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Ypres: The First Battle, 1914

3.28  ·  Rating Details ·  18 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In late 1914 the Germans attempted to capture the Channel ports, an enterprise intended to seriously weaken the Anglo-French alliance. They were halted in desperate & sustained fighting at Ypres in Belgium by the British Expeditionary Force.
Paperback, 280 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by Longman Publishing Group (first published October 26th 2004)
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This book is pure military history of the first battle of Ypres told from a British perspective. Overall very good but at times the dry writing makes for muddled reading. The British focus is interesting but would have been worth a longer book to have incorporated more Belgian and French perspectives. Maybe even those of the civilians. Just nit picking here, overall good military history.
Serjeant Wildgoose
Taking a vast battlescape and laying down on paper in a narrative that can be understood by the reader is not easy and a skill that only a few of the best historians have mastered. While Beckett is a skilled academic and his book is laced with plenty of anecdote, he has not quite mastered the battle's storytelling.

I came away from this book with a sense of what it may have been like to have fought at Ypres in 1914 and some idea of the battle's major phases. But I am not much the wiser as to how
James Webster
Aug 06, 2015 James Webster rated it liked it
I knew very little about the First Battle of Ypres before reading this and don't feel sure that I KNOW a lot more now. A largely narrative account, this seems to me to lack the bite of some serious analysis or contextual explanation. This was clearly a transitional period between mobile and trench warfare and I would have found some tactical and operational details useful: just what did warfare mean at this stage?
Feb 04, 2016 Dimitri rated it it was ok
The subject is very focused; there is no introduction for Mons or Le Cateau. The tactical overview sometimes gets watered down by testimonial anecdotes. More information on the Franco-Belgian activity during october-november might've helped also.
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