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Nigel Steel is head of the Imperial War Museum's Research and Information Department. He and Peter Hart have collaborated on several titles, including works on Gallipoli, Passchendaele and the First World War in the air.
Peter Hart was born in 1955. He went to Liverpool University before joining the Sound Archive at the Imperial War Museum in 1981. He is now Oral Historian at the Archive.
The authors had extensive access to documents from the Imperial War Museum to research this book and it certainly shows. The First World War saw some of the bloodiest battles in history and hearing about it in the words of those who witnessed these harrowing events makes for compelling reading.
Dramatic, illustrated account of the biggest naval battle of the First World War. On 31 May, 1916, the great battle fleets of Britain and Germany met off Jutland in the North Sea. It was a climactic encounter, the culmination of a fantastically expensive naval race between the two countries, and expectations on both sides were high. For the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet, there was the chance to win another Trafalgar. For the German High Seas Fleet, there was the opportunity to break the British blockade and so change the course of the war. But Jutland was a confused and controversial encounter. Tactically, it was a draw; strategically, it was a British victory. Naval historians have pored over the minutiae of Jutland ever since. Yet they have largely ignored what the battle was actually like for its thousands of participants. Full of drama and pathos, of chaos and courage, JUTLAND, 1916 describes the sea battle in the dreadnought era from the point of view of those who were there.
The battle for Gallipoli was officially described as 'one of the world's classic tragedies' and in Defeat at Gallipoli the participants tell the full story of this failed offensive. The bitter campaign against the Turks from April 1915 to January 1916 was ill-conceived, inadequately equipped and never likely to succeed. The bravery and resilience of the troops in the face of disease and violent death is shown in their letters, diaries and recorded memories, recalling the sordid reality of the campaign. Linking together these experiences, Nigel Steel and Peter Hart provide a new insight into the lives of the soldiers involved and a powerful, moving account of a doomed campaign. 'One of the most controversial and disastrous British campaigns of the 20th century . . . these two historians make a strong case for history proper. Their tale never dulls in the telling' Guardian 'The dramatic effect is considerable and increases in intensity as the story unfolds.' Field Marshal Lord Carver, 'The bill for the incompetence . . . down through the chain of command was paid by suffering in the appalling conditions so vividly described in this splendid book.' Major General Julian Thompson, Globe and Laurel