Givenchy in the Great War (Paperback)
A Village on the Front Line 1914 - 1918
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The village of Givenchy-lès-la-Bassée sits on a small rise in the Pas de Calais Department in northern France. One hundred years ago it was overtaken by the First World War. The fighting there was intense – eleven Victoria Crosses were won in this tiny locality between 1914 and 1918. Phil Tomaselli’s in-depth account shows what happened at Givenchy when it became a battlefield, and the story here was repeated in the other villages and towns on the Western Front.
Givenchy’s key position made it the target for crushing bombardments, infantry assaults and subterranean warfare. The landscape was pulverized by shellfire, the ground beneath was honeycombed with tunnels. Mining operations, shelling, sniping and trench raids took place around the remains of the village even when this stretch of the front line was relatively quiet. The gruelling struggle of attrition that characterized the fighting on the Western Front continued here throughout the war.
Phil Tomaselli’s gripping narrative makes extensive use of war diary extracts, personal stories, official and unofficial histories.
At 240 pages, the book is complimented by an extensive index and bibliography as well as contextualised and contemporary photographs throughout thus giving the reader a comprehensive feel of the battles one hundred years ago, but also how their location looks today. Amongst many poignant photographs is one of the unveiling of the 55th Division's monument by Marshall Joffre and General Jeudwine; Given that much of the action took place in the early years of the war, the book incorporates beautiful paintings as opposed to photographs There are useful maps which help the reader to understand some of the battles.Jon Sandison, Freelance
Another crucial, fascinating book. I want to re-read this one some time soon.
Sniping in the Great War (Paperback)
Military snipers are highly trained marksmen who target individual enemy soldiers. They are regarded as vital specialists in modern warfare, and their role evolved throughout the Great War. As Martin Pegler shows in this wide-ranging, authoritative study, the technique of sniping adapted rapidly to the conditions of static warfare that prevailed through much of the conflict. His account follows the development of sniping from the early battles of 1914, through the trench fighting and the attritional offensives of the middle years, to the renewed open warfare of 1918. He concentrates on the continuous…By Martin Pegler
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