The Western Front
A History of the First World War
The definitive history of the Western Front - from the acclaimed author of the bestselling Passchendaele
In the annals of military history, the Western Front stands as asymbol of the folly of war. However, bestselling historian Nick Lloyd reveals that the story is notone of pointlessness and stupidity, of generals being unthinking "donkeys".
Drawing upon the latest scholarship, wrongly overlooked accounts and archival material, Lloyd explains the achievements that have been obscured by legends of mud, blood and futility. He recreates the decision-making and experiences of the war as it was and redefines our understanding of this monumental tragedy.
Praise for The Western Front
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 conflictAndrew 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 tragedyJulia 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 PowersGeoffrey 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 jumbleJames M. McPherson, author of BATTLE CRY OF FREEDOM; THE CIVIL WAR ERA
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 WarLawrence James, The Times
Excellent on detail...Lloyd's book will be cherished by military history buffsMax Hastings, Sunday Times
Authoritative and fast-paced...By the end of the book, one has a panoramic view of this crucial theatre of warSimon 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 timeJonathan Boff, The Spectator
The Western Front is an impressive achievement. It will, I am sure, become the standard narrative account, and deserves a wide readershipGary 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 decisionsNeil Faulkner, Military History Matters