World War I is arguably the most misunderstood event of 20th century history. In this interpretation, military historian Gary Sheffield argues that while the war was tragic, it was not futile; and, although condemned as "lions led by donkeys", in reality the British citizen army became the most effective fighting force in the world, which in 1918 won the greatest series of battles in British history. This book is based on 20 years of research and draws on the work of major scholars. Without underestimating the scale of human tragedy or playing down the disasters, it aims to explode many myths about World War I, placing it in its true historical context.
Dr Gary Sheffield is Land Warfare Historian on the Higher Command and Staff Course, Joint Services Command and Staff College, Shrivenham, and Senior Lecturer at King's College London (War Studies Group). From 1985 to 1999 he taught in the Department of War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.