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The French Army in the Great War (Paperback)

Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives

WWI Photographic Books 1917 WWI Photographic Books Military

By David Bilton
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Images of War
Pages: 222
ISBN: 9781473887244
Published: 16th April 2019

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There have been few books written in English about the French Army during the Great War. Those that have are scarcely illustrated. This book aims to provide a highly readable and succinct account of the work of the French Army on the Western Front, as well as provide the reader with a wealth of photographs that show the daily life of the French soldier both in and out of the trenches. All of the images are contemporary, many coming from war-time and post-war magazines, interspersed with many previously unpublished images.

The book aims to give a concise overview of the war seen through French eyes and includes the casualties incurred. Although the May 1917 mutinies were an important but brief part of the story, they are not dealt with at any length because they can distract from the main story of the valour shown by the French troops in battles were the casualties were extremely high. Also included is a lengthy introduction which explains the structure of the army at the onset of the war, some of the problems it faced, and a section that looks at the uniforms worn and how they changed during the war.

This volume covers the French Army in a concise visual history of the Great War. – Highly Recommended

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Firetrench

Another fascinating book from Pen & Sword publishers, Barnsley – I urge you to read it.

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Lucy London War Poets

Overall, worth acquiring.

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Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

We have a marvellous selection of archive images, all well captioned, which provide a first class look at the course of the war for France... For the modeller, reenactor and military historian in general there is a lot to like.

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Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland

I would strongly recommend this book: I love group photos of soldiers at the front, I appreciate the photos that show the logistical aspect of the war (and here there are so many), I believe that the variety of artillery pieces shown is enormous and that Bilton's effort to show the transformation of an army through many significant photos should be rewarded.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

Another excellent book in the series ‘Images of War’. The photographs are well chosen and show the evolution of the French soldier from the early days of the war through to the final victory. Perhaps the overall image is that of the French soldier as a stoic; seldom smiling but just enduring.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy
 David Bilton

About David Bilton

David Bilton is a retired teacher who spends his time looking after his family, working as a University lecturer and researching the Great War. He is the prolific author of numerous books about the British Army, the Home Front and the German Army. His first book, The Hull Pals, became the BBC 2 series The Trench. Since he started writing he has contributed to many television and radio programmes. His interest in the Great War was ignited by his grandfather's refusal to talk about his experiences in Gallipoli and on the Western Front.

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The French Army on the Somme 1916 Rare Photographs from Wartime Archives (Paperback)

So much has been written about the 1916 Battle of the Somme that it might appear that every aspect of the four-month struggle has been described and analysed in exhaustive detail. Yet perhaps one aspect has not received the attention it deserves – the French sector in the south of the battlefield which is often overshadowed by events in the British sector further north. That is why Ian Sumner's photographic history of the French army on the Somme is so interesting and valuable. Using a selection of over 200 wartime photographs, many of which have not been published before, he follows the entire…

By Ian Sumner

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