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The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918

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A panoramic history of the savage combat on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 that came to define modern warfare. The Western Front evokes images of hardship and sacrifice, of young, mud-spattered men in water-logged trenches, shielded from artillery blasts by a few feet of dirt. Long considered the most futile arena of the First World War, the Western Front has persi A panoramic history of the savage combat on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 that came to define modern warfare. The Western Front evokes images of hardship and sacrifice, of young, mud-spattered men in water-logged trenches, shielded from artillery blasts by a few feet of dirt. Long considered the most futile arena of the First World War, the Western Front has persisted in our collective memory as a tragic waste of life. In this epic narrative history, Nick Lloyd brings together the latest research from America, France, Britain, and Germany, telling the full story of the war in France and Belgium from the German invasion in 1914 to the armistice four years later. His sweeping chronicle reveals that the trenches were, as often as not, sites of dramatic technological and tactical advances, and that superior generalship helped determine the outcome of the war. Brimming with gripping descriptions and insight, The Western Front is a historical account in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman, John Keegan, and Antony Beevor: an authoritative, magisterial portrait of men at war.


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A panoramic history of the savage combat on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 that came to define modern warfare. The Western Front evokes images of hardship and sacrifice, of young, mud-spattered men in water-logged trenches, shielded from artillery blasts by a few feet of dirt. Long considered the most futile arena of the First World War, the Western Front has persi A panoramic history of the savage combat on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 that came to define modern warfare. The Western Front evokes images of hardship and sacrifice, of young, mud-spattered men in water-logged trenches, shielded from artillery blasts by a few feet of dirt. Long considered the most futile arena of the First World War, the Western Front has persisted in our collective memory as a tragic waste of life. In this epic narrative history, Nick Lloyd brings together the latest research from America, France, Britain, and Germany, telling the full story of the war in France and Belgium from the German invasion in 1914 to the armistice four years later. His sweeping chronicle reveals that the trenches were, as often as not, sites of dramatic technological and tactical advances, and that superior generalship helped determine the outcome of the war. Brimming with gripping descriptions and insight, The Western Front is a historical account in the tradition of Barbara Tuchman, John Keegan, and Antony Beevor: an authoritative, magisterial portrait of men at war.

54 review for The Western Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918

  1. 4 out of 5

    Roger Mosedale

    A well-written, concise history of the war in the west. The author is apparently planning two further volumes, on the Eastern Front and wider international war respectively; I'm looking forward to those very much. I particularly liked the coverage of the French campaigns, as I think (Verdun aside) this is an aspect rarely covered in English books on the war. I found lots of information here that I didn't know I didn't know, as it were. Some parts of the narrative perhaps felt a little rushed, for A well-written, concise history of the war in the west. The author is apparently planning two further volumes, on the Eastern Front and wider international war respectively; I'm looking forward to those very much. I particularly liked the coverage of the French campaigns, as I think (Verdun aside) this is an aspect rarely covered in English books on the war. I found lots of information here that I didn't know I didn't know, as it were. Some parts of the narrative perhaps felt a little rushed, for example the coverage of 1918. However, this was no doubt necessary to keep the book within its required length. Also, as I'm sure the author would point out, he has written more detailed books on the last 100 days, Passchendaele, and other battles. The book provides a good view of the narrative, and is certainly a good place to start.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Russel Henderson

    One of the best and most accessible books on the subject I’ve yet read. Lloyd’s breadth is impressive, but he is true to his mission in addressing the war elsewhere only to the extent necessary to inform what was happening in this theater. He does an admirable job of giving British and American readers and appreciation for how much of the burden was borne by the French. He is perhaps too negative toward the British, but not glaringly so. His look at personages and relationships, and the changes One of the best and most accessible books on the subject I’ve yet read. Lloyd’s breadth is impressive, but he is true to his mission in addressing the war elsewhere only to the extent necessary to inform what was happening in this theater. He does an admirable job of giving British and American readers and appreciation for how much of the burden was borne by the French. He is perhaps too negative toward the British, but not glaringly so. His look at personages and relationships, and the changes to both over the course of the conflict, was particularly edifying. The heroes of early battles sometimes found it hard to grow into new role and in some cases less successful commanders in early conflicts redeemed themselves later, something too many narratives on the subject reduce to lions and villains. If the book has a fault, it is that he cuts through topic of vigorous debate in a few sentences, making necessary judgments and not enlightening the reader to the existence of some of these disputes, but he did tell the reader in advance that he was doing so. That’s the requirement of distilling subjects on which tens of millions of pages have been written to just 500 or so. There are better and more insightful works on specific facets of the war in the west but I’ve found few equals in tackling it comprehensively. I eagerly anticipate his next installment.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fred Krause

    Well written summary of the Western Front. This book would make a good summary of the western front in WW1 for anyone, such as myself, who have read histories of segments of of that Great War. I would have given the book 5 stars if I thought it had lived up to the advertising hype around its publication. The book was supposed to show how the allies and associated powers and the central powers, specifically Germany, adjusted to each other in technology and military thinking over the course of the Well written summary of the Western Front. This book would make a good summary of the western front in WW1 for anyone, such as myself, who have read histories of segments of of that Great War. I would have given the book 5 stars if I thought it had lived up to the advertising hype around its publication. The book was supposed to show how the allies and associated powers and the central powers, specifically Germany, adjusted to each other in technology and military thinking over the course of the war. All I came away with was that, even at the higher command level, the western front was a terrible war of attrition. I already knew that.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brian Asalone

    really nothing new here. While the narration is well done and the author does not bury the reader in minute details, the work is a broad overview of the western front of the war and does not really offer new information that has already been written.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jared Bruh

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wniehoff

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elliott

  9. 5 out of 5

    John Farrell

  10. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Curran

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deane

  12. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Kasterine

  13. 5 out of 5

    Doc Martin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

  15. 4 out of 5

    Liveright Publishing

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ed Francis

  17. 5 out of 5

    David L Gray

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sean Smart

  19. 5 out of 5

    TEELOCK Mithilesh

  20. 4 out of 5

    Chip Douglass

  21. 5 out of 5

    Benedikt

  22. 4 out of 5

    Amelia A. Poole

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mark Jarvis

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bella

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bill Maxwell

  26. 4 out of 5

    Haley Bracken

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

  28. 4 out of 5

    'Aussie Rick'

  29. 4 out of 5

    Marcello

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sean

  31. 5 out of 5

    Domenico

  32. 4 out of 5

    Bryce Davis

  33. 4 out of 5

    Lucy Meeker

  34. 4 out of 5

    Nick Katsaros

  35. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

  36. 5 out of 5

    Michael Kovan

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    Matt

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    Sam

  39. 5 out of 5

    Penny Wright

  40. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  41. 5 out of 5

    Dimitri

  42. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Maisano

  43. 4 out of 5

    Sweetwilliam

  44. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey

  45. 4 out of 5

    Tony

  46. 4 out of 5

    John

  47. 4 out of 5

    Dipanjan

  48. 5 out of 5

    Julie Herringa Cirone

  49. 5 out of 5

    Cool_guy

  50. 5 out of 5

    Leo

  51. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  52. 4 out of 5

    Creighton

  53. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Bull Chafin

  54. 5 out of 5

    Lukas Dufka

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