Victoria Crosses on the Western Front – Amiens, Albert & Arras (Paperback)
8-13 August 1918
In the past, while visiting the First World War battlefields, the author often wondered where the various Victoria Cross actions took place. He resolved to find out. In 1988, in the midst of his army career, research for this book commenced and over the years numerous sources have been consulted.
Victoria Crosses on the Western Front: Amiens, Albert and Arras is designed for the battlefield visitor as much as the armchair reader. A thorough account of each VC action is set within the wider strategic and tactical context. Detailed sketch maps show the area today, together with the battle-lines and movements of the combatants. It will allow visitors to stand upon the spot, or very close to, where each VC was won. Photographs of the battle sites richly illustrate the accounts. There is also a comprehensive biography for each recipient, covering every aspect of their lives warts and all: parents and siblings, education, civilian employment, military career, wife and children, death and burial/commemoration. A host of other information, much of it published for the first time, reveals some fascinating characters, with numerous links to many famous people and events.
I have one bookshelf devoted to literature on the Victoria Cross and I think that this is my sixth book on the subject by Paul Oldfield... as with the other VC books by Paul Oldfield and others, the value of these works lies not just in the deeds of the recipients, but the supporting narrative which puts their gallant deeds into context.Paul Nixon
This book focuses on a short period of time, the 8th to the 13th August 1918 and works both as an armchair guide and as a battlefield companion (although I'd opt for the Kindle version of I were traipsing across the fields of France). Well done to Paul Oldfield for producing another useful addition to Great War literature.
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I have to admit here that this was/is a totally different book to what I expected, but it was a pleasant surprise. I expected to be reading biographies celebrating brave young men, whilst I did get that later in the book. What you do get for about the first 80 pages of the book is the detail of the Battle at Amiens, which is very good and stunning in detail, which I must say runs throughout the book. I was probably thinking just because I knew about the battle I didn’t need to know about it. But I was wrong, the battle was very well written and informative. The amount of research and documentation that has been gone through is phenomenal. We then go onto the stories that were awarded Victoria Crosses. Again the research and information is stunning, Paul Oldfield the author has done an amazing job with the research and background. Generally this is pretty much it, but don’t be fooled the work, battle, biographies in this particular book is first class. The book is also supported by excellent photographs, pictures, drawings and charts, their support of the text only heightens the brilliance of the book. I can’t recommend this book highly enough to others, the writing, research and information is outstanding, whether I was at the actual place or sat in my armchair at home, I would want to read this.UK Historian
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