Peter Simkins has established a reputation over the last forty years as one of the most original and stimulating historians of the First World War. He has made a major contribution to the debate about the performance of the British Army on the Western Front. This collection of his most perceptive and challenging essays, which concentrates on British operations in France between 1916 and 1918, shows that this reputation is richly deserved. He focuses on key aspects of the army's performance in battle, from the first day of the Somme to the Hundred Days, and gives a fascinating insight into the developing theory and practice of the army as it struggled to find a way to break through the German line. His rigorous analysis undermines some of the common assumptions - and the myths - that still cling to the history of these British battles.
Professor Peter Simkins joined the staff of the Imperial War Museum in 1963 and worked there for over thirty-five years, becoming its Senior Historian. On his retirement in 1999 he was awarded the MBE. He is currently Visiting Lecturer in Modern History and a member of the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham, President of the Western Front Association, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of both the Army Records Society and the British Commission for Military History. He has published many articles on aspects of the history of the First World War and has served as a historical consultant to several major television series.