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Mud, blood and poppycock : 12 great myths about Britain and the First World War / Gordon Corrigan.

By: Corrigan, Gordon.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003Description: 320 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0304359556.Subject(s): World War, 1914-1918 -- Great Britain | World War, 1914-1918 -- Campaigns | World War, 1914-1918 -- Participation, BritishDDC classification:
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Item type Current location Collection Call number Copy number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Davis (Central) Library
Non-Fiction 940.341 COR 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Vividly written, and with the driest humor, this irreverent look at how Britain really won World War I demolishes myth upon myth. What becomes brilliantly (and amusingly) clear is just how many "established facts" have absolutely no basis in reality; instead they're fabrications created in the 1960s by young historians on the make. The soldiers from 1914-18 would simply not recognize their popular depiction on TV and in novels: instead, we see here how much the British embraced technology and developed the weapons and tactics that broke through enemy trenches.



Table of contents provided by Syndetics

  • Maps and diagrams (p. 7)
  • Introduction (p. 9)
  • 1 An Unnecessary War (p. 25)
  • 2 The Lost Generation (p. 52)
  • 3 The Horrors of the Trenches (p. 77)
  • 4 The Tools of the Trade (p. 108)
  • 5 Government-Sponsored Polo Clubs (p. 139)
  • 6 Frightfulness (p. 161)
  • 7 The Donkeys (p. 189)
  • 8 Kangaroo Courts and Firing Squads (p. 215)
  • 9 A Needless Slaughter (p. 249)
  • 10 More Needless Slaughter (p. 278)
  • 11 The Frocks and the Brass Hats (p. 304)
  • 12 Even More Needless Slaughter (p. 333)
  • 13 Too Little, Too Late (p. 359)
  • 14 Epilogue (p. 400)
  • Bibliography (p. 412)
  • Index of Military Units (p. 420)
  • General Index (p. 423)

Reviews provided by Syndetics


Part polemic and part primer, this work written by a retired officer of Gurkhas, now a freelance historian with several titles to his name, is intended for general readers. Corrigan's intention is to refute the most commonplace "myths" regarding Britain's involvement in WW I. He addresses the wisdom behind British involvement, the demographic impact of casualties, trench life's realities, weapons and military technology, the prewar officer corps, and capital sentences imposed by courts martial. He then examines the major campaigns in chronological order, outlining events as well as the reasons behind many of the important decisions, including the poisonous relationship between civilian leaders like Prime Minister David Lloyd George and the senior military leadership. Corrigan closes with a short account of the US contribution and an epilogue that awkwardly tries to touch on too many of the war's consequences. This is a lively popular work with the familiar strengths and weaknesses. It offers useful information and analyses of the British Army, its leaders, and its operations. Despite the book's polemic nature, the scholarly apparatus is missing and references are almost always explanatory rather than evidentiary. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Public libraries and general collections. M. A. Ramsay Kansas State University