The History Book Club discussion


Comments Showing 1-50 of 68 (68 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Apr 13, 2018 08:50AM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This is the thread to discuss the Battle of Mons.

The First World War by John Keegan by John Keegan John Keegan

message 2: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is something a bit different for those interested in reading more about Mons and the BEF; "Riding the Retreat: Mons to the Marne 1914 Revisited" by Richard Holmes

Riding the Retreat Mons to the Marne 1914 Revisited by Richard Holmes by Richard Holmes
Publishers blurb:
"The retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from Mons in the early months of the First World War is one of the great dramas of European history. Blending his recreation of the military campaign with contemporary testimony and an account of his own ride over the route, Richard Holmes takes the reader on a unique journey - to glimpse the summer the old world ended."

message 3: by 'Aussie Rick' (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) For a book covering the German perspective of the fighting around Mons and the other early battles you could try; "The Advance From Mons 1914" by by Walter Bloem.

ADVANCE FROM MONS 1914 The Experiences of a German Infantry Officer (Helion Library of the Great War) by Walter Bloem by Walter Bloem
Publisher blurb:
" outstanding personal memoir penned by a German infantry officer recalling his experiences during the initial days and weeks of the war in the West, July-September 1914. Walter Bloem was a Captain in the German 12th Grenadier Regiment (Royal Prussian Grenadier Regiment Prinz Carl von Preussen, 2nd Brandenburg, Nr 12 - to give his unit its full title). His narrative gives a superb insight into the outbreak of war and his regiment's mobilisation, followed by the advance through Belgium and France, including the author's participation at the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne. His account of what it was like to face Britain's 'Old Contemptibles' at Mons is particularly valuable. Before the war, the author was a novelist, and The Advance from Mons clearly shows this - it is written with a great eye for detail, careful yet vivid descriptions abound and importantly, from a historical perspective, the book was penned whilst Herr Bloem convalesced from a wound he received at the battle of the Aisne."

message 4: by 'Aussie Rick' (last edited Nov 21, 2011 09:54PM) (new)

'Aussie Rick' (aussierick) Here is a new book covering Mon's and other early battles of the BEF:

Retreat and Rearguard 1914 The BEF's Actions from Mons to the Marne by Jerry Murland by Jerry Murland

message 5: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments I'll have to get Walter Bloem's book, it sounds interesting. The Battle of Mons from 20/20 hindsight is master piece of luck and extreme bravery. It is hard to comprehend how armies of such magnitude didn't know that they were within thirty miles of each other. Pending on wind direction, I would think that 600,000 German soldiers that had marched for weeks through the summer heat, without personal hygiene, could have been detected.

I believe that this battle defined the British soldier. Their tenacity and skill prevented annihilation. However luck also played a roll in their survival.

message 6: by Barbm1020 (new)

Barbm1020 Isn't this the battle where the famous ghostly legions were said to have been seen, riding across the sky with gunfire echoing overhead? No disrespect to the reality of those who were involved, just seems like a classic October tale.

message 7: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Frederick wrote: "I'll have to get Walter Bloem's book, it sounds interesting. The Battle of Mons from 20/20 hindsight is master piece of luck and extreme bravery. It is hard to comprehend how armies of such magnitu..."

Thanks, Frederick. Don't forget to cite the book:

The Advance from Mons 1914 The Experiences of a German Infantry Officer by Walter Bloem Walter Bloem

message 8: by Frederick (last edited Oct 05, 2012 10:15AM) (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments October tale? The battle took place August 23, 1914 and the BEF had approx 100,000 men against 300,000 in the German first army. German artillery was superior to the BEF and out numbered them two to one.

The British repelled von Kluck's first attack by inflicting heavy losses. By the end of the day the British suffered 1642 men killed, wounded or missing while German estimates ranged between 6000 to 10000.

After fighting in the August heat for two days, the British second corps started retirement from the battle field. Without rest, they marched 25 miles to Le Cateau, where on August 25th they fought a fierce battle that cost the British 7,812 men compared to German losses of between 15,000 - 30,000.

Would you not agree that considering the odds, that the soldiers in Britain's contemptible little army defined themselves?

message 9: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig I believe Barb was linking Halloween and the ghostly legions.

