Read Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front by Richard Holmes Online


The first history of World War I to place centre stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it.Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded This is the story of these men epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins and the women they left behind.Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years 1914 1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea.Groundbreaking and critically acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy It is an emotional and unforgettable masterpiece from one of our most important historians....

Title : Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0007137524
Format Type : Paperback
Language : English
Publisher : Harper Perennial Revised ed edition March 7, 2005
Number of Pages : 752 pages
File Size : 960 KB
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front Reviews

  • HMS Warspite
    2019-02-04 03:47

    "Tommy" is Richard Holmes's exploration of the experience of the British soldier and the British Army on the Western Front of the Great War, 1914-1918. Through a narrative rich in detail and anecdote, Holmes provides context and some necessary correction on the life of Tommy Atkins, prototypical British soldier, at war.

  • Rick Kaneen
    2019-01-24 03:09

    What kind of man was the British soldier who unflinchingly trudged through the Menin Gate into the mud of the salient in 1917? How did he live day to day? What did he fight with and how did he do it? Where did he come from and why did he face the horrific attrition of World War I seige warfare with a 'stiff upper lip"? The answers and much more are here. This is the most detailed and yet most readable book on the British (and Empire) troops and their lives that I've seen and I've been a student of World War I for many years. From the world that created the Brit soldiers of the Great War to a realistic look at their commanders, how food reached them in the trenches, what happened when a high explosive shell fell in the middle of a platoon, how the army was organized, it's all here, but written in a page-turning, nearly can-put-it-down style that makes 700+ pages seem like not enough. There is information here that I've read before, certainly, but there is a wealth of info new to me - enriched by quotes from interviews, diaries and published works of the men themselves, woven seemlessly into the sharp narrative. It reminds me a bit of the work of Lyn MacDonald in that respect, but doesn't focus on the battles, but everything else. At least some knowledge and understanding of WWI will be helpful while reading this, but not necessary for enjoyment and revelation. If you're interested at all in the Great War this volume is indispensible.

  • Joy
    2019-02-16 21:55

    A FABULOUS Book, that puts you right into the Trenches with "Tommy Atkins". The Tommy was not the Glamourous Officer of DOWNTON ABBEY. He was the "Boy next Door"....The Postman's son, or your Mum's youngest brother. He was the mate you played "conkers" with....or even your Vicar.

  • Brad
    2019-02-04 02:04

    One of the best books on warfare and WWI I've ever read. Gives you a fantastic idea of what day-to-day life was like for the average British solider during the war, as well as helping to dispel many of the myths (such as the 'Lions led by Donkeys' and 'wasteful attacks for busy work' myths) that have arisen out of the conflict and the experiences endured. Incredibly accessible but deep enough that I would highly recommend this book for both the layman and the historian. Richard Holmes really did outdo himself with this book.

  • Steven B. Howery
    2019-01-23 02:54

    This is truly a history buff's treasure trove. Every possible thing you could want to know about the Tommy and his life in the trenches is covered. If you want to understand the Tommy that fought the Great War, this is the best single text on the subject. Highly readable and crowded with interesting historical fact, I highly recommend it.

  • PT6ER
    2019-02-19 00:06

    An astonishingly well told story, moving, thorough and respectful.

  • Bally Scotsman
    2019-02-05 22:56

    a bloody good read, frequently couldn't put it down. Quite often moving. Only gets a bit bogged in the mud when detailing in excruciating detail the multi-layered & interlocking aspects of the army's (or armies') organisational structures, but that is necessary to convey just how things were arranged. All told, highly recommended.

  • gametime
    2019-02-02 01:45

    Arrived quickly and was a very interesting read.