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The First Seven Divisions: Being a Detailed…

The First Seven Divisions: Being a Detailed Account of the Fighting from…

by Ernest W. (late Cap 11th Hussars) Hamilton

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The opening of the First World War pitted the huge continental armies against each other; massed conscription filled their ranks, Britain's soldiers, however, were to a man volunteer, long-service professionals. Disciplined, few in number but thoroughly trained to shoot 15 aimed shoots in a "mad-minute", they were but few in number. The German forces they faced on the Western Front were counted by the number of their armies, the British forces could only put seven divisions in the field initially. In the face of overwhelming numbers the British soldiers gave a good account of themselves and held up the German advance during the crucial opening phases of the campaign alongside their French allies. The German High command had not counted on such stubborn resistance such a spanner in the works were they and their fighting prowess that the Kaiser himself paid the brave few the ultimate compliment- "It is my Royal and Imperial command that you concentrate your energies, for the immediate present, upon one single purpose, and that is that you address all your skill and all the valour of my soldiers to exterminate first the treacherous English and walk over General French's contemptible little army."-Kaiser Wilhelm 19th August 1914. Written by Lord Hamilton, at the time a Captain in the 11th Hussars, this is an excellent and highly detailed account of the early months of the First World War on the British Front.… (more)



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