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French Army at Verdun (Paperback)

WWI Verdun

By Ian Sumner
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War Books
Pages: 121
ISBN: 9781473856158
Published: 11th January 2016

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In four and a half years of fighting on the Western Front during the First World War a few battles stand out from the rest. They had a decisive impact on the course of the conflict, and they still define the war for us today. For the French, the Battle of Verdun, fought between February and December 1916, was one of the greatest of these.
That is why the selection of contemporary photographs Ian Sumner has brought together for this volume in the Images of War series is so important and revealing. They show the strained, sometimes shocked faces of the soldiers, record the shattered landscape in which they fought, and give us an insight into the sheer intensity of the fighting.
At the time, and ever since, the battle has been portrayed as a triumph of French tenacity and heroism that is encapsulated in the famous phrase ‘They shall not pass’. These photographs remind us, in the most graphic way, what that slogan meant in terms of the devastating personal experience of the men on the Verdun battlefield.

As featured on TWFA

The Western Front Association, Dennis Williams

Reviewed on War History Online

War History Online, Mark Barnes

As reviewed on Destructive Music

Destructive Music

The year 2016 is the 100th anniversary of the battle of Verdun, fought between February and December. Consequently, the publication of this new addition to the Images of War series is particularly appropriate.

This selection of contemporary photographs brought together by Ian Sumner for this volume is both important and highly revealing. They show the strained, sometimes shocked faces of soldiers, record the shattered landscape in which they fought, and give us an insight into the sheer intensity of the fighting. As well as being important images of this battle, these photographs are also invaluable prime source material for the collector, modeller, military historian and re-enactor.

The battle has always been portrayed as a triumph of French tenacity and heroism that is encapsulated in the famous phrase 'They shall not pass.' These photographs remind us, in the most graphic way, what that slogan meant in terms of the devastating personal experience of the men of the Verdun battlefield.

Classic Arms & Militaria, June/July 2016 - Bill Harriman

As reviewed on ARRSE

ARRSE - MoleBath

An intimate and inspirational examination of the greatest of the Great War battles involving the French troops - Verdun. The photographs have an extraordinary clarity that seem to bring the whole thing into a sharper focus.

Books Monthly, May 2016 - Paul Norman

Ian Sumner’s Images: The French Army At Verdun is an excellent overview of the battle from an author with a good track record of books on the French side of the Great War. There are brief chapter introductions but some good photo captions. The photographs themselves are well chosen and show both the French and German side of the battle. The air photos clearly show the destruction the bombardments caused and give an insight into the hell of Verdun: highly recommended.

WW1 Centenary - Paul Reed

As featured in

Beverley Guardian

About Ian Sumner

Ian Sumner is a prolific writer and researcher who specializes in local and military history. He has made a particular study of the French army during the First World War, his many books on the subject including French Army 1914-18, French Poilu 1914-18 and First Battle of the Marne 1914. He is the author, with François Vauvillier, of French Army 1939-45, and has also published books on the Royal Navy, the British army, the Indian Army, the Anzacs, the German air force and the history of Yorkshire.

Perfect Partner

Verdun: Fort Douaumont Revised Edition (Paperback)

This fully revised second edition of Christina Holstein's acclaimed Battleground guide to Fort Douaumont will be essential reading for students of the Battle of Verdun, for visitors to the battlefield, and for anyone who is interested in the history of twentieth-century fortifications. The battle, which lasted from 21 February to 15 December 1916, was a turning point in the First World War, and Fort Douaumont was at the heart of it. In 1914 the fort was the strongest and most modern of the fortifications around Verdun and it formed the keystone of the French defence in the area. Using both French…

By Christina Holstein

Click here to buy both titles for £27.98
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