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Most Boring/disliked WW1 Book


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#226 geraint

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 08:48 PM

Absolutely Phil. I used the term in a sympathetic, endearing and ironic way. I did a few interviews in the early 70s, and as a callow youth became quickly aware that the old lads were merely retelling old tales, and were confused between what actually happened and their recollections. After a long story about his particular derring do; one corrected himself with the words; "No that's wrong. I saw that on the telly yesterday." That was in the 1970s. Again, having only interviewed three; I mastered the way of getting them to tell (lie to) me what they thought that I wanted to hear.
Now thirty five years later (late 1990s and early 2000s interviews and recordings) - its a lucrative way to spin a living.

#227 daggers

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Posted 19 December 2008 - 09:00 PM

Has anyone tried "The Story of the Salonika Army" by G. Ward Price, Hodder & S, (second edition,1918)? The author is described as The Official Correspondent with the Allied Forces in the Balkans.
The early pages include a summary of the campaign, bringing the story to Summer 1917, so scarcely a comprehensive history.

Not a great deal of use to me, but there are some atmospheric b/w photos, labelled as 'official'.

Views of other readers would be interesting, if there are any.
D





#228 Matt Richards

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 08:32 PM

The worst I've read (or in this case attempted to read) was Thomas M. Johnson's The Lost Battalion from 1938. Typical early 20th Century American pompousness reigns throughout (I say this as an American). At one point there's a passage that says something to the effect of "The battalion pressed forward but the British and French on their flanks had fallen behind far to the rear (as usual!)." I stopped reading it soon after that.

#229 Bonfire

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 07:38 AM

QUOTE (PBI @ Nov 8 2006, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Many of us have posted on the Forum regarding our Favourite WW1 Books...here is a question for Forum Members,in your opinion which is the most boring/disliked Book that you have read concerning WW1...??????


My most un-favorite and boring WWI book to date is Some Desperate Glory by Edwin Campion Vaughn (speaking of poncy officer's names) because he struck me as a spoiled child of privilege and all he talked about for the most part was 'potting at bottles,' ie. wasting time and more egregious, ammunition.

My favorite is Ghosts Have Warm Hands by Will Bird.
Bonfire

QUOTE (PBI @ Nov 8 2006, 12:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Many of us have posted on the Forum regarding our Favourite WW1 Books...here is a question for Forum Members,in your opinion which is the most boring/disliked Book that you have read concerning WW1...??????


My most un-favorite and boring WWI book to date is Some Desperate Glory by Edwin Campion Vaughn (speaking of poncy officer's names) because he struck me as a spoiled child of privilege and all he talked about for the most part was 'potting at bottles,' ie. wasting time and more egregious, ammunition.

My favorite is Ghosts Have Warm Hands by Will Bird.
Bonfire

#230 PBI

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 10:00 AM

I have a Copy of "Some Desperate Glory" and i have to agree and disagree on certain points with Bonfire..True Vaughan had a Good Education and a Privileged upbringing,and he even admits that he could be Arrogant,but His writings of his battalions role in 3rd Ypres is an excellent account.I agree that some parts of the Diary can be at best described as Tedious,but then Life in and out of the Line was not always full of excitment.The Book itself for me is a very Good account of One Mans War....Cheers,Russ. biggrin.gif

#231 Kutenay

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 07:07 PM

I think that the book on WWI that I have read and disliked most was, "Goodbye To All That", by Robert Graves. While his description of Passchendaele was very good, his never-ending blether about how HIS regiment was the finest, yadda, yadda, yadda and especially his comments about Scots Highlanders being cowardly and dirty in the trenches really made his memoir a total pain in the ****.

I have the utmost respect for "The Royal Welch Fusiliers", btw, but Graves was a pompous ass his entire life and this book was about his worst.

#232 Rob Connolly

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 12:07 AM

QUOTE (Kutenay @ Dec 26 2008, 07:07 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think that the book on WWI that I have read and disliked most was, "Goodbye To All That", by Robert Graves. While his description of Passchendaele was very good, his never-ending blether about how HIS regiment was the finest, yadda, yadda, yadda and especially his comments about Scots Highlanders being cowardly and dirty in the trenches really made his memoir a total pain in the ****.

I have the utmost respect for "The Royal Welch Fusiliers", btw, but Graves was a pompous ass his entire life and this book was about his worst.


Hmmm! Well, every member of a British infantry regiment is honestly convinced that his regiment is the best in the army and therefore the world, so Graves was merely reflecting this. Besides, you neglect his opinion of French or Algerian troops - compared to whom the other British regiments are shining examples of sanitary precision.

#233 melwar

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 08:34 AM

QUOTE (Matt Richards @ Dec 21 2008, 07:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The worst I've read (or in this case attempted to read) was Thomas M. Johnson's The Lost Battalion from 1938. Typical early 20th Century American pompousness reigns throughout (I say this as an American). At one point there's a passage that says something to the effect of "The battalion pressed forward but the British and French on their flanks had fallen behind far to the rear (as usual!)." I stopped reading it soon after that.



I'm not a huge fan of 1918: The Last Act by Barrie Pitt for much the same reason. Actions by Australian troops are outrageously ambitious, actions by American troops are noble and justified. Interesting, but not particularly reasonable by any stretch!

#234 Tom A McCluskey

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 11:27 AM

Rob,

I don't know if you have read the book Goodbye to all That, however, unlike using the excuse of: 'he thought his regiment was the best', which he did, but not in a very gentlemanly way. I think he allows his unjust and personal prejudice get in the way of forming and presenting balanced opinions. This is made all the clearer by reading the vastly superior (in my opinion) The War the Infantry Knew, by Captain J C Dunn DSO MC & Bar DCM.

Now for the 'people who live in glass houses bit' concerning Graves. Graves's own personal hygiene is challenged by the CO of the 1st Bn The Royal Welch Fusiliers as is mentioned in one of Sassoon's books. Sassoon remarks about Graves:

'At his best I'd always found him an ideal companion, although his opinions were often disconcerting. But no one was worse than he at hitting it off with officers who distrusted cleverness and disliked unreserved utterances. He was with our Second Battalion for a few months before they transferred him to "the First," and during that period the Colonel was heard to remark that young Cromlech [in Sassoon's books Graves is called David Cromlech] threw his tongue a hell of a lot too much, and that it was about time he gave up reading Shakespeare and took to using soap and water'.

It is not one of my most disliked books, but there is not much to be gained by reading it either IMHO.

Aye

Tom McC

#235 geraint

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 10:46 PM

I'm not defending Graves; I thought his classical times Claudius books to be far superior to Goodby... But, it is a 'must read' book for anyone with a passing interest in the War. Like it, loath it, attack it, defend it - it's one that needs to be read, if only for his singular view on that war. Dunn's is a far more scholarly compilation, with a far greater eye for truthful representations, and a dependence on an array of witnesses.

#236 Rob Connolly

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 12:12 AM

I'd say, somewhat flippantly, that GBTAT vs. TWTIK is akin to "A History of the Letter Q" as opposed to "Encyclopaedia Brittanica". I shall refrain from posting further about either as I don't class them as Boring or Disliked.

#237 PBI

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Posted 30 December 2008 - 07:19 AM

Good Point Rob..and Neither do i consider either Books Boring or Disliked.I have both in my collection.