A fast-paced and vivid narrative of the most horrific campaign in history: the four-year slaughter around the Belgian town of Ypres 1914-18. Switching seamlessly between the generals’ headquarters, the politicians’ councils and, above all, the mud and blood of the trenches, this is a wonderfully accessible history.
Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler both fought in the front line at Ypres: Groom reveals what happened to both men. We see the campaign through their eyes and the experience of other officers and men, including the war poet Edmund Blunden (later professor of poetry at Oxford).
From the desperate defence put up by the tiny British regular army in 1914 to the infamous Passchendaele offensive, this is popular history at its best.