It was one of the BEF's greatest moments to be sure.

message 10: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Thanks for reminding me Bryan. I reviewed David Lomas's book "Mons 1914". It was a little redundant with common knowledge of the battle. However the photos and maps did help in understanding the battle sequence.

Mons 1914 The BEF's Tactical Triumph by David Lomas David Lomas

message 11: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Sorry Barb! Didn't make the connection - at times I'm a little dense - must be my English heritage.

message 12: by Barbm1020 (new)

Barbm1020 I see your point, Frederick, and Bryan you got my reference. Thanks to both of you.

message 13: by Bryan (new)

Bryan Craig Good to know, Frederick.

Each book citation needs a author link, and if there is no author photo, then just the link:

Mons 1914 The BEF's Tactical Triumph by David Lomas David Lomas

message 14: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Got it.

message 15: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) A first person account of the retreat from the Mons by a member of the famous Scottish Black Watch.

Stand and Fall

Stand & Fall A Soldier's Recollections of the 'Contemptible Little Army' and the Retreat from Mons to the Marne, 1914 by Joe Cassells by Joe Cassells (no photo)


A Highland Regimental Scout recounts his experience of the Retreat from Mons. This is a superb account of the early stages of the First World War in Europe. Its author was a infantryman of the British Army who had been a serving soldier for seven years before the outbreak of war. His principal speciality was as a scout within his famous Highland regiment-the Black Watch. As an author he is able to deliver a gripping story in an impactful, spare style, ideal for conveying this narrative of non-stop combat as French's 'contemptible little army' fought stubbornly from Mons to the Marne. The quality and professionalism of the British Regular Army of the period shines through on every page of this story of dogged retreat during a time of fluid manoeuvring. Cassells' was a war of charging Uhlan cavalry, of famous regiments like the Scots Greys playing their traditional cavalry role, of advancing grey waves of German infantry, and the of a hugely outnumbered army falling back, undaunted in spirit and bloodily contesting every inch of ground. This book cannot be recommended too highly--not only is it a riveting account of the Retreat from Mons the ordinary fighting infantryman knew, but it is a first rate narrative of personal experiences at the sharp end of war in the early Twentieth century.

message 16: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Sounds great Jill. I think I'll order one

message 17: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4351 comments Mod
Mons: The Retreat to Victory

MONS The Retreat to Victory by John Terraine by John Terraine John Terraine


The Battle of Mons takes its place in the history of the British army beside Corunna and Dunkirk. Initially, all three were defeats, saved from disaster by the courage of the soldiers and the skill of some of the commanders in the field, and paving the way to great feats of arms and final success. In the context of the whole of the First World War, Mons was a small scale affair; comparatively short in duration, involving divisions rather than armies, and resulting in casualties that were light indeed by the standard of later battles of attrition. But, especially from the British viewpoint, its importance was crucial, partly because it was the first time for close on a hundred years that a British Army had been engaged in warfare on the continent of Europe, and partly because that army passed straight form the dejection of defeat to the exhilaration of the Battle of the Marne - one of the decisive battles of the War.

message 18: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Jill wrote: "A first person account of the retreat from the Mons by a member of the famous Scottish Black Watch.

Stand and Fall

[bookcover:Stand & Fall: A Soldier's Recollections of the 'Contemptible Little A..."

This is a very descriptive account of one Black Watch soldier's experiences. They were a pretty tough group - even if they did wear skirts.

message 19: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments J.Ivor HansonPlough and Scatter: The Diary-Journal of a First World War Gunner Plough and Scatter The Diary-Journal of a First World War Gunner by J.Ivor Hanson

Another personal diary based book. Its focus is on RFA and signallers. Although informative in regards to the training of RFA signallers and some battle information, it is more a narrative of his day to day activities and personal insights. I read it to gain a wider understanding of the RFA, which my grandfather served in. I found large differences between my grandfather's journal 1914-1915 and how restrictive the RFA became later in the war - according to the author's account.

message 20: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Frederick wrote: "Jill wrote: "A first person account of the retreat from the Mons by a member of the famous Scottish Black Watch.

Stand and Fall

[bookcover:Stand & Fall: A Soldier's Recollections of the 'Contempt..."

