The trench raid came to typify the aggressive and close-combat nature of warfare on the Western Front. Inevitably, successful raiding had a significant psychological effect on the enemy and was a powerful way of exerting local domination in what was otherwise a static military situation. Equally, raiding had an effect on the morale of friendly troops but, as the author of this in-depth study reveals, not always a positive one. Successful raids buoyed spirits but unsuccessful ones could be detrimental because of the casualties sustained for no territorial gain and frequently provoked shelling from enemy artillery or mortars or tit-for-tat retaliation.Raids came to be the epitome of all-arms operations, combining individual weapons skills with tactical sense and requiring cooperation with artillery and mortar batteries for success. Yet, a raiding party was an ad hoc combat team put together and trained for one specific operation. In the early days of raiding, the raiders were always volunteers but the steady toll of experienced soldiers led to participants being detailed for the task like any other.
Raiding on the Western Front can claim to be the first book to look at how raids were carried out, the successes, the failures, the consequences of raiding, their effect on morale and their contribution to military operations on the Western Front. It contains exciting accounts of actions and many examples of great bravery, leadership and sacrifice. As such it is not only an excellent read but will be an important addition to the library of any Great War enthusiast.