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Britain's Two World Wars against Germany
Myth, Memory and the Distortions of Hindsight


  • Date Published: October 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107659131

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About the Authors
  • Britain's role and performance in the two World Wars continues to generate considerable debate but the wars are rarely considered together. Leading military historian Brian Bond here challenges the popular view of the First World War as catastrophic and futile in contrast to the Second World War as a well-conducted and victorious moral crusade. He focuses on the key issues which have caused controversy and distortion, to demonstrate how these views became deeply rooted in popular culture in the years since 1945. These issues range from policy and strategy, combat experience, the attritional strategies of naval blockade and strategic bombing to British generalship, and gains and losses in the aftermath of both wars. He also considers the learning process of the British Army in both world wars. He boldly concludes that in a number of important respects Britain was more successful in the First World War than in the Second.

    • A rare comparative account of Britain's achievement in the two wars against Germany
    • Challenges popular myths about the First World War and Second World War and charts how these misconceptions took hold
    • Reveals that in a number of important respects Britain was more successful in the First World War than in the Second
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Offering a host of shrewd judgments on Britain's military performance in the two world wars, Brian Bond has written an important book on the achievements, the failures and the price paid by Britain and her people for victory in 1918 and 1945.' Jay Winter, editor of The Cambridge History of the First World War and author of Remembering War: The Great War and Historical Memory in the 20th Century

    'Brian Bond has been at the forefront of British military historians for over fifty years. This latest masterly work, challenging many of the myths concerning Britain's experience in two World Wars, shows that his scholarship and objectivity remain undiminished.' Peter Simkins, co-author of The First World War: The War to End All Wars and author of Kitchener's Army: The Raising of the New Armies 1914–1916

    'A stimulating and challenging reassessment of Britain's role in the two worlds wars by a leading authority.' Gary Sheffield, author of A Short History of the First World War

    'This is a very important work for any student of military history, of the problem of history and popular memory, and of the wars themselves.' A. A. Nofi, The Nymas Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107659131
    • length: 199 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.29kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. The creation of myths after 1945
    2. British policy and strategy in the two world wars
    3. British generalship in the two world wars
    4. At the sharp end: combat experience in the two world wars
    5. Attrition in the First World War: the naval blockade
    6. Attrition in the Second World War: strategic bombing
    7. The transformation of war on the Western Front, 1914–18
    8. The British army: learning process in the Second World War
    9. After the wars: gains and losses
    Select bibliography.

  • Author

    Brian Bond, King's College London
    Brian Bond is Emeritus Professor of Military History at King's College London, where he has played a leading role in the development of military history in the Department of War Studies from 1966 to 2001. He was president of the British Commission for Military History from 1986 to 2006. He has published numerous books including The Unquiet Western Front (2002) and Survivors of a Kind: Memoirs of the Western Front (2008).

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