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The Price of Glory - Verdun 1916
The Price of Glory - Verdun 1916
Horne, Alistair

Macmillan, 1962, first edition, good condition with dustwrapper

The Battle of Verdun has long been regarded as perhaps the sharpest Schwerpunkt of the Great War. In an attempt to bleed the French Army dry, the Germans launched an offensive on the strategic fortress of Verdun. There was no other aim than to lure the French into losing so many men that they could not carry on the war. In fact, the Somme Offensive – another byword for attrition – was launched early in an attempt to relieve the pressure on Verdun. Yet Verdun is almost completely overshadowed by the Somme and Ypres in the British understanding of the First World War. The title is perhaps slightly misleading, in that the book focuses much more on the general conduct of the Great War than it might suggest. It is in fact part of a trilogy of books by Horne focusing on the long rivalry between France and Germany – the Franco-Prussian War, and the 1914-1918 and 1939-1945 Wars. The latter two books cover the wars in general, but choose Verdun in 1916 and Dunkirk in 1940 as the apex of the French experience. Horne is a master of the close study of the military leader – here, in paticular, he paints lucid and telling pictures of men like Joffre, Falkenhayn and Petain. Horne’s grasp of the big picture, and the personality of command, is clear indeed. Horne also delves into describing contemporary France in detail, a wise move that puts the conduct of the French Army into suitable context. It is very important to immerse yourself in the military culture of a nation if you want to understand the actions of its armies. Here Horne considers the impact of French society on her army, the hstorical legacy of Napoleon and the Franco-Prussian War, the French Army’s belief in the offensive reform, and the effect of the Grand Quartier General....

Second hand Hardback