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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WW1 Understood,
This review is from: Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918 (Paperback)Tim Cook retains his reputation as one of Canada's leading WW1 historians.
While recounting the course of the battles that Canada was involved in, he also keeps our interest by telling the intimate stories of the men who wore the Maple leaf. He resists the urge to have us believe that Canada was the sole reason for the allies success and is fair in his criticism and praise of the military and political characters in this sad drama.
This is a very readable book and one that should be in the library of every Canadian. Can't wait to see what he does with the next book on Currie and Hughes.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shock Troops - Tim Cook,
This review is from: Shock Troops Canadians Fighting The Great War 1917-18 (Hardcover)I am not a professional book reviewer but as my Father's family was totaly involved in WW 1 I have read anything I can get my hands on relative to the Canadian involvement in that war. Tim Cook's treatment, in my opinion, is the best written to date. His research and subsequent publication is unbelievably excellent. Mr Cook's first volume "At The Sharp End", deserves the same comment. Anyone looking for a very readable detailed historical account of the Canadians in World War 1 cannot do better than these two volumes.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Account of the Great War.,
This review is from: Shock Troops Canadians Fighting The Great War 1917-18 (Hardcover)I still have some pages left, so I have not read the conclusion. This book covers every single aspect of a soldiers life in the Great War. Like a lot of Canadians, I had relatives that fought in the Great War. I wanted to know what they went through. You later realize why the quote "he never talked about the war," was so common to hear from older relatives. WW1 was not a pleasant experience. This book, and At The Sharp End, will give you everything there is to know about life on the Western front. Cook has done an outstanding job at researching the material.
While reading, there are times when it is a little rough to stomach all the stories of death and disease. The hardship these people endured, is almost beyond belief.
5.0 out of 5 stars Praise for Tim Cook,
This review is from: Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918 (Paperback)Tim Cook is one of the foremost historians writing on the Great War, a writer whose work I value. I'm glad to own this account, which sits next to his equally fine work, AT THE SHARP END. As someone who has written extensively on this subject, it is comforting to be able to reach for these two books when I'm writing about the Canadian role in the war. Though I'm a U.S. citizen, it has long annoyed and distressed me that few refer to Canadians as the first American troops to serve in Belgium and France. So, great kudos to Tim Cook.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Horrors of the Great War - Part II,
This review is from: Shock Troops Canadians Fighting The Great War 1917-18 (Hardcover)In this second instalment on his two-volume masterpiece on the Canadians (infantry) in World War I, the author picks up where he left off at the end of "At the Sharp End" (Volume one). Here, the horrors experienced by the soldiers on the Western Front continue to be recounted with just as much gory, heart-wrenching detail as in the first volume. However, in this case, the major battles in which the Canadian Corps undertook were resounding victories - although very costly ones. As before, the life of the trench warrior is the main focus, but the high command is also well covered. What I found particularly fascinating in this volume were the last few chapters in which the last hours and minutes of the war are discussed, as well as the events after the armistice: the soldiers' feelings at not being sent home immediately and the way they expressed their discontent, the eventual incorporation of thousands of returning soldiers into Canadian society, feelings towards the Canadian high command (Currie), the tabulation of the casualty statistics, the adequacy of pensions for disabled soldiers and their families, and how the Great war has been viewed over the decades until the present. As in the first volume, the writing style is clear, authoritative, accessible and always very engaging. The detailing of the various activities of the Canadian Corps's different military units can be a bit overwhelming at times; but the stories of some of the individual selfless sacrifices, astounding acts of heroism and the ultimate accomplishments of the Corps as a whole can leave the reader in awe. Once again, this is a book that can be read and appreciated by absolutely anyone.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Seasoned Fighting Force,
This review is from: Shock Troops Canadians Fighting The Great War 1917-18 (Hardcover)It didn't take me long to get into the second volume of Cook's history of Canada's role in WW I after having enjoyed the first one. Once again, Cook does a splendid job in exploring the nature of Canada's war effort from all perspectives: the common soldier, the captain in the field, the general at GHQ, the families back home, and the politicians in Ottawa. Comparitively, the two volumes, "At the Sharp End" and "Shock Troops" complement each other nicely. Where the first book looks at the initial challenges facing the Canadian Expeditionary Forces as a callow group of raw and undisciplined recruits, the second one highlights the hard won achievements of a top line fighting machine. The historian Cook goes into more intricate detail in this book on how the Canadian fighting men, as embodied in General Currie's beloved Canadian Corp, made an incredible contribution to the winning of a number of pivotal battles in the closing years of the war. While describing the battle strategies and clever schemes that allowed Canadians to gain the upperhand in these various campaigns, Cooks offers up some very special moments when the reader is able to step inside the mind and life of a soldier and momentarily grasp the challenges of the moment. The loneliness, fear and despair come through as the Canadian Tommies write home to loved ones, fight the rats, pick out the nits, eat the awful food rations, remember to duck at all times, and go out on recovery missions across No-Man's Land. This book is worth the read for its ability to capture both the daily moil and toil of soldiering and the overall shifts and trends in the big war picture. Cook definitely makes a strong case for Canada being considered a vital participant in this otherwise senseless conflict. Like in his first account, he is accurate in his description of events and fair in his judgment of character. Keep in mind that Cook doesn't spare any details when it comes to describing the full horrors of warfare that pits man against 'shock and awe' technology.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Story telling,
This review is from: Shock Troops Canadians Fighting The Great War 1917-18 (Hardcover)If only one series of books is to be read about Canadians in World War 1, this is IT! Vivid story telling and great details.
4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for any Canadian interested in history and war.,
This review is from: Shock Troops Canadians Fighting The Great War 1917-18 (Hardcover)This book is Volume Two of a 2 volume set.
90 years ago over 600,000 young Canadian soldiers went to Europe to fight the Germans.
Canadians not only fought, they were the best of the best.
The Germans came to know they were in for battle, any time the Canadians entered the line.
This volume describes the last two years of the war where the Canadians never lost a battle.
They were named "the shock troops of the Empire" by no less than Prime Minister David Lloyd George of the U.K.
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Shock Troops Canadians Fighting The Great War 1917-18 by Tim Cook (Hardcover - Sep 30 2008)
CDN$ 40.00 CDN$ 25.08