Western Front - North...

 

... Major & Mrs Holt's Definitive Battlefield Guide, 4th Edition, from Pen & Sword

 

Title: Western Front - North

Author: Major & Mrs Holt

Publisher: Pen & Sword

ISBN: 978-1-52674-683-2

This is the 4th edition of this first class battlefield guide, revised following the various 100th anniversary events that have taken place between 1914 and 1918. New memorials and other changes are reflected in this revised edition, and also features the benefit of GPS references for those using sat nav systems in their travels.

It is a small format book but with 360 pages packed full of information ideal for the battlefield visitor. Usefully it does open with a map of the Western Front which clearly shows the places/battles covered within the book, along with those in a companion volume on the South. The 15 battles featured in this one cover Mons, Le Cateau, The Yser, 1st-4th Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Fromelles, Festubert, Givenchy, Loos, Notre-Dame de Lorette and Vimy Ridge. Each one has some background to give the basic story, plus maps to  illustrate the battle as well as the route of the battlefield tour which is linked to each of the 15 battles in the book. For each tour it picks out some specific points along the route which are of particular interest. Very neatly, each tour also includes some potential to visit extra elements to the route. Amidst the descriptions of each battle/tour there are some individual stories which help give life to each one.

As well as the maps and the well detailed tours, the book is also filled with a host of modern colour photos of points of interest that are to be seen on your way round. These include memorials, cemeteries, buildings and many individual bunkers that still remain on the battlefields. I still find it fascinating, that even after 100 years, another war and rebuilding that had to take place, there is still so much remaining to be seen for the visitor. There are additional details about both the Allied and the German War Grave cemeteries and the organisations which look after them.  Add useful notes on where to stay and eat while on your travels, this is just the sort of guide to keep with you in your car or your bag.  There are a number of tour companies who can take you on battlefield trips but I for one who likes to do the trips in my own time but still with the benefit of a knowledgeable guide to assist me and this is certainly a fine example which I will be using.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for my copy.

Robin