World War I stands as a watershed in the evolution of modern warfare, with the development of sophisticated trench systems forming a battlefield over 400 miles long, notable improvements in weaponry and equipment and the first example of tanks being used in battle. This book examines the day-to-day lives of the British Tommy, the German Stormtrooper, the French Poilu and the American Doughboy as they fought and died in the trenches, with details of their recruitment and training and vivid descriptions of combat on the Western Front. It also provides an extensive reassessment of trench warfare, following the development of controversial tactics and new weapons, the first use of poison gas in warfare and the introduction of the tank - initially an accident-prone novelty but later a front-breaking weapon.
Contents: Foreword - Part 1: Warriors on the Western Front - Stormtrooper - Poilu - Tommy - Doughboy Part 2: Trench Warfare - Bibliography - Index
Gary Sheffield is Professor of War Studies at the University of Birmingham and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has published widely on military history, especially the First World War. His books include Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters 1914-18, co-edited with John Bourne (2005); the best-selling Forgotten Victory: The First World War - Myths and Realities (2001); and Leadership in the Trenches (2000).