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wintgens

verdun books

10 posts in this topic

hello,

I have found a superb book, Alistar Horne " The Price of Glory" .

I have found this to be better than the " modern" books and I wonder if this is the case?, are older books better. I was recently given a book of memoires by British soldiers which was published in 1931 and it taught me more than the recent published collections of testimonies .

I am wondering why this is?.

I am now interested in the French Army in the Great War, I have only read a few chapters of Horne's book and I am touched by the bravery of the French soldier and the resistance they put up in the forests against the attacks from 21st February 1916 to 24th February, it was a relentless unceasing and suicidal series of counterattacks in the best tradition of the French Army, may God bless their memory, it is not surprising that they are still remembered by their countrymen.

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English langauge works on Verdun are sadly few in number. The Price of Glory is now generally considered dated, and not, unsurprisingly, not without errors. That said it's still well worth reading.

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I have read french works on Verdun and also German, all very good. But of the two major books in english on the topic, Alistair Horne and Malcolm Brown, horne's "Price of Glory" certainly deserves the most praise. It’s clear, makes an excellent analysis of the action and the persons involved in the battle. What is good also is that Horne managed to stay neutral and to not emphasize, as is too often the case, on the stupidity of the decisions or the man taking them.

MM.

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I would echo wintgens's comments above.

 

I've just finished reading "Price of Glory", and thought that it was a tremendous book, full of detail but at the same time a pretty easy read. I hesitated to read it, but I'm glad that I did so.  

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As Mr Filsell says, it is dated in style and approach, but a jolly good book for all that, and I'd be hard-pressed to think of a better in English. The Battlefield Guides are good, too, and essential for a visit.

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Horne is the English historian of France. His books are both readable and academically rigorous, a trick difficult to pull off. His book on the French in Algeria, A Savage War of Peace, is still the best on the topic - a copy was famously sent by Kissinger to Bush as a hint about how an invasion of Iraq might pan out!

 

David

 

 

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40 minutes ago, David Ridgus said:

Horne is the English historian of France. His books are both readable and academically rigorous, a trick difficult to pull off. His book on the French in Algeria, A Savage War of Peace, is still the best on the topic - a copy was famously sent by Kissinger to Bush as a hint about how an invasion of Iraq might pan out!

 

David

 

 

 

In the preface to the 1990 edition of AH's 'To Lose a Battle' (1969), Horne tells us that, according to Chaim Herzog, Ariel Sharon had been influenced by and indebted to the book during the Yom Kippur War. He refers to this again here:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3577308/The-danger-in-Sharon-using-my-book-on-the-Algerian-war.html

 

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I'm trying to gather some titles on Verdun, and have just brought Buckingham's Verdun 1916, and Kaufmann's Verdun:Renaissance of the fortress . I have just gotten back into reading and collecting books on the Western Front, and from memory Horne's Price of Glory previously seemed to be the general favoured English language book on this campaign.

I'm sure this may be listed on the forum elsewhere, however I was keen to see if anyone would recommend the following......Verdun by Paul Jankowski, Verdun, by John Mosier, and Verdun by Alan Axelrod (also his Somme book), together with any other suggestions I have not listed?

Many thanks

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Jankowski's book has been well received though it may be a bit long-winded. Mosier has been derided. Axelrod has not had a mention so far.

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There is some terribly lazy work available in English. However The Pen and Sword  Battlefield  Europe series books by the highly expert Verdunista Christina Holstein are absolutely invaluable. Can't think why I havn't mentioned them before.

 

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