Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army`s Art of Attack, 1916-18

Paddy Griffith


Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army`s Art of Attack, 1916-18

Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army`s Art of Attack, 1916-18

  • Title: Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army`s Art of Attack, 1916-18
  • Author: Paddy Griffith
  • ISBN: 9780300066630
  • Page: 368
  • Format: Paperback



Historians have portrayed British participation in World War I as a series of tragic debacles, with lines of men mown down by machine guns, with untried new military technology, and incompetent generals who threw their troops into improvised and unsuccessful attacks In this book a renowned military historian studies the evolution of British infantry tactics during the warHistorians have portrayed British participation in World War I as a series of tragic debacles, with lines of men mown down by machine guns, with untried new military technology, and incompetent generals who threw their troops into improvised and unsuccessful attacks In this book a renowned military historian studies the evolution of British infantry tactics during the war and challenges this interpretation, showing that while the British army s plans and technologies failed persistently during the improvised first half of the war, the army gradually improved its technique, technology, and, eventually, its self assurance By the time of its successful sustained offensive in the fall of 1918, says Paddy Griffith, the British army was demonstrating a battlefield skill and mobility that would rarely be surpassed even during World War II.Evaluating the great gap that exists between theory and practice, between textbook and bullet swept mudfield, Griffith argues that many battles were carefully planned to exploit advanced tactics and to avoid casualties, but that breakthrough was simply impossible under the conditions of the time According to Griffith, the British were already masters of storm troop tactics by the end of 1916, and in several important respects were further ahead than the Germans would be even in 1918 In fields such as the timing and orchestration of all arms assaults, predicted artillery fire, Commando style trench raiding, the use of light machine guns, or the barrage fire of heavy machine guns, the British led the world Although British generals were not military geniuses, says Griffith, they should at least be credited for effectively inventing much of the twentieth century s art of war.


Recent Comments "Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army`s Art of Attack, 1916-18"

This book is essentially a well-written and well-argued defense of the British Army's combat record on the Western Front during World War One. As the title suggests, it is not exhaustive nor definitive: it focuses on the British Army, on the Western Front, on the tactical level. However, the author's lucidity, knowledge, and extensive bibliography make "Battle Tactics" a suitable introduction even for someone with only a passing familiarity with the Great War. For those who are more familiar, it [...]

Interesting and well written book by the master of popular books on the military tactics of many historical periods.Mr Griffith has again selected a period considered by many to be a sterile time when millions of young men went to their deaths as automatons, mindlessly walking into pre-sited machine guns, planned artillery concentrations and impassible barbed wire entanglements. All of which was sited in the man-made quagmire of No-Mans Land. The book outlines the history and evolution of most o [...]

One of the more provocative and influential texts in the "learning curve" movement, which maintains that the British army experienced a sharp uptick in the quality of its tactics thanks to the lessons learned on the Somme. Griffith is a somewhat irascible figure well known in the table-top war-gaming world, but this remains an essential work.


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    Published :2018-08-07T06:11:08+00:00