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Britain's Two World Wars against Germany
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Book description

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.


'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 Source: The Nymas Review

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Select bibliography
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Bourne, John, ‘British Divisional Commanders during the Great War’, Gunfire: A Journal of First World War History 29, nd
Cox, Sebastian, ‘A Loose Canon Who Should Have Been Fired: Sir Arthur Harris and the Bomber Offensive, September 1944–April 1945’, unpublished paper, nd
Cox, Sebastian, ‘Sir Arthur Harris and some Myths and Controversies of the Bomber Offensive’, Royal Air Force Historical Journal 47, 2010
Egerton, George W., ‘The Lloyd George Memoirs: A Study in the Politics of Memory’, Journal of Modern History 60, 1988
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Hays Parks, W., ‘Precision and Area Bombing: Who Did Which and When?’, Journal of Strategic Studies 18(1), March 1995
Mortimer, Mark, ‘The Snobbery of Chronology: In Defence of the Generals on the Western Front’, The Historian, Spring 2009
Ramsden, John, ‘Refocusing “The People’s War”: British War Films of the 1950s’, Journal of Contemporary History 33(1), 1998
Senior, Mike, ‘Learning Curves and Opportunity Curves on the Western Front’, Stand to! 93, January 2002


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