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Guest Swigert

Restoration of NW France

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Guest Swigert

Can someone recommend a book or books on the clearing of the battlefields by the French following the end of the war. Thank you.

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Paul Reed

While the subject is mentioned in some first hand accounts, there is nothing specific on this subject - not even in French.

There are some accounts of the rebuilding of the battlefield area (I believe WFA member Helen McPhail wrote one), but again I suspect this only touches on the subject you are interested in.

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Christina Holstein

There's a charming little book that came out recently in Verdun called 'Villages détruits, villages reconstruits' that gives some idea of the task involved in clearing the battlefields of the Etain area. It's mostly concerned with the rebuilding of the villages but to do that they obviously had to clear the area first. Hugh Clout wrote a book called 'After the Ruins' that will give you some information and there is a section on the WWI battlefields of the Verdun area in Donovan Webster's book 'Aftermath'. Helen McPhail's book is called "The Long Silence".

Christina Holstein.

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egbert

There is a very specific , comprehensive book on clearing the battlefields by the French. I recently read it and I was overwhelmed by the objective point of view from the German author. It is about two old German front warriors, who visited the old frontlines in the late 20s. In this book they also reflect an episode, when they were "employed" as prisoners of war 1919-1920 by the French Etat Civil. It gives a pretty good picture about the Etat Civil, who was responsible for clearing the battlefields: "Das Unsichtbare Denkmal" (Invisible Monument) by Maxim Ziese. But be aware: you not only need to know German, worse: you need to know how to read the deceased old Gothic German prints.

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Hedley Malloch

Swigert,

There is one book you could try. It's called "After The Ruins. Restoring the Countryside of Northern France After the Great War" by Professor Hugh Clout, 1996, published by David Brown. It's available from Amazon.

There is also some good information on Nils Fabiansonn's Battlefield Archaeology website on http://w1.865.telia.com

Regards

Hedley

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Graham-McAdam

I have a copy of "after the ruins" for sale, though you've probably now ordered it yourself - I was about to advertise it on AMazon! If you are interested send me a private email and I'll sort it at £10 + p&p.

It is a good but highly technical-geographical read. The cover, and advertising, have a nice poster of Amiens but that's the last picture in the book! So not for the "general reader"

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