It probably would not be a good idea to tell a Scotsman that he wears a skirt!!!! :>

message 21: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Jill wrote: "Frederick wrote: "Jill wrote: "A first person account of the retreat from the Mons by a member of the famous Scottish Black Watch.

Stand and Fall

[bookcover:Stand & Fall: A Soldier's Recollection..."

Especially an x-Black Watch soldier!! The author makes several comments regarding this very issue since many of the French country folk never saw a soldier or for that matter even a man wearing a kilt.

message 22: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I guess that would be a bit of a shock to see a soldier in a "skirt". They were a tough bunch, kilts and all.

message 23: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4351 comments Mod
Mons, 1914-1918: The Beginning and the End

Mons, 1914-1918 The Beginning and the End by Don Farr by Don Farr (no photo)


It was close to the small southern Belgian town of Mons that the shooting war began or the British Expeditionary Force in August 1914. It was close to the same town that it ended for them over fifteen hundred days later. Neither the BEF nor the German Army planned or foresaw that first confrontation at Mons. It came about through blind chance and a series of miscalculations, born of ignorance on both sides, of precisely where and how strong their adversaries were. Although the Battle of Mons showed the BEF to be more than a match for the Germans, it was forced into the long Retreat from Mons as the growing German preponderance became apparent. Mons only briefly played host to the BEF in August 1914. Nevertheless the town acquired a special place in the hearts and minds of the BEF and the British people, enhanced for many by the enduring stories of the Angel of Mons. Although the Western Front became mired in static trench warfare many miles from Mons, there was always a resolve on the part of the BEF that one day they would fight their way back there and liberate the town. This was finally achieved on the last night of the war, only hours before the Armistice ended it.

The year 2008 sees the 90th anniversary of the liberation of Mons. To mark this milestone the book describes the arrival of the BEF in Mons in 1914, the Battle of Mons itself, the Retreat from Mons, the Battle of Le Cateau, and the background to the Angel of Mons stories. It also describes events on the Western Front through to the German spring offensives of 1918. During more than four years of German occupation the people of Mons suffered privation, near starvation, deportations and executions. These are described, drawing heavily on unpublished local sources. The Allied 100 Days Campaign is then outlined culminating in the liberation of the town. The last chapter brings the story of Mons and of the main wartime players up to date. Finally two appendices describe the military and political developments which brought the BEF to Mons on that fateful weekend in August 1914.

message 24: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments The book sounds interesting Jerome. I like the fact that the author came full circle with the story. Yes, the Germans did underestimate the BEF and it cost them dearly. When the war started the soldiers of the BEF were mostly professional and they learned new tactics during the Boar War, which served them well. A professional soldier was capable of firing 25-30 rounds per minute, making the Germans think they were up against machine guns.

I don't remember if it was this battle or subsequent ones that earned the BEF soldiers the nickname "The Old Contemptible" which was derived from the Kaiser when he said "Damn the British and their contemptible little army!" Thank you for posting

message 25: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4351 comments Mod
Supposedly the Kaiser's quote was from this battle, but there is actually no evidence that he said it.

message 26: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments That might be, but why ruin a good story?

message 27: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments OK, now we have a debate going on within the "Great War Forum". It came from an order the Kaiser sent 19 August 1914. The issue is in the translation of the contents of the order. So far we have "contemptibly little" and "insignificant". More to come I'm sure.

message 28: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments In final analysis:

The Kaiser referred to "eine verächtlich kleine Armee", which someone at the time saw fit to translate as "a contemptible little army". What it actually means is "a contemptibly/derisorily small army". So the comment referred to the size of the BEF, not the quality of it.

message 29: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments A book to add to my ''must read list''. My grandfather was a survivor of the battle of Mons. I wonder if someone in this group can clear up some confusion for me? My mother claims that my grandmother once offered to give her my grandfather's medals, but she declined the offer (sadly! They went missing after my Grandmother's death!). She says that the Mons Medal was among them, and it was very valuable because only a small number were ever issued. But she described it as a little box that the Queen is said to have given the survivors, containing a tiny flask of water and a tiny piece of cake. It was claimed to be symbolic because the survivors were starving when rescued.
All my searches reveal descriptions of the medal as a star. I can find nothing about a box.
Does anyone have any knowledge that can help me clarify this mystery?

message 30: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Interesting story, Lorraine. The only thing I could find was that each survivor was given a campaign medal,which indeed a star. I refer you to the web site below:

I couldn't find anything about the box and water flask.

message 31: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments From my research the Mons Star was issued to those who fought between August 5th 1914 and November 22-24 1914. In other words it was given to those who originally went over to France with the BEF. The November date is significant because it represents the First Battle of Ypres, which by the end eliminated the majority of the British professional army, "The Old Compatibles".

