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The story of a national achievement, 1914-1918 * The story of Kitchener’s all-volunteer force, from formation and training to the Battle of the Somme

In 1914 Kitchener saw the need for a numerous and well-trained force to reinforce Britain's regular and territorial forces. The subsequent appeal for volunteers met with an enormous response. The so-called New Army presented great difficulties for organisers, even down to providing sufficient uniforms, arms and equipment. Yet these were overcome, and by the time the New Army was fully bloodied at the Battle of the Somme in July 1916 it was a magnificent all-volunteer force, including the famous Pals' battalions. However, huge losses in 1916, and again through 1917 and early 1918, decimated the ranks; many believe its true spirit died in the first days of the Somme offensive.

The Kitchener Armies is a gem of a book, originally published in 1930 and virtually unknown to historians and researchers of the Great War today. The author utilised a wide range of sources, including an extensive number of unit histories when writing this work. Importantly, nearly half of the book deals in a lively yet authoritative manner with the formation and training of the armies; 'forging the giant's sword'. Further parts deal with the 'blooding' of the New Army formations at Loos and the Dardanelles, and the prelude to the 'Great Push' in July 1916. An extensive section deals with the New Armies in the Somme offensive, before the author concludes by noting 'the passing of the Kitchener armies'.

This is a very readable and important account, providing in one volume a fresh and clear appraisal of the New Armies; their birth, life, and death on the Somme. This edition features a newly-commissioned introduction that provides an overview of the historiography of the Kitchener armies. Printed on fine paper, it is being published in a strictly limited edition hardback run of just 250 copies, each copy individually numbered.

  • AUTHOR: Germains, V
  • FORMAT: 192pp 2 maps 234x156 Hb
  • Code: 13019

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