French Poilu 1914-18

Overview

'Why,' the Kaiser enquired of Czar Nicholas in 1913, did he wish to ally himself with France when 'the Frenchman is no longer capable of being a soldier?' Indeed, during World War I (1914-1918) the French Army was in a state of disarray, plagued by indiscipline, mutinies and desertion. The ordinary French citizens that were called upon to defend their motherland, the Poilu, were disrespected and demoralized, and the infamous mutinies of 1917 by the Poilu were not protests against the war itself, but against how ...

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Overview

'Why,' the Kaiser enquired of Czar Nicholas in 1913, did he wish to ally himself with France when 'the Frenchman is no longer capable of being a soldier?' Indeed, during World War I (1914-1918) the French Army was in a state of disarray, plagued by indiscipline, mutinies and desertion. The ordinary French citizens that were called upon to defend their motherland, the Poilu, were disrespected and demoralized, and the infamous mutinies of 1917 by the Poilu were not protests against the war itself, but against how the war was conducted. The rebellions sent a stark warning, forcing a reform in the management of the war. Consequently, the performance of many French regiments improved and the Poilu went on to become the only European troops to fight the entire war within their own borders. Ian Sumner expertly charts the history of the Poilu, from the conscription of hundreds of thousands of men, through their training, to the horrors of the trenches and the fear of no-man's land, providing a fascinating insight into the events that led to the 1917 revolts. New artwork and diagrams illustrate the experiences of the soldiers as the comforts of civilian life were stripped away from them and the trenches became their homes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[This book] tells how [the Poilu] were recruited, how they were trained, how they were clothed, the weapons that they used, and the tactics they used. It tells of life in the trenches, during battles and what happened to them once they were wounded. They were fighting for their nation as were all troops in that war, and thanks to author Sumner, we can get a good look at what it was like to be one of these men... A book that I found eminently readable and fascinating. I know you will as well." - Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com (March 2009)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846033322
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 2/17/2009
  • Series: Warrior Series
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 576,420
  • Product dimensions: 9.76 (w) x 7.24 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Sumner was born in 1953 in Eccles, near Manchester, UK. He originally trained as a librarian in Newcastle-upon-Tyne but now devotes himself to full-time writing. He has written numerous titles for Osprey, and also several books on the history of the East Riding of Yorkshire, where he now lives with his wife. He has written a number of books on the French soldier in World War I and contributed to Osprey's War on the Western Front. The author lives in Yorkshire.

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