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I was given this book for Christmas. I didn't want to read it, so I had it read to me by Richard Aspel who does a good job but is rather thick with the Australian accents at times.
Peter FitzSimons tells a good story and as a journalist has an excellent column in the Sunday newspaper. He tells history like a yarn in the pub. His research at times is a little shallow and other times he finds information to back up his story he is telling.
My biggest gripes about this book is the 'Pommy bashing' that Australians like to do against 'the brass'. I am sure Australians think that the First World War was won by the Anzacs and a regiment of Scots. Mr FitzSimons skims over some of the Australians failings. Fromelle and Poziéres were and extension of the Somme Battle and the Australians were very inexperienced and poorly led at the senior level of their corps. These 'battles' bloodied the Anzacs and as with most battles in the First World War, were costly and for little gain but it did lay the ground work for the reputation that the Anzacs would gain in later exploits of that war. Overall I would say that this book is a story and not to be rated as academically history.
Once again Pete Fitzsimons and his team deliver a gripping narrative that rips at heartstrings as well as it gives you a sense of man's humanity, humility and need for reason when faced with the unexplainable.
Personal stories combined with grand strategy and an ending with a legacy that was only unveiled within the last decade.
Thanks for bringing these "cobbers" and the "criminals" to life!
I finished this book last night and, well what can i say. Do i recommend it? I can't say you would enjoy it, but it is a story every Australian should know. You will experience sorrow, anger, disgust, pride with the occasional moment of joy amidst all the misery. It is tale of amazing courage and yet haunting in its detail. Fitzsimon beautifully crafts a historic account full of humanity with characters that bring home the truth of the matter. Particularly coming up to the centenary of these events I do recommend this book. We should remember them. We must remember them. .. lest we forget.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Left me proud, outraged,and more than once in tears. A worthy tribute. Thankyou Peter FitzSimons.