Courage Without Glory : The British Army on the Western Front 1915
The year 1915 was one of unprecedented challenges for the British Army. Short of manpower, firepower and experience, the army needed time to adapt before it could hope to overcome the formidable German defences of the Western Front. Yet the insistent demands of coalition warfare required immediate and repeated action.
The result was a year of disappointments, setbacks and costly fighting. The very difficulties of 1915 make it especially worthy of study. This book offers a fresh and insightful evaluation of the experience of the British Army through a series of thematic essays examining the strategic, operational, tactical and logistical problems that shaped the fighting.
Within these pages are assessments of broad topics such as the performance of British high command, the 'Shell Scandal' and the development of the Royal Flying Corps, as well as a thorough selection of battle studies which cast new light on engagements such as Neuve Chapelle, Second Ypres, Festubert and Loos. Special attention is placed on the composite nature of the British Army, with chapters examining Canadian, Indian, Regular and Territorial unit experience.Taken as a whole these essays offer an important reassessment of a forgotten year of the war, and illustrate the tremendous difficulties faced by the British Army as it endured a bloody learning curve in difficult conditions. This book will be of great interest to anyone who studies the First World War, and of particular value to those who seek a greater understanding of the British Army of the era.