Passchendaele

£12.99

The Battle of Passchendaele epitomises everything that was most terrible about the Western Front in WWI. This was the war of attrition at its most spectacular and ferocious. The intervening century, the most violent in human history, hasn’t diluted the power of the images we have from this battle. We commemorate the event, we pin poppies to our chests. But it is almost impossible to understand. Paul Ham tells the story of ordinary men in the grip of an extraordinary global power struggle. He lays down a powerful challenge to the idea of war as an inevitable expression of human will, and examines the culpability of governments and military commanders in a catastrophe that destroyed the best part of a generation.

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Description

‘Outstanding . . . thought-provoking, readable and informative’ Soldier

One hundred years on…

On 18 July 1917, a heavy artillery barrage was unleashed by the Allied forces against an entrenched German army outside the town of Ypres. it was to be the opening salvo of one of the most ferociously fought and debilitating encounters of the First World War.

Few battles would encapsulate the utter futility of the war better that what became known as the Battle of Passchendaele. By the time the British and Canadian forces finally captured Passchendaele village on 6 November, the Allies had suffered over 271,000 casualties and the German army over 217,000.

Passchendaele: Requiem for Doomed Youth shows how ordinary men on both sides endured this constant state of siege, with a very real awareness that they were being gradually, deliberately felled. Here, Paul Ham tells the story of an army caught in the grip of an extraordinary power struggle – both global and national. As Prime Minister Lloyd George and Commander Haig’s relationship deteriorated beyond repair, so a terrible battle of attrition was needlessly and painfully prolonged.

Ham lays down a powerful challenge to the ways in which we have previously seen this monumental battle. Through an examination of the culpability of governments and military commanders in a catastrophe that destroyed the best part of a generation, Paul Ham argues that Passchendaele, far from being a breakthrough moment, was the battle that nearly lost the Allies the war.

‘Paul Ham brings new tools to the job, unearthing fresh evidence of a deeply disturbing sort. He has a magpie eye for the telling detail.’ Ben Macintyre, The Times

Additional information

Weight 0.424 kg
Dimensions 19.7 × 12.8 × 3.7 cm
Author

Publisher

Imprint

Cover

Paperback

Pages

592

Language

English

Edition
Dewey

940.431 (edition:23)

Readership

General – Trade / Code: K