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on April 2, 2014
Nick Lloyd has written a straightforward and compelling account of the final battles of World War I.

The author observes that their are many books on the origins and events of the beginning of the war, but few on the end. In particular, there is an inadequate understanding of the impact of American participation on the battlefield. Mr. Lloyd remedies that by providing a clear and readable history of the battles of the final days. He has vivid portraits of the leading allied generals: Foch, Pershing, Haig and Petain. He personalizes the story with battlefield accounts by the soldiers themselves, including an account of a relative who died in the war's closing days. Despite all the tragedy and horror we have witnessed in the intervening years, there is still nothing quite as desperate and heart-rending as the story of foot soldiers in the mud, gas and barbed wire of WWI.

Lloyd makes it clear how the German war machine had effectively lost its bearings and was grinding to a halt. Field Marshal Ludendorff had become irrational, despondent one minute and full of bravado the next. After the Kaiser sacked him, the army was probably better off, but it had lost cohesion. The Kaiser remained in a state of delusion himself, confident that the people and Army stood behind him. He was soon to learn better.

Congratulations to Mr. Lloyd for illuminating the end of the conflict in this well-written and helpful account.
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"Did anyone really care whether Alsace-Lorraine was French or German?" Using those words, British history professor Nick Lloyd summed up German thoughts at the end of the "Great War" as the German government considered surrendering to the Allied forces in Fall, 1918, in his new book, "Hundred Days".

August 1914 - young men from Britain to Austro-Hungary marched gaily off to war. They'd be home by Christmas, these fearless young men told themselves - and each other. But as the years went by with battles gaining literally inches and men living - and dying - in hideous trenches in France and Belgium, by summer of 1918, the war was finally creaking to an end. The American entry into the war in 1917 on the Allied side had given the French, British, and Dominion troops an added boost to those armies who had been fighting for three years, often to a standoff with the Germans on the Western Front, in a war of attrition.

Nick LLoyd, a senior lecturer of Defense Studies, at Kings College, London, lost a great-uncle at the French village of Gouzeaucourt, just six weeks or so before the Armistice. Lloyd has written an amazingly readable book about those last hundred days of WW1. He looks at the war from British, German, French, and American sides and examines both the military battles at the Front and the political battles behind the scenes. He includes maps at the front of the book which detail the battles fought and military lines that had to be crossed by the advancing Allies and defended by the Germans.

One of the most interesting parts of the book deals with the political situation in Germany as the war caused the collapse of the Kaiser's government. Lloyd looks at the cries of "betrayal by the Communists/Bolshevics/Jews/Defeatists" that lasted well into the 1920's and '30's. Nick LLoyd has done a wonderful job looking at a smallish slice of time in a much larger conflict. Great book for WW1 history readers.
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on March 13, 2014
I was impressed by this book, which focuses on a very significant event, the last hundred days of the first world war, when the British (including the Commonwealth), the French and the newly arrived American doughboys pushed through German defenses to precipitate the collapse of the Kaiser's reich and end the war that claimed over 10 million lives, and left multiples of that wounded or psychologically crippled. Despite being the knockout blow of that brutal combat, the campaign seems to have received less attention that other phases of that war, including the armistice, which has probably been the subject of tenfold more books. So this is a valuable contribution to the literature about the war, as we approach its centennial anniversary.

The author bravely and with great stamina recounts the campaign on a day by day, hill by hill, woods by woods basis, and at the same time manages to convey some overarching themes such as the Americans' tragic lack of preparation and their commanders' hubris. He also takes pains to show you the German side of the campaign, citing numerous diaries and other primary sources which impressed me as a matter of research. As one of the editorial reviews says, the work brims with archival research.

I am not a military history buff, but rather came to this seeking to learn about the Meuse-Argonne campaign in which my grandfather fought (and luckily for me survived). There was not an enormous amount in here about his division, which, now that I have finished the book and also read others about the campaign, I didn't mind as the book taught me other valuable lessons about the horrors all the soldiers endured, and the campaign was indeed a multinational one. If anyone should feel slighted, I suppose, it would be the French, who barely show up in his account, but then, it's war and they are the French...

