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Posted July 29, 2010
I was greatly disappointed by this book. The author's analysis is undermined by his too-obvious pro-British chauvinism. He has relied on secondary sources and apparently did little original research. A reader interested in learning how the French Army conducted the war at the operational level would do far better to read Doughty's "Pyrrhic Victory," which is a tremendous book. For someone interested in learning more about the everyday life of French soldiers during the Great War, as well as the equipment and structure of the French Army then, consult the Osprey book "French Poilu, 1914-1918" by Ian Summers. (It appears Mr. Clayton relied on an earlier version of that book.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 9, 2004
The book summarizes all the famous major operations of the French Army during WWI, along with numerous thoughtfully-included maps and photos. It goes into much greater detail about the formation of French strategy, tactical doctrine, leading personalities, organization, equipment, logistics, and, significantly, unit morale (including the 1917 mutinies). In addition, the book also has a nice set of appendices with the August 1914 order-of-battle as well as summary bios of leading French generals. The author, Anthony Clayton, also covers the power struggles at the top of the military hierarchy between major military figures along with increasing interference from French gov't officials. Clayton did an excellent job describing Petain, Joffre, Mangin, Castelnau, and Foch. This book is an ideal introduction to the major challenges facing the French army during WWI and its response to them. An English-language book covering the French army during WWI is somewhat difficult to find compared to the numerous works on the British army, and I was highly pleased with the quality of this one. Excellent, well-researched work! I hope the author makes an in-depth follow up sequel to this one.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.