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Osprey Warrior 16 : British Tommy 1914-1918

World War 1 was a watershed in British military and social history, and even now the repercussions can still be felt. Women's suffrage, the rise of the Labour movement, and an increasingly vociferous anti-military stance by politicians and populace were the result of those years of terrible conflict. No town or village in the British Isles escaped their casualties, and the creative genius of a generation was wiped out, at an incalculable loss to society. This book, by Martin Pegler, Senior Curator of weapons at the Royal Armouries, Tower of London, looks in detail at how the British soldier lived, fought and died during the traumatic war years. Enlistment, training and all aspects of life on active service are carefully examined, including discipline, relaxation and even the type and quality of food that soldiers ate. Pegler's analysis of the British infantryman's experience is greatly aided by the memories of old soldiers, which both support the author's statements and themselves provide an interesting and often vivid account of life on the Western Front. Much attention is also given to the weapons, uniform and equipment of the ordinary Tommy in both the text and the colour plates. Tactics are investigated, and tactically-revolutionary Battle of Cambrai, in which tanks were used en masse successfully for the first time, is examined, showing that, by 1917, there existed an alternative to the strategy of attrition, and a way of successfully ending the deadlock. Illustrations by Mike Chappell.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Historical Background
  • Chronology
  • Enlistment
  • Training
  • Uniform and Equipment
  • Weapons
  • Active Service
  • Food
  • Relaxation and Leave
  • Discipline
  • Combat and Tactics
  • Casualties
  • On Campaign
  • Visiting the Battlefield
  • Further Reading

 

Osprey Warrior


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