> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 February 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241347188
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 688
  • RRP: $26.99

The Western Front

A History of the First World War

"The best modern single-volume history of the war on the Western Front" (The Spectator), by the acclaimed author of the bestselling Passchendaele

In the annals of military history, the Western Front stands as an enduring symbol of the folly and futility of war. However, as bestselling military historian Nick Lloyd reveals in this highly-praised history -- the first of an epic trilogy -- the story is not one of pointlessness and stupidity, but rather a heroic triumph against the odds. With a cast of hundreds and a huge canvas of places and events, Lloyd reveals what really happened in France and Belgium between August 1914 and November 1918 from the perspective of all the main combatants -- including French, British, Belgian, US and, most importantly, German forces.

Lloyd examines the most decisive campaigns of the Great War and explains the unprecedented innovation, adaptation and tactical development that have been too long obscured by legends of mud, blood and futility, drawing upon the latest scholarship on the war, wrongly overlooked first-person accounts, and archival material from every angle. Conveying the visceral assault of the battlefield with vivid detail, Lloyd ultimately redefines our understanding of a crucial theatre in this monumental tragedy.

  • Published: 1 February 2022
  • ISBN: 9780241347188
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 688
  • RRP: $26.99

Also by Nick Lloyd

See all

Praise for The Western Front

A model of what a work of military history should be . . . the definitive account of this phase of the war on the Western Front

Simon Heffer, The Telegraph on 'Passchendaele'

Both as narrative and analysis, this book is masterly

Allan Massie, The Scotsman on 'Passchendaele'

This well-researched, well-written and cogently argued new analysis overturns all our assumptions and received wisdom about the fighting on the most important front of the Great War. Nick Lloyd deserves congratulation for having written what will undoubtedly now take its rightful place as the standard account of this vital theatre of the conflict

Andrew Roberts, author of 'Churchill: Walking with Destiny'

An enthralling read. Lloyd deftly guides us through a labyrinth of military detail while never allowing the pace of his narrative to slacken. His account of France's role on the Western Front, often less well documented in Anglo-Saxon accounts, is particularly revealing. Most of us are familiar with the names of the generals involved, but Lloyd brings them sharply to life with his sensitive portrayal of their personalities, idiosyncrasies and relationships with one another. This is an endlessly complex subject to which Lloyd has brought welcome lucidity while never for one moment allowing us to forget the enormity of its tragedy

Julia Boyd, author of Travellers in the Third Reich

There were many fronts in World War I, but the Western Front, where the industrialized great powers massed their men and resources, was the crucial one. Nick Lloyd has given us the most up-to-date account of the fighting there. He brings the key statesmen and generals to life, as well as the brutal combat from the first battles to the last. Lloyd crisply details the tactical and technological innovation that brought victory, as well as the coalition strategy, economic warfare, and home front management that boosted the Allies and disintegrated the Central Powers

Geoffrey Wawro, author of The Franco-Prussian War, A Mad Catastrophe, and Sons of Freedom, and director of the University of North Texas Military History Center

Although a non-specialist in the history of World War I, I have sought to learn as much as possible about that epochal calamity that cast a dark shadow over the subsequent century. At the core of a generation's agony was the Western Front, which I never fully understood until I read Nick Lloyd's comprehensive, lucid, and evocative narrative that made starkly clear what had previously been a confusing jumble


This is a bold book. Nick Lloyd has written a tour de force of scholarship, analysis and narration . . . Lloyd is well on the way to writing a definitive history of the First World War

Lawrence James, The Times

Excellent on detail...Lloyd's book will be cherished by military history buffs

Max Hastings, Sunday Times

Authoritative and fast-paced...By the end of the book, one has a panoramic view of this crucial theatre of war

Simon Heffer, Sunday Telegraph

This is harder to do than it looks, but [Nick Lloyd] has produced a well written, clear and snappy account of a familiar but always dramatic story... The Western Front sets a fine example of operational military history. It is the best modern single-volume history of war on the Western Front and is likely to remain the standard account for some time

Jonathan Boff, The Spectator

The Western Front is an impressive achievement. It will, I am sure, become the standard narrative account, and deserves a wide readership

Gary Sheffield, TLS

He writes with a lucidity and panache that makes the book a page-turner . . . [and] synthesises the latest thinking with such exceptional skill and subtlety . . . Without question, this book is an outstanding achievement, a brilliant one-volume military history of the war on the Western Front that combines narrative drive, acute pen-portraits, and penetrating analysis of military developments and command decisions

Neil Faulkner, Military History Matters

Related titles