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1916. The year that a new word entered the military lexicon. The war of Attrition. At the start of 1916, the outlook was the Franco-British Armies on the Western Front. They were getting the men and guns they needed. New technology in the shape of tanks and aircraft was about to appear and, after more than a year of fighting what amounted to private wars, the Entente Powers (Britain, France, Italy and their allies) were about to mount a number of co-ordinated offensives against the German and Austrian Armies, culminating in the Big Push – a joint Anglo-French offensive astride the Somme. But then, unfortunately for the Allies, the Germans struck first, at Verdun. By New Years Day, 1916, the fighting on the Western Front had cost some two million lives – by the end of the year it had risen to four million men and the territorial gains had been negligible. Focusing on this crucial year, Neillands examines the actions of the principal commanders as they sought a way to win the war and opted for the deadly doctrine of attrition: the notion that it was only possible to win by killing a vast number of soldiers. The soldiers, German, French, British, Canadian, Australian, died in their hundreds of thousands at Verdun, along the Ancre and on the Pozieres ridge in the muddy fields above the Somme. A controversial and compelling text, ‘Attrition’ points at the failure of the high command to realise that until new offensive technology was invented to overcome the bias of defensive technology, the death toll could only rise, and asks why no system of Supreme Command was set up to handle the strategic direction of the war. Although 1916 did see some Allied success – the French held Verdun against the German assault, the British introduced the tank – when that fatal year ended, victory and peace were as far away as ever … and another two million lives had been lost. Praise for Robin Neillands: ‘One of Britain’s most readable historians’ – Birmingham Post ‘Immensely readable … a blast of fresh air’ – The Spectator ‘Informed and explicit, this is military history at its best’ – Western Daily Press ‘Neilland’s willingness to call a spade a spade will catch the popular imagination. His central argument is hard to fault’ – Literary Review Robin Neillands is the author of several acclaimed works on the First World War including ‘The Old Contempibles: The British Expeditionary Force, 1914’, ‘The Great War Generals on the Western Front’ and ‘The Death of Glory’. Endeavour Press is the UK’s leading independent publisher of digital books.
Attrition: The Great War on the Western Front – 1916 by Robin Neillands – eBook Details
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- Full Book Name: Attrition: The Great War on the Western Front – 1916
- Author Name: Robin Neillands
- Book Genre: History, War, World War I
- ISBN # B0144QUK1E
- Edition Language: English
- Date of Publication: 2001-11-
- PDF / EPUB File Name: Attrition__The_Great_War_on_the_Western_Fr_-_Robin_Neillands.pdf, Attrition__The_Great_War_on_the_Western_Fr_-_Robin_Neillands.epub
- PDF File Size: 1.7 MB
- EPUB File Size: 388 KB
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