The British Expeditionary Force 1914–15 Paperback – Dec 10 2005
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About the Author
Major Bruce Gudmundsson, USMCR (Retired) is an historian who specializes in tactical innovation: the way that military organizations respond to radical change. The author of four major books and several 100 articles, he has taught at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, and Oxford University.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The volume includes nine maps, many of which focus on the battles of Neuve Chapelle and Aubers Ridge in early 1915. Actually rather little insight is provided about tactical innovation, except for the author's rather obvious observation about the need for more and better artillery preparation prior to an attack. There is no real discussion of weightier issues, such as how to deal with the tactical problems posed by machineguns arrayed in depth or the need for specialist trench raider units. Nor is the effect of heavy losses by the BEF in late 1914, particularly at First Ypres, mentioned but this certainly had an effect upon organization and tactics. The author does provide the usual sections on mission, doctrine/training, C3I and tactics. Specific characteristics of units - such as the difficulty in getting replacements for the Irish battalions or the weaknesses of the two Indian divisions - are not mentioned.
I was also surprised that the bibliography failed to note Martin Middlebrook's excellent "Your Country Needs You," which provides much data about the BEF than this volume. Readers seeking an OB for the BEF will have to purchase Osprey's Men-at-Arms #81. Overall, the charts are nice, but this volume feels more like an addendum to someone else's book, rather than a stand-alone piece.