Step onto the battlefields of the brutal final year of World War One, where Allied soldiers, weary from years of conflict, faced off against the Central Powers in a last-ditch struggle for supremacy.
Perfect for readers of Anthony Beevor, Peter Hart and Barbara W. Tuchman.
By January 1918, Allied soldiers had been fighting against their foes from the Central Powers for three and a half bloody years.
For much of this time armies had been bogged down in trench warfare, yet 1918 would be different: Russia had pulled out of the war in the aftermath of Revolution, while the United States had begun to mobilise and started sending increasing numbers of troops and munitions to Europe.
The Central Powers realized that they had a final opportunity to break the bloody stalemate of the Western Front and thus launched a series of massive offensives in the spring and early summer. Despite facing a ferocious onslaught, the Allied forces not only held their ground but counterattacked, ultimately prevailing in the iconic Battle of Amiens and compelling the Germans to surrender by November.
In The Battle for Europe 1918, Major-General Essame not only explores the strategies and tactics utilised by both sides but examines the conflict from a human perspective. As a soldier who fought through the campaign, he draws upon his own experiences as well as numerous other eyewitnesses. Of particular intrigue is the significant contribution made by General Pershing’s newly raised American troops, as well as the impact that the Canadians and Australians had as they quickly rose to become some of the best infantry of the war.
Rather than simply accepting conventional views, Essame questions the value of the early tanks and instead argues that the reason for the Allied victory was down to the quality of their soldiers. He also provides a nuanced perspective on the commanders who are so often dismissed as butchers.
The Battle for Europe 1918 is the classic account of the final year of World War One, written by a renowned military history who witnessed conflict not only during this war but also in World War Two.
‘a lively, human and lucid book which deserves the widest possible readership.’ Soldier