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A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918 Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front

Groom, Winston

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ISBN 10: 0871138425 / ISBN 13: 9780871138422
Published by Atlantic Monthly Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2002
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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276pp, introduction, Author's Note on Unit Sizes and Designations, 66 b&w photos & illus., 5 maps, bibliographic notes, source notes, index, maps as rear endpapers, ~The Ypres Salient in Belgian Flanders was the most notorious and dreaded place in all of World War I. It was said that you could smell the battlefield miles before you reached it -- a fetid odor of death. It was where the poppies grew in Flanders Fields while a million men lived like animals in slimy underground trenches and from 1914 to 1918 slaughtered one another with such consistency that even on "quiet days" casualties ran into the thousands. "A Storm in Flanders" is prize-winning historian Winston Groom's compelling history of the four-year battle for Ypres. Clean. Bookseller Inventory # 005486

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Bibliographic Details

Title: A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914...

Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Printing

About this title

Synopsis:

Forrest Gump and Shrouds of Glory established best-selling author Winston Groom as an electrifying writer and narrative historian. Now, in A Storm in Flanders, the Pulitzer Prize nominee visits the bloody four-year-long Battle of Ypres, a pivotal engagement that would forever change the way the world fought -- and thought about -- war. Groom describes how the quaint medieval Belgian town of Flanders -- following the dreams and schemes of the stubborn "butchers and blunderers" who commanded from afar -- became the most dreaded place on earth, a "gigantic corpse factory" where hundreds of thousands of men died for gains that were measured in yards. In 1914, Germany launched an invasion of France through neutral Belgium -- and brought the wrath of the world upon herself. In accessible prose, Groom presents Ypres as the centerpiece of World War I, with all of its horrors, heroism, and terrifying new tactics and technologies. Ypres is where some of history's most hideous weapons were unleashed and refined: poison gas, tanks, mines, air strikes, and the unspeakable misery of trench warfare. The battle's unprecedented horrors inspired some of the most compelling and enduring artistry of the war: from Remarque's classic novel All Quiet on the Western Front to the haunting poem that came to symbolize war, "In Flanders Fields," composed in the heat of battle by John McCrae, a grieving Canadian surgeon. Ypres was also the battleground of young soldier Adolf Hitler, whose experiences in Flanders, Groom argues, set him on his fateful path. Groom's story comes alive with the heart-wrenching journal entries of the men who fought on the grisly front lines, and is illustrated with breathtaking photographs published here for the first time. A gripping drama of politics, strategy, and human heart -- of the struggle for survival and victory against all odds -- A Storm in Flanders is a powerful work of military history.

Review:

Novelist Winston Groom (Forrest Gump) brings his considerable skills as a storyteller and researcher to this gory tour of "the most notorious and dreaded place in all of the First World War, probably of any war in history." The Ypres salient, a small, hilly section of Belgium, witnessed the wholesale destruction of the old British professional army, "the Old Contemptibles"; it was the place where the great armies of England, France, and Germany were locked in a dance of death for four years, where "more than a million soldiers were shot, bayoneted, bludgeoned, bombed, grenaded, gassed, incinerated by flamethrowers, drowned in shell craters, smothered by caved-in trenches, obliterated by underground mines, or, more often than not, blown to pieces by artillery shells." Extraordinary moments occurred in that vast hell, including the renowned Christmas truce of 1914, when the armies set aside the killing for a few short hours, crossed the trenches, and celebrated together. But mostly the scenery was unbeautiful mud and blood, the makings of Groom's chilling canvas, one populated by the famed generals and ordinary soldiers who met in Flanders fields. The stuff of Groom's story will be familiar to readers of Liddell Hart, Keegan, and other scholars, and readers new to the history of the Great War will find it a memorable introduction. --Gregory McNamee

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