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British soldiers have been known as Tommies for centuries, but the nickname is particularly associated with the British infantryman in the trenches of World War I. In August 1914, a small professional force of British soldiers crossed the Channel to aid the French and Belgians as the German army advanced. As it became apparent that the war would not, in fact, be over by Christmas, a vast drive for volunteer soldiers began. As enthusiasm for enlistment tailed off, eventually conscription was introduced in order to replenish the forces weakened by years of bloodshed. By 1918 the British Army was transformed, fielding 5.5 million men on the Western Front alone. These Tommies fought an entirely new type of war, living in vast trench systems, threatened by death from the air and gas attack as well as by bullet, bomb, or bayonet. This introduction explores the experience of Tommies on the Western Front, explaining how their war evolved and changed from the mobile battles of August 1914 to the final days of the war, and discussing daily life as an infantryman on the front line using first-hand accounts, contemporary poems, and songs.
|Publication date:||14th June 2017|
|Author:||John Sadler, Rosie Serdiville|
|Format:||Paperback / softback|
|Categories:||Boer Wars, Land forces & warfare,|
John Sadler has been writing and teaching military history for over thirty years with some 34 non-fiction and one historical fiction titles in print. For over two decades he has lectured on war studies at Newcastle and Sunderland Universities Centre for Lifelong Learning, (now the 'Explore' Programme). He is also a highly experienced battlefield tour guide for both world wars, classical, medieval and Napoleonic conflicts. His writing draws heavile on eyewitness accounts and he has been interviewing and recording serving personnel and veterans since the 1980s. His previous books include: Operation Mercury - the Battle for Crete 1941 (Pen & Sword 2006), End of ...More About John Sadler, Rosie Serdiville