Along with the Mons Star a "clasp", called the "clasp of roses" was awarded to those who operated within enemy artillery fire.

Two other metals were issued, the British War Metal and the Victory Metal.

Lorraine -did your grandfather serve in the I Corps or II Corps during the war? I Corps was headed by General Douglas Haig, while II Corps was under the command of General Smith-Dorrien.

message 32: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments I wish I knew, Frederick. I know very little about him. My father died when I was six weeks old, having transferred to the Australian Navy and settled in Australia. My mother took me, at age 2, to meet my grandparents in England, but my grandfather passed away before we arrived. She spent six months with my grandmother. What she told me of what she learned about my father's family in those six months is all I know of them. Grandfather's name was Charles Walker. I wonder if there is a list of names anywhere? I have begun to be very curious about my grandfather's life. Apparently, he distinguished himself in service, but later was dishonorably discharged for going AWOL when his 8 year old daughter died tragically and he could not get leave to go to his wife.

I spoke to my mother last night and she is insistent that my grandmother showed her a box and said it was awarded to survivors of the battle of Mons. She said ''Perhaps there was a medal too, but it was the little box that Nanna treasured and that fascinated me.'' My mother is 86, but still very alert and coherent and has a sharp memory for detail.

message 33: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments I've done a great deal of research into my grandfather's military career after I was given his WWI journal. You can try to find information about your grandfather through the British National Archives - although it is difficult to use. Another way, and probably the best, is to join the "Great War Forum" and post your request for help and information. Those involved on this forum are helpful and extremely knowledgeable. No doubt they will come up with your grandfather's medal record, which will have his military number and that can be used to find additional information. They maybe able to tell you what outfit he was in as well as whatever other information they can find. Also mention the wooden box and what you remember, someone will either substantiate your remembrances or tell you their thoughts. I'm curious about the Corps he was in because my grandfather was in the I Corps, which had a little easier time of it than II Corps at the Battle of Mons.

message 34: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments Thanks Frederick. I will join the forum. The subject has begun to intrigue me now. I have written quite a lot about my husband's fathers life, and obtained his service records, and another family member traced the family tree and did extensive research into the origins of the family and their beginnings in Australia. And I recently read ''Against All Odds'' which was the story of my husband's father's corp during WWII. We, too, were pleased to learn that his corp had a much better time of it than some others, though his father suffered terribly during 3 years as a POW, and never really recovered.

I'd like to now document my family's history. I know a little about my maternal grandmother's father, but not much else. My great-grandfather on my mother's side wrote a poem about his journey to Australia that triggered a lengthy research project. The Mitchell Library staff convinced me the tale it told was fiction, but my grandmother was adamant they were wrong. Several years later, a new staff member found the poem and followed up and uncovered records that verified the story. Facts had become confused because my great-grandfather misspelled the name of the ship. Just shows how easy it is to miss a vital clue when researching history!
I hope I can find someone who can explain the mystery of the little box. It's a great pity my mother didn't take it when it was offered to her. It would have been a wonderful keepsake to pass on to future generations, and maybe more detail of its appearance would help trace its true origins.

message 35: by Frederick (last edited Dec 01, 2013 12:59PM) (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Yes, history is so difficult to trace. I have so many questions regarding my grandfather which will never be answered. If family only knew how important their stories would be to generations to come perhaps they would have written them down.

Unlike your box, I was fortunate that my grandfather kept many of his WWI documentation and I got to know him more through his journal entries than I did when he was alive. However, like you, I have very little knowledge of my grandfather's life in England. He died when I was thirteen so I wasn't old enough before he died to ask him about his life. I knew he served in the British military but I had no idea of what he went through.

