The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916; Revised Edition

Overview

This book is more than a chronicle of the facts of battle. It is a profoundly moving, sympathetic study of the men who fought at Verdun, and it also shows that Verdun is a key to understanding the First World War--a key to the minds of those who waged it, to the traditions that bound them, and to the world that created them. Continuously in print for over thirty years, this unabridged edition contains a new preface and additional photographs.

The 10-month-long battle...

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Overview

This book is more than a chronicle of the facts of battle. It is a profoundly moving, sympathetic study of the men who fought at Verdun, and it also shows that Verdun is a key to understanding the First World War--a key to the minds of those who waged it, to the traditions that bound them, and to the world that created them. Continuously in print for over thirty years, this unabridged edition contains a new preface and additional photographs.

The 10-month-long battle of Verdun, a turning point in Western civilization, is presented in detail.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140170412
  • Publisher: Viking Penguin
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Penguin History Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 388
  • Sales rank: 140,949
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.81 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Table of Contents


The Price Of Glory Preface

1. La Débâcle
2. Joffre of the Marne
3. Falkenhayn
4. Operation Gericht
5. The Waiting Machine
6. The First Day
7. The Fall of Colonel Driant
8. Breakthrough
9. Fort Douaumont
10. De Castelnau Decides
11. Pétain
12. The Take-over
13. Reappraisals
14. The Mort Homme
15. Widening Horizons
16. In Another Country
17. The Air Battle
18. The Crown Prince
19. the Triumvirate
20. 'May Cup'
21. Fort Vaux
22. Danger Signals
23. The Secret Enemies
24. The Crisis
25. Falkenhayn Dismissed
26. The Counterstrokes
27. The New Leader
28. Aftermath

Epilogue
Bibliography of Principal Sources
Reference Notes
Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2004

    Verdun: Falkenhayn's Soul-Crushing Machine

    By all accounts, this book is a classic and is widely quoted in most contemporary books on World War I. The author, Alistair Horne, does a suberb job analyzing and reporting the entire terrifying, brutal battle. Horne starts off by first by explaining the French army's proclivity for reckless offensive action, despite its abysmal record since the war's beginning. Then Horne examines Falkenhayn and his reason for choosing the attrition strategy, i.e. the impossibility of decisive breakthrough on the Western Front. (Incidentally, Falkenhayn's breakthrough assessment -not strategy - was probably correct. A war-winning breakthrough on the Western Front was a mirage for the entire war.) The book outlines the German's extensive and rapid build up of human and material resources and their careful security measures. But most importantly, each of the leaders (Falkenhayn, Joffre, Crown Prince, Knobelsdorf, de Castelnau, Petain, Neville, Mangin) involved is thoughtfully evaluated and their actions involved in the battle scrutinized. With these critical elements in place, Horne then goes on to give a blow-by-blow account of all the important actions ( during the siege-like battle. The most fascinating account involves the capture of Fort Vaux; Raynal and his French defenders fanatically defied the Germans' in a week's worth of unbelievably desperate underground fighting. Horne's outstanding book is probably the best battle account of World War I, well-researched and engagingly written. The book has a few maps and several photos which show the battleground and the principal military leaders. Horne gives Petain credit for his vital logistical groundwork in initially organizing woefully inadequate French defenses. He also shows us that Knobelsdorf, the Crown Prince's chief-of-staff, was the real villain who refused to call off the German attacks despite massive casualties and lack of progress. The book ends by giving a brief history of each of the leaders after the battle, which I found very satisfying. I heartily recommend this excellent book!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2000

    Marvellously told...

    Probably the standard work on the savage Battle of Verdun. Horne writes a lucid and very readable history on a complicated battle with its attendant complicated issues.This work may only prove the point that most leaders of the 1914-1918 military mind set were modern neanderthals--little difference from the cave-man days. The monumental stupidity on both sides are clearly retold with the resultant appalling loss of life. All wars are bad in itself, but the First World War can stand out as the pinnacle of industrial progress which were not match by progressive military tactics. This is truly tragic history where the era's 'flower of youth and manhood' were sacrificed in the altar of national pride, national honor and national glory. The one balancing act that probably need be done in this remarkable work be would be more additional footage on the German side--sometimes it is too one sided. This does not detract in its marvellous telling of an unnecessary battle into great history.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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