has an academic background and this is used to excellent effect in the range of sources used. The relevant battalion, brigade and divisional war diaries are referenced throughout and the material covering tactical developments is sourced, to a large extent, from the Imperial War Museum Archive. Local newspaper reports are quoted extensively and where there is a lack of certainty the author provides an appropriate caveat. The references relating to each chapter are laid out in a logical way and there is a useful appendix listing all of the men who are mentioned in the book. In the reviewers opinion the book would have benefited from a few maps – for those who are unfamiliar with the geography some of the movements are a little hard to follow. Also the description of the battalion’s involvement in the 1918 Kaiserschlacht may have resonated more had some of the more candid observations articulated by Cambs Suffolks veteran F. Haydn Hornsey in his book Hell on Earth been used.. Read more
The Western Front Association, Phil Curme
The history is interesting and covers everything that I was looking for. It expands on a region that has a long and often tumultuous story with colourful characters and powerful empires vying for control, with varying levels of success. Starting before the Mongols and coming right through to the present, the book gives a thorough grounding in the development of various empires as they rose and fell in the Central Asian area. There is a lot of important history in here that, certainly a western reader, will find new and fascinating.
Read the full review [link=http://pulp-zen.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/book-review-formless-empire-by.html]here.[/link]
Iron Mammoth Blog, David Drage
Over five long months, the Battle of the Somme claimed the lives of more than 400,000 British soldiers. However, the Somme was also the backdrop for many astonishing acts of bravery, with a number of men receiving the highest military honour. Paul Oldfield's hefty volume isn't really designed to be read from cover to cover; instead, it's a reference guide, drawing upon three decades of research to provide biographies of every Victoria Cross recipient from the campaign.
WDYTYA? Magazine, September 2016