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THE BANTAMS: The Untold Story Of World War One. by [Allinson, Sidney]
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THE BANTAMS: The Untold Story Of World War One. Kindle Edition

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Length: 307 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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THE BANTAMS tells the nigh incredible story of how the British and Canadian army recruited over 50,000 under-height men to serve as front-line soldiers. This book gives one of the best accounts this reviewer has ever encountered of the rigors of trench warfare. It is a must for all collections of World War One history and Canada's part in it. -- Neil Payne, Canadian Materials.
The citizens of LeHavre weren’t prepared for the bizarre sight that greeted them when a British troopship arrived in the harbour in January, 1916, with a fresh contingent of reinforcements for the Western Front. The troops marched down the gangplanks and along the quay as though they were mocking the traditional image of the stalwart soldier. They were about five feet tall, miniature Guardsmen, more like mascots than fighting-men.
And so the first battalion of the “Bantams”, as they were officially called, prepared for battle. They soon proved they were equal in stamina and valor as standard-sized soldiers. By 1918, more than 50,000 Bantams, including 2,000 from Canada, had fought in the trenches, and their casualties were enormous. Yet the story of the Bantams and their outstanding contribution to the war has been forgotten, overlooked, or deliberately concealed by army historians, perhaps embarrassed by the episode and mistakenly afraid that the army’s need to use such little men somehow revealed weaknesses in British preparedness.
But thanks to military historian Sidney Allinson, their story is now told for the first time, and it’s enough to make short men stand tall. Sidney Allinson deserves credit for ferreting out the fascinating tale and for preserving it in the face of official indifference and even hostility. He was able to track down 300 surviving Bantams and make good use of their personal recollections, unpublished journals and letters. His findings document again the widespread illogical prejudice against people who happen to be short. –- William French, The Globe & Mail.
Review of “THE BANTAMS: The Untold Story of World War I.”
“This book chronicles the forgotten plight of the little-known courage of undersized British men determined to join the armed forces and to fight for their country, often against amazing odds, during World War I. At the outset of the First World War, when men were volunteering in droves, many diminutive males, though patriotic and fit, were being rejected because they did not meet the regulation minimum height requirements for enlisted soldiers.
Eventually, though, a few far-sighted men prevailed, and units of “Bantam” infantrymen ranging in height between five feet and five-feet-three-inches was formed. After rigorous training, they were sent to fight in the trenches as bravely and effectively as any other soldiers. The book soon swings vigorously into fascinating details of the forming of the army units that became known as the Bantams, who like so many other soldiers were victims of wartime tactics of attrition. Through it all, the Bantams retained their courage and their sense of humour. The author has made it his task to tell their story. And like the bantam soldiers it depicts, this book is a small gem.
-- Renee V. Cox, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

This in-depth history covers every aspect of the bantam phenomenon. This is very much a stand alone source, ideal for the Great War enthusiast. -- Major Mike Peters, Soldier Magazine.

Rare photographs and maps. 98,000 words

Sidney Allinson is a Canadian military historian and novelist. He served overseas with the Royal Air Force. He is a past Director of the Royal Canadian Military Institute; Chairman, Western Front Association; President, Sir Winston Churchill Society. His other books include "JEREMY KANE: A Canadian Historical Novel Of The 1837 Mackenzie Rebellion And Its Brutal Aftermath In The Australian Penal Colonies”, and "KRUGER’S GOLD: A Novel Of The Anglo-Boer War.” Born in England, a long-time resident of Toronto, he now resides in Victoria, British Columbi

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2320 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005YPK7FY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,181,935 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.8 out of 5 stars 3 reviews
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5.0 out of 5 starsThe reality and horror of WW1
August 25, 2017 - Published on
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G. Ellis
5.0 out of 5 starsThe Bantams
November 28, 2011 - Published on
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Renee V. Cox
4.0 out of 5 starsForgotten heroes
March 12, 2000 - Published on
3 people found this helpful.