There is the popular perception of the First World War and there is the more accurate historical perspective that overturns a lot of those \'truths\' that are often quoted in the media at this time. In Mud, Blood and Poppycock, Gordon Corrigan, military historian and former officer in the Royal Gurkha Rifles attempts to overturn practically every perceived opinion on the Great War and almost carries it off.
- Was it an unnecessary war?
- Did Britain actually lose a generation of young men?
- Did soldiers actually spend their entire war in a lice-infested and muddy hole being shelled and knawed on by rats?
- Were the British army technically deficient?
- Did the British cavalry just sit behind the lines in comfort waiting for a breakthrough that never came?
- Was gas the terrible weapon that left thousands of men blinded and dead on the Western Front?
- Were the British \'lions led by donkeys\' as popularised in by Stephen Fry in Blackadder goes Forth?
- Was Haig a butcher and incompetent?
- Were a lot of very scared young men propped against the nearest post and shot for desertion for no good reason?
- Was the Battle of the Somme a needless slaughter?
- Did the US \'enter the war at the last minute, contributed nothing, and became the only power to make money out of it?
Corrigan uses his knowledge of the British army and a close analysis of the statistics and the histories to examine all these questions and answer them comprehensively and with some authority. If he doesn\'t overturn all the myths that have grown up around the First World War he comes very close.
Myths that are perpetuated, albeit in a brilliant way by the latest volume in the Charley\'s War saga - Charley\'s War: Underground and Over the Top. Reprinted from the original seventies comics these are fantastically realised comic strips with hard hitting stories that entertain but they also perpetuate some of the worst myths about war on the Western Front.
And don't forget if you want to learn more about the First World War we have a 25% discount on all our WWI books this month!