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Ian Senior read Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has taught at Dulwich College for many years. He is also Associate Lecturer in the History of Art for the Open University and a Principal Examiner for the University of Cambridge International Examination Board. He first became interested in the battlefields of 1914 when visiting his wife's family in her native Belgium.
In Invasion 1914, Ian Senior has woven together strategic analysis, diary entries, dramatic eyewitness accounts and interview transcripts from soldiers on the ground with consummate skill. For close to a century, accounts of the German invasion of France and the opening year of the First World War have been dominated by histories of British troops and their experience in battle, despite the fact that the British Expeditionary Force comprised just four divisions, while the French and Germans fielded 60 each. This title is a remarkable new narrative history that for the first time focuses on the experiences of French and German troops in the long hot summer of 1914 as the outcome of the war hung in the balance, revealing how the defiant French opposition and failings in the German invasion plans ultimately foiled the German war machine and changed the course of the war.
The German invasion of France and Belgium in August 1914 came close to defeating the French armies, capturing Paris and ending the First World War before the autumn leaves had fallen. But the German armies failed to score the knock-out blow they had planned. The war would drag on for four years of unprecedented slaughter. There are many accounts of 1914 from the British point of view, and the achievements of the British Expeditionary Force are the stuff of legend. But in reality, there were only four British divisions in the field, while the French and Germans had more than 60 each. The real story of the battle can only be told by an author with the skill to mine the extensive German and French archives. Ian Senior does this with consummate skill, weaving together strategic analysis with diary entries and interview transcripts from the soldiers on the ground to create a remarkable new history.