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To the Last Man: Spring 1918 (1999)

by Lyn Macdonald

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2061102,946 (3.97)2
As poignant as Niall Fregusson's The Pity of War, as powerful as John Keegan's The First World War, this is an engrossing eye-witness history of World War I. From the trenches to the battle lines, in bold advances and fighting retreats and courageous stands, this oral chronicle of World War I by award-winning historian Lyn Macdonald brings to life the massive German offensive of Spring 1918 that became the Second Battle of Somme. As moving as it is monumental, the volume recounts the devastating assault in the words of the men who survived it -- from the commanders to the war-weary British Tommies, the eager German foot soldiers, and the as-yet-untested doughboys fresh from the U.S. Unforgettably, To the Last Man puts a human face on the armies in the field as it gives voice to the soldiers who together held their position against the foe-resisting, as the Allied command had ordered, "to the last round and the last man."… (more)
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MacDonald takes us through the 1918 Kaiserschlact Offensive, that the Germans hoped would knock the British out of the war before America could pour millions of Americans into the balance. As always she pays great attention to detail to share the stories of the young men fighting, as well as the decisions made by the commanders. She is a compelling narrator, and a first rate historian. ( )
  ksmyth | Oct 29, 2005 |
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This book if or my own beloved boys,
Benjamin and Daniel and Saul and Paul and Thomas,
who are not so very different from the
boys of that earlier generation,
whose histories are part of their heritage
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By 1 January 1918 the Great War had been grinding on for 1,245 days.
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As poignant as Niall Fregusson's The Pity of War, as powerful as John Keegan's The First World War, this is an engrossing eye-witness history of World War I. From the trenches to the battle lines, in bold advances and fighting retreats and courageous stands, this oral chronicle of World War I by award-winning historian Lyn Macdonald brings to life the massive German offensive of Spring 1918 that became the Second Battle of Somme. As moving as it is monumental, the volume recounts the devastating assault in the words of the men who survived it -- from the commanders to the war-weary British Tommies, the eager German foot soldiers, and the as-yet-untested doughboys fresh from the U.S. Unforgettably, To the Last Man puts a human face on the armies in the field as it gives voice to the soldiers who together held their position against the foe-resisting, as the Allied command had ordered, "to the last round and the last man."

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