Friday, January 18, 2013

Trench Warfare

Trench WarfareTrench Warfare by Stephen Bull
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent primer on the subject of trench warfare during World War I. Bull does an adequate analysis of the precursors to the use of trench warfare in the Great War, as well as noting the influence of the tactics developed at that time as they affected wars all the way through the First Gulf War. Full of primary source material and liberally illustrated with photographs, maps, posters, and battle diagrams, most of them from the time period, Trench Warfare gives not only a glimpse into the lives of those who fought in the trenches and the equipment and methods they used to do so, but also some intriguing analysis of the effectiveness of trench warfare vis-a-vis the "open ground" fighting on the last three months of the war. Though the emphasis of the book is on the hardware and tactics, Bull is careful to acknowledge the human cost of the war and its effect on those who fought it and those "at home". A critical read for the student of World War I.

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