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Victoria Crosses on the Western Front – Battle of Albert (Paperback)

21-27 August 1918

Military > Victoria Crosses WWI > By Year > 1918

By Paul Oldfield
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: Victoria Crosses on the Western Front
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 200 black and white illustrations & maps
ISBN: 9781526787996
Published: 20th April 2021



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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: Battle of Albert, 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.

The stories give the reader so much about the kind of men who served and also obtained the Victoria Cross. It is a reminder that there is no ‘definition’ of a type of man that obtained the VC. What is continually clear from this, and all Paul Oldfield’s tremendous work, is that these men were just ordinary people who managed to do extraordinary things.

Jon Sandison

Paul Oldfield's new book on Western Front Victoria Crosses, and in particular those awarded at the Battle of Albert in 1918, is a testament to the bravery of the men who took part in the action, as well as a superb account of the various skirmishes and engagements for which the VCs were awarded. Essential reading for anyone contemplating a visit to a place where a loved one fought and died.

Books Monthly

These books are fast becoming a favourite of mine, despite being surprised by the format before reading a previous copy. Let’s just say the format has grown on me. These books are great in that you get the story of the battle and the major incidents, you then get the story of the person beyond the award. It’s not just the basic info you could find elsewhere but it has the in depth story and the full story of the man who has won the award. Credit must go to the author Paul Oldfield, who writes a great book and who must have to do so much research for them. These books are really good and I would happily recommend them to anyone, they are so important so that these events and stories are not forgotten.

Read the full review here

UK Historian

Paul Oldfield continues his thoughtful accounts of the men, the battle and the ground on which they won the Victoria Cross. The format is excellent and continues the author’s excellent work on the subject.

Michael McCarthy. Battlefield Guide

Michael McCarthy

About Paul Oldfield

Paul Oldfield was born in Sheffield and was educated at Victoria College in Jersey. After serving in the Army for thirty-six years, he became a freelance battlefield guide (he is a badged member of the Guild of Battlefield Guides) and a historian. In 1988 he co-authored Sheffield City Battalion in the Pals series. Cockleshell Raid and Bruneval in Pen & Sword's Battleground Europe series were published in 2013.This is the twelfth book in his Victoria Crosses on the Western Front series.

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