Every First World War Officer would have been issued with his manual. It covered the very basics of moving troops, how to look after and train them, building – everything from trenches to gun emplacements and latrines, tactics and gun and grenade skills, what to do when machinery breaks down and on, ad infinitum. A real glimpse into how the military bureaucracy expected their officers to behave in their very short lives as a front-line soldier.
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Six Weeks: The Short and Gallant Life of the British Officer in the First World War, John Lewis-Stempel
Field Service Pocket Book 1914, War Office General Staff
Many people have the idea that the 'Great War' on the Western Front was simple, if ghastly, to fight - with few tactics, and unbroken, monotonous, trench lines as the main feature of the battlefield. In such a scenario soldiers with rifles and bayonets charging each other in blind obedience to stupid repetitious orders are imagined as archetypal of battle. Though undeniably bloody the war was in fact a ferment of new ideas and new weapons. Gas, flame throwers, super-heavy artillery, concrete bunkers, tanks, aircraft and other innovations were all introduced, whilst older notions such as barbed wire, machine guns and armour took on a new lease of life.
Publication date: 20/09/2008
Publisher: Conway an imprint of Anova Books
|Publication date:||20th September 2008|
|Publisher:||Conway an imprint of Anova Books|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||First World War, European history, 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000,|
Dr Stephen Bull is the Curator of the Museum of Lancashire in Preston. He has written two major volumes on arms and armour and bestselling volumes on Trench Warfare and World War II Infantry Tactics. He lives in Preston.More About Stephen Bull