Andrew Rawson

Teoksen BATTLE OF THE BULGE (Images of War) tekijä

41 teosta 458 jäsentä 7 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Andrew Rawson is a freelance writer who has written several books, covering campaigns from the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, and World War II, including Battle Story: the Battle of the Bulge, The British Army 1914-1918, Vietnam War Handbook, The Third Reich 1919-1939 and Eyes Only: The Top Secret näytä lisää Correspondence between Marshall and Eisenhower. He has a Master's degree from Birmingham University's history department. näytä vähemmän


Tekijän teokset

WALCHEREN: Operation Infatuate (2003) 30 kappaletta
BATTLE STORY IWO JIMA 1945 (2011) 17 kappaletta
The Cambrai Campaign 1917 (2017) 14 kappaletta
Somme Campaign (2014) 13 kappaletta
The Passchendaele Campaign 1917 (2017) 13 kappaletta
British Army Handbook 1914-1918 (2006) 12 kappaletta
Auschwitz - The Nazi Solution (2015) 11 kappaletta
Victory in the Pacific (2005) 10 kappaletta
Victory in Europe (2005) 9 kappaletta
The Arras Campaign (2017) 9 kappaletta
Lys Offensive - April 1918 (2018) 8 kappaletta
The British Army 1914-1918 (2006) 7 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Muut nimet
Rawson, Andy
20th Century
Mallorca, Spain



I both liked and disliked this book. The information is outstanding, as clear as is possible account of the BEF in 1915 (and into 1916). It highlights what went wrong and why and I really felt that my knowledge increased a lot, as 1915 on the Western Front was something I knew I was deficient in. However it was hard to read of things going wrong time after time, that is not the Authors fault but it was still hard. There are quite a few maps and they both helped and hindered, they were certainly better than no maps. However they often missed locations that are mentioned numerous times in the text, it's very frustrating to try and look for something that isn't even marked on the map. Finally I think it's a great book to dip into for information on a particular action and the conclusion is an excellent overview of the problems of warfare on the Western Front in 1915.… (lisätietoja)
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bookmarkaussie | Apr 28, 2024 |
Part of a series on the history of the British Expeditionary Force in WWI. This volume covers the BEF’s response to the German Lys Offensive in 1918 (Operation Georgette). The Western Front had been bogged down in trench warfare since 1914, with the Germans retreating to strong defensive positions and the Allies conducting brutal and futile attacks. Several things happened to change this in 1918:

• The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, which freed up many German divisions from the Eastern Front.
• The German development of Stosstruppen tactics. Prior to this, both sides had “reinforced defeat” – if an attack was stalled by a strongpoint, troops on either side were held in place while reinforcements were sent to the obstacle until it was reduced. Then the advance would continue along a broad front – supposedly. What actually happened is the delay gave the other side time to reinforce as well and the attack petered out. Before the war ended on the Russian Front, the Germans had successfully experimented with a different idea. Instead of a weeks-long bombardment that was supposed to cut wire but only turned the battlefield into an impassable morass and gave the enemy plenty of warning that an attack was coming, the Germans used a short but intense artillery bombardment that was followed up by “infiltration tactics”. The infantry would advance quickly and bypass strongpoints; reinforcements were sent to the area of greatest advance (“reinforcing victory”) and troops were trained to keep on the offensive without worrying about their flanks.
• The Americans had entered the war and were rapidly building up; the Germans wanted to go on the offensive before American strength became insurmountable.

Stosstruppen tactics “shocked and awed” the Allies. In places where the trench lines had remained more or less stable for years, with only a few hundred yards of blood-soaked and shell-churned ground changing hands, the Germans were able to advance almost forty miles. The BEF had to evacuate the Ypres Salient, which had been the scene of three sanguinary and futile BEF offensives. However, the large German advances were ultimately a failure; the Germans were unable to capture any really important objectives or bring them in range of artillery fire.

Lys Offensive author Andrew Rawson doesn’t discuss this background very much; he’s more concerned with the play-by-play activities of the battle. Although the BEF had experience Stosstruppen tactics before (Operation Michael, further north) they still weren’t ready for Operation Georgette. The Germans quickly overran forward positions (“the Outpost Zone”), then the main line of resistance (“the Battle Zone”) but the offensive eventually ground to a halt:

• The Germans were unable to get artillery and supplies forward. While German infantry could move cross-country and ford streams and canals, artillery and supply units were road-bound and bottlenecked at water crossings.
• The British set an unintentional booby-trap for the advancing Germans. They captured several huge supply dumps intact; however, British ammunition didn’t fit German weapons so it was of no use. What the Germans were about to loot was food and alcohol; entire German units were drunk, gorged, and ineffective at times when they should have been pushing rapidly forward.

One thing that caught my attention was the use of air support. The British had air superiority; on days when the weather was good enough to fly British aircraft were able to strafe and interdict German movement – especially at places like the water crossing bottlenecks mentioned above. I didn’t think air interdiction had become important until World War II.

Rawson provides numerous maps; in the forward he says he was inspired by Noah Trudeau’s Gettysburg: A Testing of Courage and similarly provides maps for every phase of the action. Unfortunately, I didn’t find the maps very useful. They’re too small a scale and it’s hard to relate what’s going on at each divisional level action to the overall campaign.

Just as Rawson doesn’t give much of an introduction to Stosstruppen tactics, he also doesn’t follow up on their development. Because the British and French had defeated the Stosstruppen by the skin of their teeth, their military planners assumed they would not be a problem in the future. The Germans, however, developed them into the Blitzkrieg of WWII, with Panzers substituting for Stosstrupppen infantry. Now German armored columns could advance deep into enemy territory, with supplies, artillery and infantry support also cross-country mobile on tracked vehicles.

As mentioned, numerous small-unit maps. Contemporary photographs, bibliography, and what I thought was a sparse index. Useful for the specialist but probably not for the casual reader of WWI history.
… (lisätietoja)
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setnahkt | Jun 20, 2021 |
This is a 300 page complete narrative of the BEF's operations on the Western Front followed by a 12 page summary of the lessons learned. If that is what you want, and you don't mind a large number of proof reading errors (Helion 2019 edition), then this is good.
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d.r.halliwell | Jul 12, 2020 |


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