Peter Hart, oral historian at the Imperial War Museum, examines the First World War, charting major battles and small skirmishes to build an in-depth overview of the first truly global conflict. The sheer level of detail Hart presents is astonishing, providing combat formations and movements, weapons and military hardware used on both sides, and a wealth of knowledge encompassing all involved.
With eye-witness accounts from generals to infantry soldiers, we are dealt all the key turning points from an unbiased viewpoint.
The main flaw is the book’s bleakness. Even though it isn’t the warmest subject, it seems to embrace the harsh realities and rarely lets up, listing the events without opinion and little emotion.
However, it’s a fascinating documentary of the harrowing extremes of human suffering endured throughout a campaign that would mould the future and forever scar history.