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Mud, Blood, and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War
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Mud, Blood, and Poppycock: Britain and the Great War

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  26 reviews
The true story of how Britain won the First World War
Paperback, 464 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by W&N (first published 2003)
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3.99  · 
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 ·  227 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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James Kemp
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An evidence based look at the British myths about the First World War. Corrigan follows in Keegan's footsteps by looking at all the current evidence and using it to reinterpret the historical narrative and challenge received opinion. Excellent analysis that needs to be read by all.
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
There is a great summary of the key points in this book, based on direct quotes, at the following:

This lively book helps explode the claim that the British fought WW1 stupidly and demolishes a long list of related myths. It is worth recalling that the Germans, who overran France in the Franco Prussian War, were in fact fought to a standstill and held for some years, despite huge forces being applied, before being defeated totally. When the Americans arri
Chip Douglass
Jan 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Revisionist history of World War I, focusing on British military operations on the Western Front.

It's not a chronological history of the war either. Each chapter is dedicated to a particular myth about the war (the war was pointless, the trenches were miserable, the generals were incompetent, the men were herded like sheep into slaughter in wave attacks, etc.). I'm not sure I buy some of the arguments he makes, but he backs them up with a mass of statistical and anecdotal evidence. Overall, thi
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really interesting read. I thought I was quite well informed on Ww1 facts but this book takes it to another level. It will take a lot to overturn the ideas and opinions I have of the 1st World War following school studies and the many books I've read over the years. But this book has made me think at least and I can now see Ww1 from an entirely different perspective. 4/5 because its maybe a bit too statistics heavy. Some of it went over my head.
Roger Woods
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Opinionated but interesting account of the First World War from a soldier's point of view blowing away many of the myths that still exist. Gordon Corrigan is a military historian and former officer who has great knowledge of army matters.
Simon Jenkins
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
An engrossing read that demolishes almost every idea you had about the war on the Western Front from 1914-18.
luke dennison
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am no great authority on the first world war but I have read a few books but this is the first revisionist book I have read. It is very informative and Corrigan's writing style is easy going and modern. I also liked the way each chapter covers a different subject and I like the ideas of setting this out like evidence in a legal court. However, it only covers one side of the argument (Corrigan only covers his arguments). Overall this is informative, easy to read and very interesting.
Aug 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, wwi, non-fiction
A timely revisionist look at The Great War. Corrigan focuses on certain topics which engage the British public and analyses them closely. This should help to dispel various 'myths', although some are so ingrained it will take more than one book to change opinions. His approach allows the reader to select sections of interest. His approach, as a military historian and ex-army Officer, is very down to earth and knowledgeable.

I have just picked up the RadioTimes and note that tomorrow will present
Sep 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing

If, like me, your views on the Great War stem mainly from Blackadder Goes Forth then this is a book you should read. The common perception is of Lions led by Donkeys, four years in sat in your dug out without respite, poor rations and a generation fed to the grinder for little or no gain due to the blockheadedness of the generals. The author takes common myths and provides an argument against each one in a way that has changed my opinion of the conduct of the war.

The book covers soldier welfare

An irascible volume with a title and packaging that are more annoyingly forthright than its contents necessarily warrant (the cover boasts in a blurb that it will "change everything you thought you knew about the Great War", or something to that effect, alas). Still, this is probably the best single-volume introduction to the revisionist school currently on the market, and is presented with an unabashedly operational bias: Corrigan is tired of poems and movies and novels, and doesn't care who kn ...more
Michael Dorosh
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book and highly recommended. Corrigan writes from the perspective of a British staff officer and one may suspect him of some certain amount of bias, but he lays out a convincing set of cases - that the British Army was solidly professional, well led, and fighting a righteous cause. He pulls off the first two rather well without problems, the latter he has less direct evidence of. But he is entertaining and thought provoking throughout.
Nigel Seed
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was a well written and excellently researched book. It explodes an awful lot of the myths about the First World War. There is no doubt that there was terrible slaughter and the conditions were sometimes harsh, but the British Army was not led by donkeys as is commonly imagined and the men were, in general, treated as humanly as possible during war. Worth a read if only to give a balanced view when reading some of the tripe in the newspapers.
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The author is a military historian and he explains the military strategy of WWI, considers alternatives to the strategies used and comes to the conclusion that there was no better way to conduct the war. He debunks the sometimes held view of incompetent generals using their troops as cannon fodder, (on the part of British French and German military leaders, he would have a hard time suggesting the same of the Russian ones).
It is well explained and he makes his points well.
Antoine Vanner
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A superb book and essential reading for anybody interested in WW1. It lays to rest so many of the myths and misconceptions that have surrounded the conflict. As such it is of special importance as the commemoration of the 100th anniversary years are underway. I rate it as one of the best books l have read on the war.
Stuart Jennings
Jan 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: world-war-1, humour
Interesting revisionist visit of the myths of the Great War by a historian with a military background. Not convince by all the arguments in this somewhat confrontational account but his arguments warrant careful examination and reflection
Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Fixes the myth that soldiers spent months suffering in the muddy, rat infested trenches. In fact, thru regular rotation only 1/3 of their time was spent on the front line.
Sep 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
i can't recommend this strongly enough; it explodes the myths that have coloured our views of the First World War in a thoroughly readable way.
May 23, 2012 rated it did not like it
Revisionist nonsense.
Angela Reeves
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
not very good too much about strategy and laws of war ok if you like that sort of thing
Mar 14, 2016 rated it liked it
A well argued account of the British Army on the Western Front, written by an ex military officer, that takes issue with many of the common shibboleths about WW1.
Neal Hamer
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book debunks many of the myths that surround the First World War. It's an entertaining and informative read.
Martin Willoughby
Oct 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent evaluation of the British Army in WW1, free from myths and the subjectivity that has blighted most books on the subject.
Aug 17, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book examines all the convential histories, and really lays out the truth behind the great war.
Sebastien Barnard
May 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
Informative, but just a bit dull.
Alan Reid
rated it it was amazing
Jul 25, 2019
martyn ryan
rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2019
rated it liked it
Oct 25, 2015
David Kaufmann
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Dec 03, 2018
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