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British Expeditionary Force - The 1915 Campaign (Hardback)

Military WWI

By Andrew Rawson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 263
ISBN: 9781473846159
Published: 14th December 2015



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The British Expeditionary Force – The 1915 Campaign is a thorough account of the BEF's actions during the battles of 1915 and early 1916, starting with the success at Neuve Chapelle in March and the nightmare gas attack at Ypres in April. It follows their back-to-back failures at Aubers and Festubert before the British used gas at Loos in September and the minor engagements of the early months of 1916.

Each major battle and minor action is reconstructed in graphic detail and given equal treatment through the compiling of information from the Official History and printed histories, resulting in a balanced view of the most-talked-about side of the campaign – the British side.

Detailed throughout are the reasonings behind each battle and the objectives, and there is discussion about how the infantry, the artillery, the cavalry and engineers worked together, often learning new techniques after bloody mistakes, with insights into the successes and failures of each attack.

Together the narrative and over sixty new maps, that chart the day-by-day progress of each battle and action, provide an unique insight into the British Army's experience during those difficult days of 1915 and early 1916, as it came to terms the art of the offensive. Where possible the brave men who made a difference are commemorated; those who led the attacks, those who faced overwhelming counter attacks and those who were awarded the Victoria Cross.

Through this wide-ranging, up-to-date and balanced account of this catastrophic conflict, the the real 1915 campaign experienced by the British Army and how its brave soldiers fought hard to achieve their objectives is explored.

The book finishes with a set of well thought out conclusions, examining the performance of the BEF in 1915 and the first half of 1916. I found myself agreeing with most (if not all) of their conclusions. Overall this is a good account of this grim period.

Read the complete review here.

History of War

As reviewed on ARRSE http://www.arrse.co.uk/community/reviews/the-1915-campaign.256/

ARRSE - Cynical

This title provides descriptions of the 1915 battles of Neuve Chapelle, Second Ypres, Aubers Ridge and Festubert, as well as a comprehensive study of the fighting during the battle of Loos - the biggest offensive by the British Army in 1915 - plus the early battles of 1916.

Each major battle and minor action is reconstructed in detail and given equal treatment from the Official History and printed histories, resulting in a view of the British aspect of the conflict. The day-by-day progress of each battle is charted, providing an interesting insight into the British army's experience during 1915 and early 1916, as it learnt valuable offensive lessons in the art of trench warfare.

The text includes interesting anecdotes from divisional and regimental histories. There are more than 60 new maps of all the actions, 17 monochrome illustrations and index.

Military Modelling Magazine - Stuart Asquith
 Andrew Rawson

About Andrew Rawson

ANDREW RAWSON has over forty books to his name, including eight Pen and Sword ‘Battleground Europe’ travel books and three History Press ‘Handbook’ reference books. He has edited the minutes of the Second World War conferences and the top-secret correspondence between George C. Marshall and Dwight D. Eisenhower. He books include covering Poland’s struggle in the twentieth century, Auschwitz Extermination Camp and wartime Krakow. He has also written a ten-part series on the Western Front campaigns between 1914-18. He has a master’s degree with Birmingham University’s history department.

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