Defiance! Withstanding The Kaiserschlact

Author Rating:
  • Author:
    G H F Nichols
    The Story of one Gunner Officer's war in the face of the Kaiserlacht offensive. The Germans knew this was their last gamble with troops released by the cessation of fighting in Russia. The tightening Allied blockade and the build up of American troops would see 1918 swinging inexorably against the Central Powers.

    The bulk of most First World War memoirs are from the Infantry perspective. Nichols served with the 82nd Brigade RFA a Kitchener 2nd Army unit of 18th Eastern Division(note for non Gunners. RFA Brigades were effectively regiments but were not called so until 1938) He also wrote the Divisional history whereas little remains in print regarding the long lost 82nd Bde.
    The author returned from convalescence in Spring 1918 and this tells the story of the retreat from German advance and the stabilisation of the front and subsequently the Allied advance. The Army suddenly moved from static warfare to manoeuvre again ,having to resurrect almost atrophied Gunner skills.

    The book is written under 1919 censorship so a number of titles and locations are redacted. This will be a constraint on using the book for further research as there are no in print histories of the Brigade. A little may be gleaned from the 18 Div history and the Long Long Trail website with a bit more in the War Time Memories website (under revision at the time of this review).There is no list of sources.

    Pen and Ink have printed to a high standard with glossy photos and the book runs to 264 pages. The hardback is priced at £19.99 and there is also a kindle at £12.23

    Readers of this book might also look at Amateur Gunners by Douglas Thornton , written in 1933 and recently re published by Pen and Sword

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