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Remembered Today:

GHQ (Montreuil-sur-Mer)


Robert Dunlop

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This book has recently been reproduced by Naval and Military Press. Sir Frank Fox served in the British GHQ in the latter half of the war. He describes the physcial location of Montreuil, highlighting its suitability as a base for GHQ, and provides a history of the town.

GSO gives an overview of the functions at GHQ and gives some details about the Medical Services, Veterinary and Remounts Services, Financial and Economy Services, Spiritual Services and the Labour Auxillaries. There is virtually no information on Operations or Intelligence Services.

The rest of the book largely comprises personal anecdotes, general descriptions of how the 'Red Tabs' spent what little recreational time they had in Montreuil, and overviews of Battles of Third Ypres, Cambrai, the German Spring Offensives, and the last months of the war.

It is a very unique book but there is very little of real substance in it. To make it worse, Sir Frank Fox comes across as extremely arrogant and racist. His views were not unique in his time but they grate terribly nowadays. The worst example is the discussion about the Chinese Labour Auxillaries. It also comes across in his comparison of the New Army officers with the Regulars. Add to this his gross generalizations about the Germans. He is more respectful of the Dominions.

The highlight of the book was the information about how much ammunition and other material had to be transported in support of troops in the front line, both in steady-state and in attack. It is a reminder of how efficient the logistics functions were in GHQ and down the line. The other interesting point was the transport problems posed by the German advances in Spring of 1918. The forward lateral train lines were largely out of action and the strains on the rear line were very significant.

I am pleased I have a copy of the book but I find it hard to recommend whole-heartedly.

Robert

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armourersergeant

I had seen this book out and had considered it, but i will ponder alittle more as you have said what i was wondering, that is does it cover the intel and ops side of GHQ. Thats a NO then

thanks for the review.

Arm.

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I must confess to having enjoyed it for its insight into life at Montreuil, though it's insight into the war is probably only a minor aspect of its contents.

If you are not looking for a military insight it is an interesting read.

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