The Bottom Line
- Good narrative of events.
- Many reproduction maps and photographs.
- Some illustrations found elsewhere.
- 112 A4 pages including a short bibliography and full-colour illustration.
- Published by Osprey.
- ISBN: 1855327341.
Guide Review - Passchendaele and the Battles of Ypres 1914-18 by Martin Marix Evans
Evans' narration underpins the artwork and though his style is far from riveting, he's a good guide to the battles and an excellent counterweight to the incisive selection of quotes liberally scattered throughout. You'll need to look elsewhere for background as the contents is firmly focused on the Ypres region, but you will find clear accounts of the units and their movements, as well as information on lifestyle, morale and casualty figures.
There are a few weak points. The narrative concentrates on Allied actions and soldiers at the expense of an overall picture, but nowhere near as badly as other books on the subject. Equally, Evans seems to be part of the 'soldiers were victims and the commanders criminal idiots' school of thinking, but there is still balance in his account. Perhaps the greatest omission concerns statistics: Evans frequently gives us the numbers of men killed and wounded, but rarely provides any figures for those taking part, making it hard to evaluate the situation. Overall, this fine account has a text perfect for the beginner and artwork desirable to all.