1914: Fight the Good Fight: Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War
By: Allan Mallinson (author)Paperback
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'No part of the Great War compares in interest with its opening', wrote Churchill. 'The measured, silent drawing together of gigantic forces, the uncertainty of their movements and positions, the number of unknown and unknowable facts made the first collision a drama never surpassed.in fact the War was decided in the first twenty days of fighting, and all that happened afterwards consisted in battles which, however formidable and devastating, were but desperate and vain appeals against the decision of fate.' On of Britain's foremost military historians and defence experts tackles the origins - and the opening first few weeks of fighting - of what would become known as 'the war to end all wars'.
Intensely researched and convincingly argued, Allan Mallinson explores and explains the grand strategic shift that occurred in the century before the war, the British Army's regeneration after its drubbings in its fight against the Boer in South Africa, its almost calamitous experience of the first twenty days' fighting in Flanders to the point at which the British Expeditionary Force - the 'Old Contemptibles' - took up the spade in the middle of September 1914: for it was then that the war changed from one of rapid and brutal movement into the more familiar vision of trench warfare on Western Front. In this vivid, compelling new history, Malliinson brings his experience as a professional soldier to bear on the circumstances, events, actions and individuals and speculates - tantalizingly - on what might have been...
At seventeen, Allan Mallinson gave up the promise of an exhibition at Brasenose College, Oxford to go instead to theological college. After three years he decided to take a break in training with a short-service commission in the army. He served with the infantry worldwide, and then, on deciding to make the army a career, transferred to the cavalry. He began writing while still serving - first, a history of the antecedent regiments of that which he commanded, and then the Matthew Hervey series of novels chronicling the life of a fictitious cavalry officer before and after Waterloo. He left the army in 2004 as a brigadier to write full time, including defence comment for the Daily Telegraph and then The Times. In 2009 his The Making of the British Army, a survey of the army's history and development since 1660, was shortlisted for several prizes and chosen by Jeremy Paxman for the Observer's 'Books of the Year'. An updated edition, with a commentary on the Strategic Defence and Security Review, was published in 2011. His centenary history, 1914: Fight the Good Fight - Britain, the Army and the Coming of the First World War was shortlisted for the Westminster Medal and won the Army Book of the Year Award 2013. Its sequel, Too Important for the Generals, examines the failure of Allied generals and politicians to find a less bloody strategy for victory in the First World War and will be published in June 2016. Allan Mallinson lives with his wife, Sue, a dressage trainer, on Salisbury Plain.
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- ID: 9780857500595
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