Just this past September I donated his journal and other military documents to the Imperial War Museum in London. I didn't want his memorabilia to be missed placed like your wooden box. Lorraine, I learned that what is a wonderful keepsake for you may be meaningless to future generations and that is why I decided to donate his stuff to the the museum, removing all possibility of them being missed placed by family members. Good luck with your search - keep me posted.

message 36: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments Just rechecked my notes, Frederick. The box was metal of some kind. My mother says possibly brass. She remembers it being very tarnished and my uncle taking it to work and bringing it back all polished and shiny. My husband thinks it more likely it was silver, though I'm not sure why he thinks that.

I agree with you about the value of documents. My mother threw away boxes and boxes of letters that she wrote to her mother when she was in the Land Army, and during periods of living abroad; that I wrote to my husband when we were courting and apart; and that my mother and I wrote to each other when I lived abroad during the first two years of married life. What I would give to have those letters today!

I have written my husband's story (''The Pencil Case''), because I believed it was a story that should be recorded for future generations to read. I was thrilled when a relative wrote the story of my husband's ancestors. I only wish I could discover more about my family's past. But I am happy that my son-in-law obtained all my husband's and father-in-law's military records and presented them to us. Hopefully, I will discover a little about my father, uncles and paternal grandfather. There must be some records somewhere just waiting to be found.

message 37: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments BTW. I joined the forum and posted a question. Now, I wait!

message 38: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Yes - I was surprised when they informed me that they would let me know if I was accepted. All the other forums I joined didn't require this. From my experience, it will not take long before someone will start filling in the blanks. They are very informative. When I was doing my research I would wait days for a response on other forums so I was surprised when within an hour I already had some replies. Please keep me informed

message 39: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments Shall do, Frederick. Thank you for all your help.

message 40: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments Mystery solved! See

It wasn't actually awarded to Mons survivors as my mother thought. But my grandfather was a survivor of Mons and actually among those who had the worst time - one of the last to be rescued apparently, and close to starving to death.

message 41: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments He must have been with the II Corps for they received the brunt of the German attack at Mons and then fought them again in the Battle of Le Chateau.

message 42: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments It's disappointing that I know so little about him, my father's brothers, and even my father. I met one brother very briefly a few years ago. He was 87. I only got to spend a couple of hours with him, and he died soon after.

Nobody ever talked about my father when I was growing up. I guess it was too painful for my mother. She was widowed after just 10 months of marriage, with a six week old child in her arms. I was always curious, but my mother wouldn't talk and nobody else in the family really knew him. They only saw him for a couple of weekends when my mother brought him home for visits.

I wrote to my grandmother regularly until she went senile, when I was 21, but I was forbidden to mention my father in letters (might cause HER grief!) and I guess in those early years I never thought to ask questions about her life and my grandfather's. Apparently she didn't like to talk about her life anyway, as it had been filled with tragedy. I don't even know her maiden name, though I do know she came from a rich (perhaps noble) family and was completely disowned for marrying a commoner - a mere NCO in the army, for heaven's sake!! She never saw her parents or siblings again. Probably just as well they never knew he was dishonorably discharged.

My grandmother had a warming pan that had belonged to Anne Hathaway at some stage. My uncle had it hanging on his wall when I finally met him a few years ago. He said he would leave it to me in his will, but it disappeared, along with all grandfather's medals - and the box. Sad!

message 43: by Frederick (new)

Frederick Coxen (FLCoxen) | 72 comments Sad story for sure. It seems that families never talked about their lives so stories were never passed down. I know bits and pieces of my father's childhood but I never asked him about it until it was too late. For what I've learned, I'm writing down my stories so future generations will know more about me than a date born and the date died on a family tree.

Perhaps could help locate some information about your father and from there trace it back to his parents. Maybe a wedding license would offer names of parents of bride and groom. It takes time to trace back heritage, especially when you have so little to go on. The National Archives would have information on the dishonorable discharge and that would give you information. His military record would show names of parents and wife. It depends on how much time you want to spend. It took me three years to piece together information. On Ancestor site you can search by family last name to see if there is a public family tree someone put together and that can be informative.

message 44: by Lorraine (new)

Lorraine Cobcroft | 9 comments Thanks Frederick. I know a bit about, only because someone using it traced a family connected to my husband's and somehow managed to post private identification data (maiden names, birth dates, parent names, etc) of over 200 relatives on a public site. We were not impressed, but can't get it removed. accepts no responsibility. It kind of put me off using the site, but I'll reconsider.

