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Remembered Today:

Corrigan: "Mud Blood & Poppycock"


Steven Broomfield
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I can't find a review on the Forum of this book by Gordon Corrigan, which was published (according to Wikl) way back in 2003.

Anyone have any views? I don't have a copy but dipped into it this afternoon and was struck by a couple of extremely odd claims:

1. British cavalry didn't have the Maxim in 1914, but were using the Hotchkiss (they had Vickers in 1914, as discussed on the Forum several times)

2. In 1915 the British cavalry sword was withdrawn and all cavalry were equipped with the lance. (What!!!!)

Seeing those two comments in a 10-minute browse, I am discinclined to buy it. Anyone have a view?

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Got a good write up!!

The true story of how Britain won the First World War.

The popular view of the First World War remains that of BLACKADDER: incompetent generals sending brave soldiers to their deaths. Alan Clark quoted a German general's remark that the British soldiers were 'lions led by donkeys'. But he made it up.

Indeed, many established 'facts' about 1914-18 turn out to be myths woven in the 1960s by young historians on the make. Gordon Corrigan's brilliant, witty history reveals how out of touch we have become with the soldiers of 1914-18. They simply would not recognize the way their generation is depicted on TV or in Pat Barker's novels.

Laced with dry humour, this will overturn everything you thought you knew about Britain and the First World War. Gordon Corrigan reveals how the British embraced technology, and developed the weapons and tactics to break through the enemy trenches.

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2. In 1915 the British cavalry sword was withdrawn and all cavalry were equipped with the lance. (What!!!!)

If you refer to the footnotes on pp. 73-5, it establishes beyond doubt that the cavalry had become so infected with the bacillus of war poetry by 1915 that the lance was the only weapon that they could wield with sufficient firmness of wrist.

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Gordon Corrigan always brings an ex-soldier's valuable experience to his writing. He doesn't do PC and I very much liked the book - and who doesn't make errors. His book on the Indians in Flanders is particularly good

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Mel makes an excellent point which, in spite of, I quite enjoyed the read.

My knowledge of the technicalities is so limited that I wouldnt have grasped the errors which Broomers mentions. You might say that my grasp of the technicalties was quite limp-wristed.

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Got a good write up!!

By whom,might I ask?

His book on the Indians in Flanders is particularly good

No disagreement there.

Gordon Corrigan always brings an ex-soldier's valuable experience to his writing. He doesn't do PC

Just been reading the comments on this year's Conference ...

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Completely objective, then.

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Just been reading the comments on this year's Conference ...

Where are those Steven? I can't see any, apart from the one I posted on the original Conference topic.

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MB&P is provocative and purposely so. One might not agree with everything Gordon writes, but he does make you sit up and think.

Charles M

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It is a while since I read the book but I found it very stimulating because it is as Charles says deliberately provocative. The arguments are well made and it certainly made me think hard about some of my beliefs . I found that the book made me change my attitude to some things, modify my view on others and think hard about counter-arguments where I found I disagreed. Which is what Charles had just said using far fewer words. I'll get me coat......

Pete.

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I enjoyed it so much, that I gave it to a charity shop last week.

I did find his 'Sepoys in the Trenches' interesting though and still have that.

SM

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I have a battered copy somewhere. If and if it is still on a bookshelf at my mother's abode I will send it on to you? Missing the front cover and bent in shape but readable.

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MB&P is provocative and purposely so. One might not agree with everything Gordon writes, but he does make you sit up and think.

Charles M

Thanks: all in all, and having looked through it and read the "other" thread, I think I'll miss on this one. But if I ever see it second hand ...

Ta: blowed if I could find it.

I tend to agree with the Grumpmeister's opinion in poast 22: the obvious mistakes make me worry about the unknowns I don't know. How do I know it's wrong if I don't know what's right?

I have a battered copy somewhere. If and if it is still on a bookshelf at my mother's abode I will send it on to you? Missing the front cover and bent in shape but readable.

If that's an offer, it's gratefully received. I've PM's my address. If I see some bloke hanging around outside I know you're scamming.

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After hearing Gordon in the flesh I sure anything Gordon write's will be entertaining but totally biased and one sided!!

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