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The Battles of French Flanders (ePub)

Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Festubert, Loos and Fromelles

Military > Battlefield Guidebooks > WWI Battlefield Guides WWI > By Year > 1915 WWI > By Year > 1916

By Jon Cooksey, Jerry Murland
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Battle Lines
File Size: 100.0 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781473856271
Published: 8th April 2015


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The Battles of French Flanders Paperback Add to Basket £14.99

The battles fought by the British army in 1915, in the second year of the First World War, are less well known than those fought immediately after the outbreak of war in 1914 and those that followed in 1916 which culminated in the Battle of the Somme. But the fighting at Aubers Ridge, Festubert, Neuve Chapelle and Loos was just as severe – as was the 1916 battle at Fromelles – and the battlefields are just as interesting to explore today. This volume in the Battle Lines series is the perfect guide to them.
Expert guides Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland take visitors over a series of routes that can be walked, biked or driven, explaining the fighting that occurred at 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 for the visitor to see. Their highly illustrated guidebook is essential reading for visitors who wish to enhance their understanding of warfare on the Western Front.

The book covers the possibly less familiar actions at Bois Grenier, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Givenchy, Festubert, Loos and the 1916 battle at Fromelles. The authors take readers/visitors over a series of routes, explaining the fighting, what can be seen and what happened at each historic place, additionally describing the battlefields, monuments and cemeteries. As well as being interesting to read, this nicely produced, well illustrated pocket – or glove compartment – sized paperback book would certainly indispensable when touring the area.

Stuart Asquith, Author

This battlefield guide covers the actions at Bois Grenier, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Givenchy, Festubert, Loos and the 1916 Battle at Fromelles. As ever from Pen & Sword, this is an excellent and accomplished battlefield guide which will enhance the visitor's experience.

First-class guide.

The Great War Magazine - May 2016

The publisher has been building an unrivalled series of battlefield guides, written by a selection of authors who are authorities in their specific field. As with other titles in the range, the text is crisp and supported by many ‘then’ and ‘now’ photographs. What makes these guides particularly useful is that they cater for all the forms of access and provide much detail on the conditions to be experienced, in addition to the basic navigational advice. One interesting aspect is that many buying the guides do not actually make it to the fields, but use the guide as part of a framework of books to illuminate the history of WWI. Of those readers who do make the pilgrimage to France and Belgium, the guides perform two important functions, firstly in preparing for the visit, and secondly as a pocket book to be carried around the battlefields. Much recommended.


From the pens and bicycle saddles of two of Pen & Sword’s most prolific authors, “The battles of French Flanders” is the latest in their “Battle Lines series” of battlefield guide books. This one is ambitious in geographic and historical scope, for it covers the area from Armentieres down to Loos-en-Gohelle, which saw a great deal of fighting in each of the years of the war...

... Following the style of the previous “Battle Lines” work, Cooksey and Murland take us through a number of guided tours of the area – twelve in all – and slant them towards walking, cycling or car touring. Each tour is described in a narrative, picking out key spots and relating them to the historical events. The memorials, cemeteries and remains (for in this area there are many concrete blockhouses) are highlighted. There are good clear maps and, for those whose battlefield touring is done in an easy chair, plenty of photographs. It makes for a good read, and an invaluable guide when you are on the ground. There is also some good general advice about travel in the area and some recommendations for accommodation.

A great addition to the battlefield tourist’s library.

The Long, Long Trail

A sound purchase for any battlefield guide.

Despatches - the Journal of the Guild of Battlefield Guides

Readers of this blog will know that I very much like and enjoy the series of WW1 guidebooks by Jon Cooksey and Jerry Murland, and there is no exception with this new title.. The book is well illustrated, with good, clear maps and is a joy to read and use. An absolutely essential book to have for exploring this part of the Western Front.

WW1 Centenary

This is an excellent addition to the Battle Lines series and one worth buying and travelling with and it does not matter if you are an experienced historical voyeur or new to touring battlefields this is an important addition to your library.

Paul Diggett

This is another handy title in this series of guides and one that I will certainly be making use of when I can.

Military Modelling

With such authoritative authors as John Cooksey and Jerry Murland at the helm, you'd expect nothing less than a cracking guide to these battles and the grounds over which they were fought, and that's exactly what you get. The writing is measured and informative and the chapters liberally sprinkled with anecdotes detailing individual, as well as collective, deeds of heroism and sacrifice. This, as the cover proclaims, is a guide to the Western Front by car, by bike and on foot and there are useful maps and clearly defined routes for those wishing to explore the ground where so much blood was shed. For anyone contemplating a tour of these battlegrounds, this book will be an indispensable companion; something to slip into the rucksack along with plastic mac, bottles of water and poppy crosses to lay at those all too many memorials and cemeteries in these particular foreign fields.

Paul Nixon

About Jon Cooksey

The late Jon Cooksey was a leading military historian who took a special interest in the history of the world wars. He was the editor of Stand To!, the journal of the Western Front Association, and an experienced battlefield guide. His many books included The Barnsley Pals, Calais, Harry’s War and, as editor, Blood and Iron. 

About Jerry Murland

Jerry Murland is a retired headteacher who has written over twenty books and guidebooks coverering the events of the First and Second World Wars. His first book, Aristocrats Go To War, was published by Pen and Sword in 2010 and since then he has gone on the write a number of others, including the Battlelines Guidebooks to the Western Front, co-written with Jon Cooksey. He is currently writing an account of the Battle of the Ypres-Comines Canal 1940, part of eight Battleground Europe books which cover the France and Flanders campaign of 1940.

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