- Hardcover: 276 pages
- Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr; 1 edition (May 1, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0871138425
- ISBN-13: 978-0871138422
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 93 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #423,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front 1st Edition
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Forrest Gump and Shrouds of Glory established best-selling author Winston Groom as an electrifying writer and narrative historian. Now, in A Storm in Flanders, the Pulitzer Prize nominee visits the bloody four-year-long Battle of Ypres, a pivotal engagement that would forever change the way the world fought -- and thought about -- war. Groom describes how the quaint medieval Belgian town of Flanders -- following the dreams and schemes of the stubborn "butchers and blunderers" who commanded from afar -- became the most dreaded place on earth, a "gigantic corpse factory" where hundreds of thousands of men died for gains that were measured in yards. In 1914, Germany launched an invasion of France through neutral Belgium -- and brought the wrath of the world upon herself. In accessible prose, Groom presents Ypres as the centerpiece of World War I, with all of its horrors, heroism, and terrifying new tactics and technologies. Ypres is where some of history's most hideous weapons were unleashed and refined: poison gas, tanks, mines, air strikes, and the unspeakable misery of trench warfare. The battle's unprecedented horrors inspired some of the most compelling and enduring artistry of the war: from Remarque's classic novel All Quiet on the Western Front to the haunting poem that came to symbolize war, "In Flanders Fields," composed in the heat of battle by John McCrae, a grieving Canadian surgeon. Ypres was also the battleground of young soldier Adolf Hitler, whose experiences in Flanders, Groom argues, set him on his fateful path. Groom's story comes alive with the heart-wrenching journal entries of the men who fought on the grisly front lines, and is illustrated with breathtaking photographs published here for the first time. A gripping drama of politics, strategy, and human heart -- of the struggle for survival and victory against all odds -- A Storm in Flanders is a powerful work of military history.
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Overall, this is a very good book. It gives you a sense of the horror of this campaign and of the quality of the men who commanded the forces. It is an easy book to read but also one that frustrates and angers the reader as they find out about the quality of leaders such as Sir Douglas Haig. This is also a book that does give the reader glimpses into the Germans - something that is not frequently done in books such as this.
A good book, easy to read, highly recommended.
A Storm in Flanders does a great job of laying out what transpired over the Ypres battlefield over 4 years. Groom links the writings of many soldiers (primarily from the Allied side, but he makes an effort to get something from the Germans, as well) to events, and we get to follow these men through their service in the salient.
I've always found this area of the fighting to be tremendously heartbreaking, and Groom lays out exactly why, even in the fighting of Verdun for the French and the Somme for the British, Ypres (particularly Third Ypres), holds a special place for the British.
Groom brings this all together as he closes the book superbly.
Again, in my personal opinion, if you only get one book about this part of WWI this is the book to buy.