Ultimately, I was glad I read it, because I gained such an appreciation for the sacrifices made by the combatants, who deserve to have their heroism commemorated.
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on April 11, 2014
Finally, a World War I book that acknowledges the contributions of the US Doughboys. Thank you, Mr. Lloyd. I immensely appreciated the information on the Americans and attention paid to the last one hundred days of the war, something that many Great War books do not adequately cover. The German perspective was also refreshing to see from an Allied author, again something that is often missing. Mr. Lloyd possesses a gift for both history and writing, which isn't necessarily present with many books written by academic historians. I highly recommend "Hundred Days."
~Jennifer Rude Klett, Author Alamo Doughboy: Marching into the Heart of Kaiser's Germany during World War I
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on March 17, 2014
As a long-time history buff and fan, in particular, of the First World War, this book filled a very important gap in the popular literature of the War. It picks up in July, 1918, with the failure of the German attacks on the Western Front, and shows, battle by battle, the progress of the Allied counter-attack. It is especially valuable in quoting German documents, diaries, etc. which demonstrate the increasing precarious situation they found them selves in. The maps, while adequate, could have been more detailed. Well worth the read!
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on November 15, 2014
As part of the growing drum barrage of new books on World War I, this one hits almost exactly on target. Lloyd has taken an often ignored topic - - - the Allied counteroffensive that eventually led to the Armistice an end of the war - - - and has produced a spell binding account. There are numerous studies of the final German offensives of 1918 on the Western Front; this picks up where they leave off. And Lloyd has an excellent presentation style that shifts smoothly between top level planning at supreme headquarters on both sides, to the suffering soldiers (British, American, French and German) in the muck. The maps are very good, although I wished there were more, particularly covering the German collapse over the final four weeks of the conflict. Lloyd does a good job of summarizing the political torture that the German command went through as the Allied offensive gradually overwhelmed the shattered remnants of the ghosts of the Schlieffen Plan. "Hundred Days" fills a big gap in the military history of the last months of World War I.
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on February 20, 2015
Wow ! Great Book that methodically presented the events and circumstances leading up to the end of WWI. I particularly enjoyed the book because it was full of interesting extracts from personal diaries and letters from persons who were involved and eyewitness to the last 100 days of the war. The book was well researched and supported by footnotes and sources (although that was a bit academic for me to follow and I simply enjoyed the straight narrative without using referring to the references provided). I would have enjoyed the book a bit more if there was more information about the American involvement, but with so many units and Nationalities as major players, it is understandable that for reasons of scale only the events of Armies, Corps, and in some cases Divisions could be mentioned. One of the reasons that I purchased the book to read more about the 27th Infantry (Company M,107th Infantry) (Empire Division from New York) in which my wife's father served. Nevertheless, it was still a very enlightening book.
I was somewhat aware of the events at the end of the war, but Nick LLoyd's book pulled it all together very nicely and presented a cohesive picture of what occurred in the various sectors. I am looking forward to a trip to France sometime in the near future and will enjoy using this book as a reference. The epilogue was outstanding and the intrigue preceding the Kaiser's abdication was extremely interesting. Well Done in all regards ! I highly recommend this book to anyone who would appreciate an understanding of how the Allies gained superiority and prevailed.
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on March 30, 2014
The author's thesis is that the beginning of WWI has been covered far more extensively by historians than the finale. This book is intended to begin redressing that imbalance. I thought it struck a fair balance between narrative and operational history, thus making the book a most engaging read.
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on May 31, 2014
Over the years I have become interested in the topic of how wars end and their immediate aftermath. When I saw this book I immediately snatched it up and I am very glad I did. This is a moving and very well written book focusing on the end of the First World War. It is extremely well researched and the author makes a very good case for the importance of that period and for how much the Allied armies had learned (at terrible and very hard cost) and how good they had become. He also, I think, makes the case that the German Army was simply defeated and that, in the final analysis, it was not undone by any non-military factor but was beaten in the field. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in military history and also to general readers interested in the period.
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on March 15, 2015
Excellent book. I've been looking for a book that is well written and tells in detail the story of the United States role in combat in the final days of WWI. After several false starts, this is it.

One very small suggestion would be to spend at least a little time keeping the reader up to date with the simultaneous collapse of Germany on other fronts and the impact of that on the fighting in the Ardennes. That is a very small complaint and does not take away from the overall strengths of this fine book.

A slightly more substantive suggestion would have been to better utilize maps but this too should not cause prospective readers any real concern.

This is a subject I think is understandably yet unfortunately almost completely overlooked. Hopefully this book will address and remedy that oversight.
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