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[Illustrated with 10 plates of the battles and engagements detailed in the book]
Colonel John Buchan, was a man of many talents, a politician of upright morals and forthright character, a novelist of great acclaim and a soldier who served with distinction in the First World War. He collected stories and anecdotes by the dozen, crafting the best and worthiest into this collection which spans the entire conflict. As he himself states in his introduction;
“THIS is a book of soldiers’ tales, told, for the most part, by those who took part in the events they record. They are drawn from many branches of service and from many countries; sometimes they are concerned with great and critical operations, but more often they deal with episodes and sideshows in the huge business of war...There has never in the world’s history been such an arena of drama and strange adventure as that long road which the Allies travelled to victory. Libraries will not exhaust its treasures; indeed, it will be years before we, who have ‘been preoccupied with special stages, will be able to grasp the wonders of the whole journey. This budget of wayside tales is only the cutting of a few sheaves at random from an immense harvest.”
As the chapter headings confirm the war on the ground and in the air throughout the conflict has been sketched with aplomb, from pilots above the Somme to the deserts of North Africa
I. - FIRST YPRES, 1914: THE TURNING OF THE TIDE. II. -”‘TWIXT GUY FAWKES’ AND ST. PATRICK’S.” III. THE “PETROL HUSSARS.” IV. - THE WORST AND THE BEST. V. - THE FIFTEENTH DIVISION AT LOOS. VI. - THE FIGHTING IN THE AIR DURING THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME. VII. - THE CALL. THE TALE OF A TANK. VIII. - THE TANKS AT CAMBRAI. IX. - CUT OFF IN A CAVE. - THE TALE OF A FIGHT BEYOND THE JORDAN. X. -THE SOUTH AFRICANS AT MARRIÈRES WOOD. XI. - ZEEBRUGGE-H.M.S. VINDICTIVE. XII. - THE RIVER COLUMN IN NORTH RUSSIA. XIII. - A SNIPER’S DAY. IV. - THE CAT. XIV. - “BUNKING.”.