Fire and Movement: The British Expeditionary Force and the Campaign of 1914

Fire and Movement The British Expeditionary Force and the Campaign of The dramatic opening weeks of the Great War passed into legend long before the conflict ended The British Expeditionary Force fought a mesmerizing campaign outnumbered and outflanked but courageous a

  • Title: Fire and Movement: The British Expeditionary Force and the Campaign of 1914
  • Author: Peter Hart
  • ISBN: 9780199989270
  • Page: 312
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The dramatic opening weeks of the Great War passed into legend long before the conflict ended The British Expeditionary Force fought a mesmerizing campaign, outnumbered and outflanked but courageous and skillful, holding the line against impossible odds, sacrificing themselves to stop the last great German offensive of 1914 A remarkable story of high hopes and crushing dThe dramatic opening weeks of the Great War passed into legend long before the conflict ended The British Expeditionary Force fought a mesmerizing campaign, outnumbered and outflanked but courageous and skillful, holding the line against impossible odds, sacrificing themselves to stop the last great German offensive of 1914 A remarkable story of high hopes and crushing disappointment, the campaign contains moments of sheer horror and nerve shattering excitement pathos and comic relief occasional cowardice and much selfless courage all culminating in the climax of the First Battle of Ypres.And yet, as Peter Hart shows in this gripping and revisionary look at the war s first year, for too long the British part in the 1914 campaigns has been veiled in layers of self congratulatory myth a tale of poor unprepared Britain, reliant on the peerless class of her regular soldiers to bolster the rabble of the unreliable French Army and defeat the teeming hordes of German troops But the reality of those early months is in fact far complex and ultimately, Hart argues, far powerful than the standard triumphalist narrative.Fire and Movement places the British role in 1914 into a proper historical context, incorporating the personal experiences of the men who were present on the front lines The British regulars were indeed skillful soldiers, but as Hart reveals, they also lacked practice in many of the required disciplines of modern warfare, and the inexperience of officers led to severe mistakes Hart also provides a accurate portrait of the German Army they faced not the caricature of hordes of automatons, but the reality of a well trained and superlatively equipped force that outfought the BEF in the early battles and allows readers to come to a full appreciation of the role of the French Army, without whom the Marne never would have been won.Ultimately Fire and Movement shows the story of the 1914 campaigns to be an epic tale, and one which needs no embellishment Through the voices and recollections of the soldiers who were there, Hart strips away the myth to offer a clear eyed account of the remarkable early days of the Great War.

    One thought on “Fire and Movement: The British Expeditionary Force and the Campaign of 1914”

    1. I still remember the moment I decided it was time to learn about World War I. It was in a Barnes & Noble, on a Saturday afternoon, with my wife pregnant with our first child. I was browsing the history section in a meditative state of mind, trying to imagine how my life was about to change. Like any first-time parent-to-be, I had no idea what to expect. Outwardly, I was fine; inwardly, I kept having to suppress the urge to run, run, run. In this unstable mental condition, I began to ponder t [...]

    2. A rich, accessible history of the BEF. Hart refrains from hyperbole and he portrays its story in a fair, balanced fashion. While it doesn’t include anything new, it’s definitely worth a read.Hart challenges some assumptions about the BEF, such as its use of artillery and horses, and how British commanders expected to use them in the field. The book starts out with a discussion of this, and then moves on to the the lead-up to Mons, where the narrative gets much more lively, and Hart does a gr [...]

    3. This volume focuses on the British Expeditionary Force's (BEF) role in the desperate battle against the Germans in France in 1914. It is the story of a somewhat prickly alliance between French and English forces. The book also represents a corrective against the standard view of the English that the BEF played a mighty role in stalling the German juggernaut.First, the BEF started out as a miniscule part of the allied forces. At the outset, there were more Belgian divisions than the four division [...]

    4. This is first-rate history, in its meticulous research, in its use of first-person accounts of that terrible period, and in its clear and often-moving prose. Just in time for the centennial, this book covers the BEF's part in the first months of the Great War, from its landing in France in August 1914 to the end of the year.Mr. Hart does succeed in dispelling some misconceptions about the BEF: its seven initial divisions were but a tiny presence in a campaign involving hundreds of French and Ger [...]

    5. This is an excellent book. It is well researched, as is every book by Hart I have read.It details the history of the campaign of 1914 from both the Entente and German sides on the Western Front. What gives this book it's readability is the inclusion of the quotes from Veterans, they highlight the horror of war, in action and in the trenches. A must read for all those interested in 1914TE: The book clearly wasn't read well by a proof reader, so many silly mistakes in spelling and grammar.

    6. Not read this author before will certainly will hunt out his other books after this one. Excellent first hand accounts of all ranks of the BEFs experiences in 1914 , gets to the truth behind the myths of the mons and ypres battles without being irritating. First rate readMons the germans using fire and movement may have caused the british to think they were inflicting more casualties than they were, whereas the poorly trained masses at ypres really were mown down in droves by the BEF s accurate [...]

    7. Great book about the British Expeditionary Force in 1914! Tons of personal accounts that transport the reader to battles that are now over 100 years in the past. Hart does a great job of telling the story of a small professional army and its stand against the juggernaut of the German Army. Though the heavy lifting was done by the French, the BEF held their own when it mattered. An enlightening read.

    8. Regardless of whether the Angel of Mons legend was actually cooked up by senior British officers to boost morale at home, it is what the legend tells us about British attitudes towards the contribution of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front in 1914 that is perhaps of greatest interest. The legend implied that the BEF’s involvement in the conflict was on a near-cosmic scale, vastly augmenting its importance in the actual context of fighting between the French, Belgian and [...]

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