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Battle Lines: Ypres (Paperback)

Nieuwpoort to Ploegsteert

WWI Ypres Battlefield Guidebooks Colour Books Great War Guides

By Jon Cooksey, Jerry Murland
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Battle Lines
Pages: 240
ISBN: 9781848847934
Published: 18th February 2013

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Battle Lines Ypres, the first volume in Pen & Sword's new series of walking, cycling and driving guides to the Western Front, is the essential companion for every visitor to the Ypres Salient and the battlefields of Belgium. Many of the most famous - and most memorable - Great War sites are featured here. Expert guides Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland take visitors over a series of routes that can be walked or biked or driven, explaining the fighting that occurred in each place in vivid detail. They describe what happened, where it happened, and why, and who was involved, and point out the sights that remain there for the visitor to see. Their accounts give a fascinating insight into the landscape of the front line and the acts of war that took place there a century ago.

I did wonder what this book could add to the many guides already published (although I had taken the plunge and purchased it). I was surprised. The book itself is well laid out and traces the front line, as the title suggests, from Nieuwpoort to Ploegsteert, providing a brief historical overview and the usual guide to visiting the front in Belgium. The authors are both well established guides and authors and their knowledge is self- evident in the narratives of each tour they describe.
Jon and Jerry's book is a well researched, easy to read and understand guide; it is a welcome addition to any Battlefield Tourist collection of the Ypres Salient. I for one will be using it again and again and I look forward to their next venture which, I believe, is focused on the Somme.

Western Front Association, Ian. T. Hodkinson

First in a series of new Pen & Sword walking, cycling and motoring battlefield guides.

WWI Historical Association

Battle Lines Ypres, the first volume in Pen & Sword’s new series of walking, cycling and driving guides to the Western Front, is the essential companion for every visitor to the Ypres Salient and the battlefields of Belgium. Many of the most famous - and most memorable - Great War sites are featured here. Expert guides Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland take visitors over a series of routes that can be walked or biked or driven, explaining the fighting that occurred in each place in vivid detail. They describe what happened, where it happened, and why, and who was involved, and point out the sights that remain there for the visitor to see. Their accounts give a fascinating insight into the landscape of the front line and the acts of war that took place there a century ago

Friends of the National Archives

No visitor to the battlefield can go without one of these in the rucksack, while make room on your shelves for more in the series.

Bulletin - Military Historical Society

This is a publication that will help all visitors gan an appreciation of what happened in that part of Flanders between 1914 and 1918.

Britain at War

Pen and Sword have upped their game with this volume. Maps are clear and colour illustrations most welcome. I greatly look forward to using Jon and Jerry's guide on my next trip.

Stand To - Western Front Association

This is a fascinating guide to one of the most poignant areas of the First World War. The battles fought around Ypres were among the most bloody killing grounds of the war.

Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland have created a guide to the area, providing routes which can be easily followed by bike, car or on foot. There are 20 routes in all, covering everything from Houthuist Forest, Caterpillar Crater and the Bluff to Messines Ridge and Passendale.

At each place mentioned in the text, they provide a detailed background bringing to life how and where a battle happened and just what happened.  It helps to bring to life a landscape far removed from the peaceful agricultural land to be seen nowadays.  The book is full of practical information and historical detail - perfect for anyone visiting the area for the first time.

www.monstersandcritics.com

This book is the first in what will become a series, describing battlefields of the Great War. The books are designed very much with the battlefield tourist in mind. There is some text describing the battles and armies involved, but most of the space is given over to describing what can be seen today.

This is organised into 25 route descriptions, with each one concentrating on a military historic area or incident. It gives the distance involved, the degree of difficulty, maps, photographs and background reading.

Assuming other books in he series are like the first one, they should prove a valuable aid to anybody planning a trip to the battlefields of Belgium and France. The paperback format is light and flexible enough to carry the books in a large pocket en route.

Military Modelcraft International

This is the first of what publisher Pen & Sword bills as a series known as “Battle Lines: the Western Front by car, by bike and on foot”. As the title suggests, this one covers the battle area of Flanders all the way from Nieuwpoort on the coast down to Ploegsteert on the French border, and does so by describing 25 tours, varying from 2 to 30 miles in length.

Cooksey and Murland – both well known to P&S buyers, having each had several titles published – set out to provide the independent battlefield tourist with some practical advice and good tours that take in the main sights. Each tour is a circuit and the tourist, armed with the author’s descriptions of the distances and a guide to how difficult the terrain is, can make their own judgements as to whether to do it on foot or on wheels. The tours are described in the narrative and by clear sketch maps, although for anyone unfamiliar with the area they would also be well advised to have a good road map with them.

The authors are to be congratulated for opening with three routes that cover the battlefields of the Yper, for the most part in the sector of the Belgian army through the war. This is an area not often visited by British and Commonwealth tourists, it seems, and well worth a day or two. From there on south the area is obviously a well known one, possibly the region of the western Front that receives the greatest volume of such visitors: the places visited will be known to many. Langemarck, Passchendaele, Hooge, Messines …. they are all covered and certainly the new battlefield visitor (and indeed some more experienced hands) will gain a good feel for the area.

The book is very nicely produced in glossy paper with many colour photographs: not at all bad for a cover price of £12.99.

Long Long Trail

About Jon Cooksey

JON COOKSEY is a leading military historian who takes a special interest in the history of the world wars and the Falklands War. He is the former editor of Battlefields Review and the current editor of Stand To!, and his articles have appeared in many of the foremost military magazines and in national newspapers. As an experienced battlefield guide, he regularly leads tours to the battlefields of both world wars as well as the Falkland Islands. His TV and radio appearances include the Channel 5 programme on the 1914 Christmas Truce and and Great War soldier Ronald Poulton Palmer and Gallipoli Victoria Cross winner Frederick Potts for the BBC. His books include The Barnsley Pals, Flanders 1915, Calais: A Fight to the Finish and 3 Para Mount Longdon – The Bloodiest Battle.


About Jerry Murland

Jerry Murland served in the Parachute Regiment. He is the author of Departed Warriors and Aristocrats Go To War (Pen and Sword Military). He lives near Coventry.

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