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Challenge of Battle: the Real Story of the British Army in 1914 (General Military)

Challenge of Battle: the Real Story of the British Army in 1914 (General Military) [Kindle Edition]

Adrian Gilbert

Kindle-Preis: EUR 6,34 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

  • Länge: 304 Seiten
  • Sprache: Englisch
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"Well-written and carefully argued, 'Challenge of Battle' clearly describes the initial battles of WWI in graphic detail and begins what promises to be a major reappraisal of the British army in 1914." --Bowling Green Daily News

"Gilbert’s measured, balanced analysis of the British Expeditionary Force’s performance in the first months of World War I presents the Old Contemptibles as they were." --Professor Dennis Showalter, author of Patton and Rommel: Men Of War in the Twentieth Century

Praise for Adrian Gilbert’s other books:
POW: Allied Prisoners in Europe, 1939–1945
‘Gilbert is to be congratulated; with verve and scholarship he has illuminated a murky area of the war … [an] excellent history.’ – Ian Thomson, Daily Telegraph
 ‘Captured: the real spirit of the POW camps… a big subject here given a comprehensive and worthwhile examination.’ – Peter Lewis, Daily Mail
 ‘[a] fascinating study of the prisoner of war experience.’ – Professor Gary Sheffield, Military Illustrated
The Imperial War Museum Book of the Desert War
‘A vivid, vital history.’ – Sunday Times
 ‘Lucid narrative of operations … superb illustrations.’ – Philip Warner, Daily Telegraph
 ‘A familiar story, re-told from a series of new angles … much fresh, illuminating detail.’ – Professor M.R.D. Foot, Good Book Guide
Sniper One-on-One – The World of Combat Sniping
‘A comprehensive account of the occupation as it is carried out today, complete with a guide to the best weapons for the task.’ – Robert Fox, Daily Telegraph

 ‘Speaking as a professional sniper with service in Northern Ireland and the Falklands, I do have to say this book is one of the best. 5/5’ – Review


Winston Churchill described the opening campaign of the First World War as 'a drama never surpassed.' The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) played an immensely significant role in the colossal clash of Europe's armies in 1914, which has gone on to be one of the greatest stories of 20th century history.

Although pride in the British Army's achievements was reflected in the official accounts of the fighting they were, understandably, restrained about its shortcomings and this set the template for subsequent accounts of the campaign, which were tamely accepted with little or no attempt at critical engagement. Challenge of Battle will give an un-obscured view of the true historical appreciation of the British Army's opening campaign in the West, detailing both successes and failings of the BEF at war.

Using first-hand accounts, Adrian Gilbert presents an examination of the BEF's leadership, organisation and tactics, and for the first time it will be described how British commanders were to come to terms with the fearsome nature of modern warfare, as its soldiers returned to Europe to fight a first-rate opponent for the first time in nearly 100 years.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 12410 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 376 Seiten
  • Verlag: Osprey Publishing (20. Februar 2014)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B00I42Q4KG
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #112.052 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.7 von 5 Sternen  6 Rezensionen
11 von 11 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Long awaited reassessment of British sources 19. März 2014
Von J. Scarborough - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
I recommend this book. Long ago and far away I read the "official" history, and the conclusions did not pass the smell test. Then came Terence Zuber's "The Mons Myth - A reassessment of the battle" and I wondered why it took nearly 100 years for the book to be written. Now comes Gilbert's "Challenge of Battle" where the author is will to call portions of the official history "deliberate prevarications." I welcome Gilbert's effort. It will be interesting to see how long before the book is criticized for being "revisionist?" Frankly, British military history for 1914 can use this revision.

Mons and LeCateau were not British victories. It was refreshing to see the word rout in used conjunction with the aftermath of LeCateau (and quoted from a primary source).

The BEF were not elite troops. Gilbert does an excellent job summarizing the capabilities of the BEF and their shortcomings, as well as comparing them to the Germans.

