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Publisher's Summary

On Anzac Day 1918, when the town of Villers-Bretonneux falls to the British defenders, it is the Australians who are called on to save the day, the town and the entire battle.
It's early 1918, and after four brutal years the fate of the Great War hangs in the balance. On the one hand, the fact that Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks have seized power in Russia - immediately suing for peace with Germany - means that no fewer than one million of the Kaiser's soldiers can now be transferred from there to the Western Front. On the other, now that America has entered the war, it means that two million American soldiers are also on their way, to tip the scales of war in favor of the Allies.
The Germans, realising that their only hope is striking at the Allied lines first, do exactly that, and on the morning of 21 March 1918, the Kaiserschlacht, the Kaiser's battle, is launched - the biggest set-piece battle the world has ever seen.
©2016 Peter FitzSimons. Produced by arrangement with Penguin Random House Australia Pty Ltd (P)2016 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Pete on 02-04-17

Wonderful book. A story ever Australian should know.

This devastatingly tragic but equally inspiring story of Australian history is something that every Australian adult should know and one which must not be forgotten as the years grow old.

Do yourself a favour and learn of the extreme sacrifice and unimaginable bravery of the young Australians and indeed the whole allied forces.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Sharon Livingstone on 05-08-17

Well structured story but new narrator needed

What did you like most about Victory at Villers-Bretonneux?

Good balance provided by including the perspective of all participants - French, English, German, Canadian, Russian and Australian. Although parochial, it was perhaps needed to right the wrongs inflicted by an embarrassed British Military, who gave little mention of the involvement of the Australian soldiers in the 2nd battle of Villers-Bretonneux. I loved the insight provided by letters and diary entries.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator used a plummy British accent which grated and lost the impact of the FitzSimons narration style, which is very much Australian. Place names in Australia were mispronounced (Walcha, Murwillumbah as examples), which is unforgivable. And don't get me started on the narrator's Scottish accent. I would have loved to have heard FitzSimons narrate this himself.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Both. There was a spontaneous poem written by a private soldier about his recently deceased battalion commander - raw and beautiful and very emotional. The demise of the "Red Baron" was also beautifully re-told.

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