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Crossing No Manís Land

Experience and Learning with the Northumberland Fusiliers in the Great War

Series : Wolverhampton Military Studies #17

Author : Tony Ball


General - Pages : 248 | Images : c 50 graphs, maps

Hardback - Date of Publication : March 2016 | Size : 234mm x 156mm | ISBN : 9781910777732 | Helion Book Code : HEL0638

This book addresses the potentially deadly challenge of getting across No Man’s Land in good shape to fight at the other side. It explores the development of the British Army’s infantry battle tactics during the Great War using the largest infantry regiment, the Northumberland Fusiliers, as a case study. Principles and, in particular, practice are covered. The study demonstrates the transformation of the British Army from an essentially Victorian army to a recognisably modern army; adapting tactics to the circumstances and saving lives in the process. A novel research approach is used; comparing Army doctrine with the reality at battalion level which yields a unique insight into experience and learning on the Western Front. Two hundred and eleven attacks and 75 raids are identified through a census of all 28 of the Regiment’s battalion war diaries covering 25,876 diary days. The analysis is set in the overall context of the War taking in the full sweep, from beginning to end, and also gives some small insight into the so called sideshows. A by-product of the research approach has been a detailed activity analysis, the ‘doings’, summarising what each Northumberland Fusiliers' battalion was engaged in every day and for the Regiment in aggregate. This is a secondary but no less valuable theme of the study, which also yields good material on infantry training. Furthermore, when activities are known on a daily basis, it is possible to correlate attacks with fatalities and to attempt to discover relationships between the two.


“ … The author presents a helpful analysis of how infantry and artillery tactics developed during the war…Recommended.” Miniature Wargames


“ … The volume of statistical analysis is … breathtaking … the fact that it exists should be welcomed; it provides a framework for others to use with other regiments.” Newsletter of the Society of the Friends of the National Army Museum


“ … There is much good meat in this book and many of the authors conclusions are sound…” Stand To!

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