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1915: The Death of Innocence (1993)

by Lyn Macdonald

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389150,746 (3.96)4
A chronicle of the First World War first published in 1993, which draws on the diaries, letters and personal accounts of serving soldiers to offer an insight into life in the trenches of Europe.
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For most Brits the First World War is Mons, First Ypres, Gallipoli, the Somme, and Passchendaele. The Western Front in 1915 is skipped over but the battles of Neuve Chappelle, Second Ypres, Aubers Ridge, Festubert, and Loos, where Territorial and New Army troops went into action for the first time, were once as well known here as were the others.

My great grandfather was at most of these battles. My mum recalls him being "a miserable sod" but reading what he went through you can see why. There were honestly times reading this book when I had to put it down and get my breath back or wipe tears away. Some passages will stick with me.

The only down mark is that sometimes the tactical picture gets lost (though that might reflect the chaos of the battlefield) and Robin Neillands' book The Death of Glory: The Western Front, 1915 makes a good companion for that purpose. But I'd recommend this book as the centenaries of these forgotten battles come round. ( )
  JohnPhelan | Jun 17, 2015 |
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A chronicle of the First World War first published in 1993, which draws on the diaries, letters and personal accounts of serving soldiers to offer an insight into life in the trenches of Europe.

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