le 2 novembre 2015
It is okay to read Barbara Tuchman's books out of the order in which they were written. If you are starting here you definitely missed "Bible and Sword England and Palestine from the Bronze Age to Balflour", and "The Zimmermann Telegram" as a good background.
I have taken dry courses on WWI with the facts, numbers, and names. Some were very good with charts and diagrams. Some of the best explanations came from economics classes. However none of them put it all together as if you were reading a newspaper of the time until "The Guns of August."
Barbra brings out many facts and figures but mostly the personalities which seem at first an overwhelming amount of detail. Later you realize it is the detail that you missed in your history class.
Barbara has a way of making you feel that you shook hands with each of the key and not so key contributors to the creation of the environment of war and the people that dictated its nature and outcome.
You may find yourself re-reading this work periodically as you pick up different views through life and can reflect on what Barbra says in a new light.
I have to admit that somehow I missed some of the big things like "Plan 17." It was funny as when I was in the Army for the second time I went through BNOC where we had to stay up 36 hours and execute a different scenario every four hours. One of the scenarios was plan 17 where when you were up against an entrenched force that knew their territory so your only hope of success was to charge. If you lost momentum or tried to hide you were dead anyway. We won at only a casualty rate of 80%; the French faired pretty well on their first try also.
So in many cases this book can reflect on your life and the lives of others today.
I bought the hard copy of this book and also the Kindle edition with Whispersync. Usually the advantage of hardcopies are maps and charts. The Kindle edition had maps and charts that you consume in on. Whispersync also has its advantages; however you must be prepared for an overwhelmingly English accent.
le 5 janvier 2016
Vous voulez comprendre comment Gallieni a réussi à convaincre Joffre de lancer la bataille de la Marne. Seule une étrangère américaine, doté d'un talent tant d'historienne que de psychologue a réussi à comprendre les mécanismes de motivation et de pouvoir entre les hommes.
Les armées françaises battaient en retraite et la France semblait avoir déjà perdu. Joffre, improbable chef d'état-major des armées par la bienveillance désigné par Gallieni était devenu ingérable refusant l'autorité du Président de la République Poincaré, susceptible refusant tout coopération avec les alliés Anglais dirigé par le général French, autoritaire démissionnant tout général prenant des initiatives comme le général de Castelnau qui par son dévouement et son courage a évité l'encerclement d'une partie des armées françaises et dépassé par la stratégie des armées Allemandes qu'il ne comprenait pas.
Barbara Tuchman vous fera comprendre les motivations profondes des hommes comme celles à l'initiative de l'entrée en guerre du Royaume-Uni.
le 15 décembre 2013
This is a full historical account of the precipitous early days of the Great War, which achieves the near impossible by being a compelling read. This particular print run is very disappointing in that the maps are appalling, terrible quality, monocolour and sometimes shown on a doouble page so that what one wants to see is in the binding. You must read this book, but find a better version. One can't imagine that the author would have let this be offered for sale, were she still living.