A Storm in Flanders

A Storm in Flanders

The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918 : Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
A close-up analysis of a pivotal battle of World War I revisits the four-year-long Battle of Ypres, an engagement that cost hundreds of thousands of lives, marked the use of terrible new military tactics and technologies--including poison gas, mines, tanks, and air strikes--and forever changed the way that war would be waged. 50,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
The Ypres Salient in Belgian Flanders was the most notorious and dreaded place in all of World War I - probably of any war in history. It was said that you could smell the battlefield miles before you reached it - a fetid odor of death. It was where the poppies grew in Flanders Fields while a million men lived like animals in slimy underground trenches and from 1914 to 1918 slaughtered one another with such consistency that even on "quiet days" casualties ran into the thousands.
A Storm in Flanders is historian Winston Groom's history of the four-year battle for Ypres. As the engagement degenerated into relentless attrition, the salient became a gigantic corpse factory where hundreds of thousands of men - including Americans - died for gains that were measured in mere yards. To break the stalemate, the high commands on both sides over the years debuted and refined some of history's most terrifying weapons and tactics: poison gas, flamethrowers, tanks, stupendous underground mines, air strikes, and the unspeakable misery of trench warfare. The Third Battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele, ranks among the most infamous in the history of warfare, where the horror of fighting in mud sometimes waist-deep reduced even the high command to tears. The stalemate lasted until the fourth battle, when the Germans finally came within sight of the Eiffel Tower in an all-or-nothing attack and were miraculously beaten back by an Allied army on its very last legs.
Illustrated with photographs and drawing from the private journals of the men who fought on the harrowing front lines (including those of young soldier Adolf Hitler, whose experience at Ypres set him on his fateful path), A Storm in Flanders is a work of military history: a drama of politics, strategy, and the human heart, and the struggle for survival and victory against all odds.

Baker
& Taylor

An analysis of a pivotal battle of World War I revisits the four-year-long Battle of Ypres, an engagement that cost hundreds of thousands of lives and forever changed the way war would be waged.

Publisher: New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780871138422
0871138425
Characteristics: xi, 276 p., [32] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm

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Aw_19 Jul 05, 2017

While there are many books covering famous World War I battles (the Somme, Verdun), few seem to exist on Ypres. This book, however, isn't the full treatment that front probably deserves.

The author is a decent writer, but his book feels too thin for such a large subject. It does not seem that he's done extensive research. The German side feels underrepresented. And the larger political context was missing. You can learn more about Ypres from John Keegan's broader overview of the First World World War.

As an introduction, this book is fine. But if you're looking for a masterful discussion of life and death in the trenches at Ypres, look elsewhere.

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