Challeng Of Battle : The Real Story of the British Army in 1914
Winston Churchill described the opening campaign of the First World War as ‘a drama never surpassed.’ The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) played an immensely significant role in the colossal clash of Europe’s armies in 1914, which has gone on to be one of the greatest stories of 20th century history. Although pride in the British Army’s achievements was reflected in the official accounts of the fighting they were, understandably, restrained about its shortcomings and this set the template for subsequent accounts of the campaign, which were tamely accepted with little or no attempt at critical engagement.
Challenge of Battle gives an un-obscured view of the true historical appreciation of the British Army’s opening campaign in the West, detailing both successes and failings of the BEF at war. Using first-hand accounts, Adrian Gilbert presents an examination of the BEF’s leadership, organisation and tactics, and for the first time it will be described how British commanders were to come to terms with the fearsome nature of modern warfare, as its soldiers returned to Europe to fight a first-rate opponent for the first time in nearly 100 years.