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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Battle of Bethune 18th April 1918


SFayers

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Hi folks,

I understand this battle (from the LLT website) was a phase of the Battles of The Lys; but on the whole I don't seem to be able to find any texts that treat the Battle of Bethune in any sort of detail.

Can any forum members recommend any books that might be useful?

Many thanks and kind regards

Steve

Edit: Sorry, I just noticed Bruce's earlier post regarding the same thing! Still interested in a good all-round book though! :blush:

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Steve,

Below are the units that took part in the battle:

First Army (Horne)

I Corps (Holland)

1st Division, including the second defence of Givenchy

3rd Division

4th Division.

XI Corps (Haking)

61st (2nd South Midland) Division.

If you go to the Long, Long Trail here and break down the divisions to Battalions, there may be some unit histories published by the Naval & Military Press.

Cheers Andy.

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The relevant volume of the British Official History is well worth getting. It is a very compelling read.

Zabecki's book "The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in the Operational Level of War‎" will give you a perspective on the German planning. It is better than Martin Kitchen's book "The German offensives of 1918‎" IMHO.

Robert

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Andy and Robert,

Many thanks for your feedback - much appreciated. Good idea about the unit histories!

I must be losing my marbles - I never even thought of trying the Official History! Will definitely be on the lookout for Zabecki's book.

Kind regards

Steve

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The relevant volume of the BOH is easy to identify by the dates covered. I believe it is "France and Belgium 1918, Vol II, Official History of the Great War" that you want. The Battle of Bethune is placed in the wider context of the Battles of the Lys. I read it from cover to cover. There is a palpable sense of the drama that played out in the face of the German assaults, not least because of the way that the editors shortened unit names to reflect the significant losses. So xxxx Brigade becomes xxxx Bde as the battles evolve, for example.

Robert

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Thanks Robert,

Just ordered Zabecki's book off Amazon - looks to be a very interesting read!

Kind regards

Steve

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