The Battlefields of the First World War
Here are the great battlegrounds of World War I as you have never seen them before, from the First Battle of Ypres where gallant men on horseback find things do not go to plan to the closing horror of the mud at Passchendaele. This book showcases the most eye-opening panoramas, along with poignant personal photographs and the recollections of the soldiers caught in the action in the battles shown.These panoramic photographs were the nearest thing to satellite mapping in their day, taken by the British Royal Engineers for intelligence purposes throughout the war. The photographers had to spend ten minutes with their head above the parapet - a view normally seen by the troops only through a trench periscope. Many of the images give a field of view of up to 160 degrees, and so sharp that individual figures - a soldier picking live from his shirt, a sniper lying in wait - can be made out.The images cover the whole of the Western Front, end to end. What they reveal challenges existing perceptions of the First World War. As well as tortured landscapes of featureless mud, they also show fields of flowers, beaches, churches still standing. There are desperate scenes for sure, but an important lesson is that much of the war was fought in real, recognisable landscape.
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