Monday 13 February 2017

Victoria Crosses on the Western Front 1917 to Third Ypres

Victoria Crosses on the Western Front 1917 to Third Ypres
Paul Oldfield, £30

Paul Oldfield's latest tome weighs in at a hefty 556 pages and covers the period 27th January to 27th July 1917. That so many pages should be needed to cover such a short period is testimony not only to the courage exhibited, but also to the bitter fighting.

Once again, this volume can be read in two parts: the actions, which take care of the first 208 pages; and the biographies of the VC winners which take up the rest of the book.  

The beauty of the books in this series is that they are well-researched and contain many useful maps and photographs. I wouldn't want to lu8gg this book across a battlefield because it weighs a ton. However, I could quite easily see myself investing in the Kindle edition and referring to the detailed trench maps and modern day panoramas. 

These are not books that will, for the most part, be thoroughly pored over, cover to cover, but as reference they are extremely useful and so much more interesting to read than the often dry and dusty official histories. In the meantime though, I need to find another couple of inches of shelf space to accommodate this latest volume.

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