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A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front Paperback – April, 2003
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From Library Journal
Groom wrote Forrest Gump, but this is no whimsical novel. Here, he studies World War I's infamous Battle of Ypres.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
"A Storm in Flanders" is such a book, focusing on the British experience in the Ypres Salient during World War I. Groom wrote "Forrest Gump," as well as several history books. He knows how to put a sentence together and how to tell a gripping story. Once I picked this book up and started reading, I was hooked.
Much as Stephen Ambrose has done in his elegant books about World War II, Groom moves seamlessly between the generals in their chateaus and the grunts in their trenches. He makes use of diaries and poetry to tell the human story of a struggle that is all too often reduced to an abstract description of maneuver and battle. And he is very fair in his assessments--he acknowledges the criticisms of General Haig and many of the other leaders of the war, but he is always careful to balance these views with other considerations. The result is a well-told tale, fair and sympathetic to everyone involved.
The story of the Ypres Salient is not pretty. Groom does not pull his punches and does his best to give the reader, sitting in a comfortable armchair, some sense of just how horrible the Great War was. In a passage that I found especially memorable, Groom quotes Lieutenant Alfred J. Angel of the Royal Fusiliers during Third Ypres: "The stench was horrible, for the bodies were not corpses in the normal sense. With all the shell-fire and bombardments they'd been continually disturbed, and the whole place was a mess of filth and slime and bones and decomposing bits of flesh.Read more ›
The author has attempted to give you, the reader, an insight into the lives of the soldier huddled in his wet trench under constant artillery fire, where thousands of soldiers lost their lives in daily 'wastage', even during quiet periods. The story is told mainly from the British point of view, with numerous first-hand accounts offered throughout the book. The narrative is fast paced and you never get tired or bored with the story. I have read many books on the Great War and I never cease to wonder why these brave men endured what they did and for so long.
The author provides the reader with details about the introduction of new weapons of destruction unleashed for the first time during the Great War. Stories of how poisons gas was utilized by the Germans and then the Allies, followed by accounts of the victims and witnesses to the effects of gas are truly horrendous. Then follows the introduction of massive underground mines and the flame-thrower to combat the trench systems and machine gun posts of the enemy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Mr. Groom is an excellent writer. Had the occasion to hear Mr. Groom speak and to meet him at Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Virginia earlier this year.Published 3 months ago by Granddad
Excellent account of war - An appealing mix of military history (strategy/units) and the actual impact upon and experiences of those who fought and died in most deadly war of all... Read morePublished 7 months ago by groy
This was a superb book that I read before going to Belgium and Flanders to tour the battlefields. Having read the book made such a difference. Read morePublished 10 months ago by T. Bowers
If you are interested in a book that gives you a good idea about what fighting was like in WW1 this is an excellent choice.Published 10 months ago by M. WRIGHT
An incredible overview of Flanders in WW1. The author tells the narrative exceedingly well with just the right blend of tactics and strategy vs. Read morePublished 10 months ago by L. A. Veronie II