The detailed accounts of artillery usage were most welcome.

The graphic support for this book is adequate, and maps well done (good maps are essential in my opinion).
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Terrific account of the British Army in WW1 14. April 2014
Von William Betson - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Kindle Edition|Verifizierter Kauf
Gilbert provides a fascinating and balanced account of the performance of the "Old Contemptibles" in the opening phases of the First World War. Well written with just the right amount of first person quotes, the book gives the reader a good understanding of the performance of both the British and German armies. One also learns about how the armies were organized and how they fought. The battle description are detailed and easy to follow (with excellent maps). Gilbert demolishes much of the mythology of superior performance of the British Army without being too negative. I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in this is one of the best works of straight military history that I have read in a while.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen As accurate and honest as is possible a hundred years after the fact 18. Juni 2014
Von Rus. Academy Prof. - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Gilbert has created a readable and informative account of the BEF from mobilization through 1st Ypres. He did his research, and presents the story unvarnished with legend and myth. I recommend it highly.

One important point he brings out that I had not been aware of was the high percentage of Reservists in the Active Regiments! I had always believed that the BEF was manned entirely by long-service professionals. The BEF is always portrayed as 'the only professional army in the field.' Turns out that the professional cadre had to be fleshed out with reservists, just as the German and French armies.

One may quibble with a few minor points that have little or nothing to do with his intent, which is to present the human story of those first few months, the good and the bad, the bungling and the heroic. In this he succeeds.

This is not as dry a read as Zuber's works, but the same quality and attention to detail is present. Indeed, he used Zuber's work to help present a well-rounded picture, probably as accurate and honest as is possible a hundred years after the fact.
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Up to the Challenge 29. Juni 2014
Von mullers1973 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
excellent picks up a lot of new research on both sides of the line really differentiates between what was official and history. What is the plucky army of myth and what was an army with a steep learning curve; that for the most part rose to the crisis. if you are a Horace Smith-Dorrian fan do not read this book if you want a well written concise book pick it up. As one with many relatives on the other side l find the book fair and willing to look at new research by Cave, Zuber, and Sheldon. Worth the quick read as we begin to look at the Great War...
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A TRIBUTE TO THE "OLD CONTEMPTIBLES" 18. August 2014
Von MONTGOMERY - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
"Challenge of Battle" is, perhaps, the finest book yet written on what was the British Army of 1914. Of all the major European powers, Britain possessed the smallest peacetime army. Yet, despite its size, it was a force that had been seasoned over the past century in various colonial wars fought in Africa and Asia.

The common impression formed of the British Army upon taking the field in France in August 1914 and marching north into Belgium (where it first clashed with the German Army at Mons), was that despite its small numbers, it managed, owing to superior firepower and riflemanship, to always stay one step ahead of the Germans, helping their French allies to buy time, and thus keep Paris free and France afloat, at the First Battle of the Marne. Gilbert sets out to show the reader that the British Army was not without its faults, both in terms of tactics and its leadership. Indeed, "[t]he overall performance of the BEF [British Expeditionary Force] during the 1914 campaign was uneven. The peacetime failings in command and control had been ruthlessly exposed on many occasions, and the vital necessity for the separate arms to work closely together was a lesson that was painfully and sometimes inadequately learned. The morale of the other ranks had proved too dependent on the inspirational qualities of their officers; when officers became casualties, or otherwise failed as leaders, the men fell back from exposed front-line positions with alarming frequency. Good leadership at all levels was a precursor to battlefield success."

The story of the British Army's actions at Mons, Le Cateau, along the Aisne River, and in Flanders during October and November 1914 is well-detailed and a fascinating one. It is a story in which Gilbert shows to fine effect his extensive knowledge of the subject. Plus, this is a book that even the layperson can easily digest without getting lost (or hopelessly bogged down) in the minutiae of military jargon that often clouds books on military history. I'm so glad I read this one.
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