A must read book on the Great War - General Jacks Diary

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Pteranadon, Sep 8, 2005.

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  1. I picked it up from a remainder'ed bookshop reduced to £3.99.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0304353205/?tag=armrumser-21 Amazon will sell you one for £1.50.

    Brilliant read. The diary of an infantry officer, edited by John Terraine.

    Jack starts as a junior captain Platoon commander in the 1/ Cameronians in August 1914 and ends as Commander 28 Brigade. Jack was a very good writer with a lovely turn of phrase. His diiary brings out what pressure he felt - and his own humanity. Well worth reading is you want a different view ofn the Great War. I would also imagoine its inspirational stuff for anyone who has any aspirations to command anyone.
  2. Great book & highly recommended read.

    General Jack is so understated that his autobiographic account has to have explanatory notes from a biographer to reveal examples of Jack's bravery and leadership which he "forgets" to mention.

    Some profoundly moving passages, when reading between the stiff upper lip lines. An example is when Jack notes that he puts on his best service dress and silver spurs before going "over the top". What is left unmentioned is that he did this because he clearly expected to die. Another is the poignant line where, commanding another btn, he notes that in one attack "all my friends (offrs & sldrs in 1 Cameronians, his original home) were swept away...." , ie killed en masse.

    It also helps dispel generations of urban myth about the nature of the British Army in WW1: Jack spent a lot of time as a staff officer, and his account reveals the extraordinary sophistication of the staff work (in an age of pencil, telephone and typewriter) involved in managing a 3? million-man army, and the great compassion and concern shown for the welfare of ordinary soldiers.
  3. Yup, I'd agree, the book makes a very good source for any Western Front research.
  4. The junior officer Led from the front.
    Greatest respect, I'd luv to read this book.