Posted:  March 29, 2014

Achievement The Righting of a Great Wrong 1914-1918  Dorset author, Ian Hall, has written a fascinating new book that examines the conditions that allowed one nation, Germany, to justify a war in continental Europe on a scale never before possible, sending more than eighty army divisions to invade its neighbours in what can be described as the first industrial war. Achievement also examines why Britain, at that time one of the world’s greatest industrial and Imperial powers, could only send six divisions to join the party and wonders at the accomplishment of expanding such a force to more than fifty divisions just four years later. 
‘In Achievement I offer a plain man’s guide to the Great War, an opportunity for those new to the subject to learn about events leading up to and during the course of the war. It is a starting point for those who want to know more of this epic war on which the future of Europe hung,’ says Ian. ‘I argue that Britain’s army became the major component of the allied forces that defeated the Germans. An essential aspect of this success, despite contrary claims, was that British casualties were significantly less than other combatant nations,’ he adds. 
The British army, from its most senior commanders down, are scrutinised. The decisions they faced and examples of the courage of the fighting men and the casualties that resulted are all considered in this encompassing monograph on the Great War.
‘The book is a personal tribute based on my assessment of the quality, determination and resolution in the face of enormous odds that was needed, daily and hourly, by the soldiers that fought in the Great War,’ comments Ian.

Achievement is a book about World War One, but not about any battle or really the reasons behind the war, but about how the country was not prepared for war. The politicians, bean counters as he called them did not think about weapons needed or ammo, food, clothing, horses, and the list of items continued to grow daily. People thinking for some reason the war would be over in months not years. When the war began Britain’s only professional army was really in India. Some were called back for training others were sent to the front along with voluntaries from India numbering over 30,000 these men along with the troops that they already had would all be dead with in the first three months of fighting and with the need for more recruits they also called back men who had left the service. Still this left them short on men and still on materials. America did agree to build machine guns and some other weapons but again it took time to deliver them. One item I found interesting was that there was an inheritance law that the eldest son was entitled to land and Title, so many second and third sons went to war. Later there were even some older men who went. Still no country was prepared really for a war to last that long and to change the entire European region as it did. Still Britain lost over 3 million men to the war, not as many as say France, 5.6 million. One was too many. A good book and a different take and look at things that I had never read about before. I got this book from net galley.

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