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Hot Blood and Cold Steel Paperback – July 7, 1993
'This book gives a vivid picture of life on the Western Front... compelling reading' THE DAILY TELEGRAPH --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The book is not conventionally structured in a chronological fashion or by location; Mr Simpson groups his material by theme ... for example, life in the trenches, being under fire, when on the attack, of religion and superstition, the British soldier's views of themselves, of their Allies, and of the Germans, and so on. I think this approach works very well for a book attempting to describe what it was like to serve in World War I, particularly since it's largely in the particpants own words.
The quality of the excerpts he chose is very good ... some of them are humorous, some deadly grave, and they work together well to give you an impression of the horrors and terrible conditions the soldiers of the time endured. While I would have liked some analysis of how conditions differed for the Germans (or French), even if in a only general way, I understand the author's reason for limiting his work to just the British side.
It's a good and enlightening read. Highly recommended.