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Amiens Paperback – Sep 1 2001
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"This clear-minded account of the days leading up to that sequel is overdue and welcome."(Rondi Adamson The National Post 2001-03-24)
"... carefully researched and appealingly written." "In bringing this important battle to light, McWilliams and Steel also do us the great service of providing a reminder that thereare many other battles of Canada's Great War that await their own historian."(Canadian Military History 2001-01-01)
"McWilliams and Steel have done a magnificent research effort as they go into great detail into the planning, attack and movement of the battle, liberally interspersed with comments from the participants."(Convoy 2001-01-01)
It was the decisive battle of World War I. German commander Erich Ludendorff called it "the black day of the German army." Many authors have stated that it was the beginning of the end of the great conflict. And yet, until now, no book has been published on the climactic battle at Amiens.Amiens was one of the first "modern" battles, and certainly the first attempted by the Allies. Employing the troops of five nations (including Canada) and utilizing secrecy, deception, and combined operations, the Allies won the first of a string of victories culminating in the Armistice one hundred days later. Amiens: Dawn of Victory is the first book to study the historic battle in minute detail. Using eyewitness accounts from dozens of survivors, plus many accounts, both published and unpublished, by the participants, the authors take us into the trenches, the tanks, and the cockpits.
About the Author
James McWilliams and R. James Steel are avid military historians. They have collaborated on two previous books on World War I: The Suicide Battalion (1978, 1990) and Gas! The Battle for Ypres, 1915 (1989) - as well as a unit history - The Battery (1996). R. James Steel is also the author of The Men Who Marched Away: Canada's Infantry in World War I, 1914-1918 (1989).
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Top Customer Reviews
While my interest was in the Canadians, I found the sections on the other armies well done. The British advance was much slower than the Australian and Canadian advances on the first day and the authors explain this in terms of the ground the British had to cover and the tactical situation as the battle began.
I especially liked the way the authors were able to describe the tank actions. It was the second major use of tanks in the First World War and their presence on the battlefield helped achieve the first day objectives. It was also evident that even in a breakthrough battle cavalry could not operate in their 19th century role.
There is an excellent section on the use of air power, in fact on its misuse as the planes of the time could not carry enough bombs to isolate the German front line from its rear echelons. The planes would have been better used in close support.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable read!
With all of that being said, the book, and the battle, would have been more easily understood if the book had included more maps with greater detail. The reader can get lost in the details of which troops moved to which woods or salient. More photographs would have been appreciated as well.
Overall, time well spent.
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