I researched my maternal great-grandfather's life, and found some fascinating data. My husband's ancestors' story was even more intriguing. Recently I found the court transcript of the trial of his convict ancestor before he was transported to Australia, and discovered that he was innocent of the crime, and because police knew he was innocent, he was allowed to bring his de facto partner, who was never listed as a passenger. Thus, there was, for some time, confusion with another Sarah Smith who was listed and transported as a convict. The confusion was cleared up recently when the true story was uncovered.

For many years, my husband's family was the only Australian family who still held their original freed-convict land grant in the family name. Sadly, it was sold a few years ago.

There's a historical novel there somewhere, I think. One day I might write it.

message 45: by Jerome, Assisting Moderator - Upcoming Books and Releases (new)

Jerome | 4351 comments Mod
The Mons Star: The British Expeditionary Force 1914

The Mons Star The British Expeditionary Force 1914 by David Ascoli by David Ascoli (no photo)


The battle of Mons in August 1914 endures as one of the British Army's greatest moments, despite the much larger actions fought in the next four years.Soon after the outbreak of war in 1914 the largest British army ever assembled advanced through Belgium to meet the German invaders, covering the northern flank of the more massive French army which was expected to do most of the fighting. French reverses brought the full weight of the Germans to bear on the smaller British force, which made a gallant stand at the Belgian town of Mons.

The German timetable of conquest was briefly but fatally disrupted, and the experiences of that August battle had a decisive influence on Bernard Montgomery and other survivors who were to lead British forces through World War II and beyond.

message 46: by Jill (last edited Jan 20, 2015 11:15PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) A slightly revisionist look at one of the most famous battles of WWI.

The Mons Myth: A Reassessment of the Battle

The Mons Myth A Reassessment of the Battle by Terence Zuber by Terence Zuber (no photo)


Conventional histories of the battles of Mons and Le Cateau describe how, although the British were massively outnumbered, precise and rapid British rifle fire mowed down rows of German troops. The staggering German casualties made these battles British victories, and set the stage for the Battle of the Marne. Neither battle has ever been described in English from the German point of view. Using German tactics manuals and regimental histories, The Mons Myth describes the battles at Mons and Le Cateau. It also subjects British tactics to a critique that goes beyond admiration for rapid rifle fire and presents new and startling perspectives of both Mons and Le Cateau, showing how the Germans employed a high degree of tactical sophistication in conducting a combined-arms battle. The odds at both battles were, in fact, even, and German casualties never reached the levels described in the standard histories. The Mons Myth is the first history of these battles to take this approach in ninety years.

message 47: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Is that good - ?

message 48: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) It certainly is a different take on the battle.

message 49: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) Another good history of a major battle of WWI.

The Battle of Mons 1914

The Battle of Mons 1914 (Annotated) (Illustrated) (Eyewitness World War 1 Book 2) by Leonard James by Leonard James (no photo)


An ebook containing contemporary accounts of the first major battle fought by British troops in the First World War at Mons in 1914. Complete with explanatory glossary and background.

Britain had not fought a major war for 99 years when its army went into action in Belgium in 1914. Nobody was certain how well the British army would fare in the face of the professional German Army that had fought recent several wars, nor how the British would compare with their French Allies. At the little town of Mons the answer would come in bloody, violent and emphatic fashion.
Here contemporary accounts of the British deployment and of the fighting is given in its full original condition, along with an introductory note and an explanatory glossary by historian Leonard James.

message 50: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The personal diary of a junior officer in the BEF.

From Mons to the First Battle of Ypres



From Mons to the First Battle of Ypres is the war diary of a junior infantry officer in the British Army.

Second Lieutenant James Hyndson went to France in August 1914 with the British Expeditionary Force. After his arrival in France, he witnessed the retreat from Mons, the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne, and the first Battle of Ypres. He was invalided home in February 1915 and, in the same month, he was awarded the Military Cross.

His diary during this period gives a vivid insight into life under fire. From Mons to the First Battle of Ypres is vital reading for anybody interested in what it was like to be a young British officer in the opening months of the First World War.

« previous 1
back to top