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“Last Battle” by Peter Hart: should I get it?


Daveleic
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I have Peter Hart’s 1918: A Very British Victory and Nick Lloyd’s “Hundred Days” as well as Terraine’s “To Win a War”, and the classic post WWI works by Raymond Priestley and Sir Archibald Montgomery. What I am not sure of is how Peter Hart’s new book differs from his previous one or whether it adds much that isn’t already covered by the books I already have. Comments appreciated.

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Chris Baker has reviewed it on his Long Long Trail website, and approved of it. It follows the last months of 1918, and so doesn't cover the same period  as "A Very British Victory. 

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In a word, no.

Dis-jointed, confusing and no mention of the very last few days of conflict, you will feel left hanging once finished reading it.

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1 hour ago, caulkheader said:

In a word, no.

Dis-jointed, confusing and no mention of the very last few days of conflict, you will feel left hanging once finished reading it.

 

   Disjointed and confusing, eh? Pretty much an accurate view of the last days of the war. The book is designed for the middlebrow reader. It is informative, holds one's interest and has a sensible narrative. It has no pretensions to be a doctoral monograph. It's a good read and accurate. Thus, recommended

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8 hours ago, voltaire60 said:

 

   Disjointed and confusing, eh? Pretty much an accurate view of the last days of the war. The book is designed for the middlebrow reader. It is informative, holds one's interest and has a sensible narrative. It has no pretensions to be a doctoral monograph. It's a good read and accurate. Thus, recommended

I stand by my comments, which are my opinion, as your comments are yours!

 

The book jumps from November 4th to the events of the 11th, major battles (crossing of the Scheldt etc), were still taking place, I personally find this disrespectful to the men involved in those actions.

Thus, not recommended.

Edited by caulkheader
typo
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Thanks for the comments. I think on balance that I’ll get it. I find this period of the war endlessly fascinating.

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14 hours ago, caulkheader said:

I stand by my comments, which are my opinion, as your comments are yours!

 

     That's fine. I am a semi-retire bookseller- If everyone had the same opinion as to whether a book was worth reading or not, then I would be out of business!!!

 

:wub:

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I understand that it's Pete's best selling book. It has been extremely well reviewed and I know that Charles Messenger regards it as the author's best  book yet.

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If you are really keen on that particular period might I recommend C N Barclay 'Armistice 1918'.

It was published in 1968 at a time when the history of the Great War was being rewritten by many authors. Brigadier Barclay doesn't rewrite it but tells it as it was.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and my only criticism would be that I could have done with more of the same.

If you can find a copy it is well  worth a few pounds. I paid £6.00 for it and it was money well spent.

 

Garth

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On 01/08/2018 at 21:54, caulkheader said:

In a word, no.

Dis-jointed, confusing and no mention of the very last few days of conflict, you will feel left hanging once finished reading it.

Having now got the book I have to say that I tend to agree with you. I like Peter Hart’s “1918: A Very British Victory” but “Last Battle” seems rather unsatisfactory. Lots of quotes from the participants, which should be good, but I find something rather lacking in the historical framework. I think his earlier book was certainly clearer. It is also rather disappointing to find an account of the “Bellenglise Canal tunnel”, where Hart has clearly confused and amalgamated the Bellicourt canal tunnel, and its “corpse factory” with the Bellenglise tunnel which 46 Division captured (a German made defensive tunnel and not part of the canal at all). Incidentally, the standard of proof reading in the Kindle version is very poor.

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On 06/08/2018 at 19:53, Daveleic said:

Having now got the book I have to say that I tend to agree with you. I like Peter Hart’s “1918: A Very British Victory” but “Last Battle” seems rather unsatisfactory. Lots of quotes from the participants, which should be good, but I find something rather lacking in the historical framework. I think his earlier book was certainly clearer. It is also rather disappointing to find an account of the “Bellenglise Canal tunnel”, where Hart has clearly confused and amalgamated the Bellicourt canal tunnel, and its “corpse factory” with the Bellenglise tunnel which 46 Division captured (a German made defensive tunnel and not part of the canal at all). Incidentally, the standard of proof reading in the Kindle version is very poor.

Vindicated!

 

Now perhaps the forum member who took the trouble to contact me (outside of this forum), to tell me I was talking out of my @@@@ and should keep my ill informed opinions to myself would like to apologise. Dont think I will hold my breath waiting though.

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2 hours ago, caulkheader said:

Vindicated!

 

Now perhaps the forum member who took the trouble to contact me (outside of this forum), to tell me I was talking out of my @@@@ and should keep my ill informed opinions to myself would like to apologise. Dont think I will hold my breath waiting though.

 

     Not me.  But, for God's sake, it's a book . Everyone is entitled to their opinions as to whether they find a book good, bad or ugly. It is what makes the world go round-at least for me as a bookseller it did- One man's meat is another man's poison.  Without the span of publications-of varying quality- and the freedom of the reader to read what they want- and rate it as they want- the world would be a poorer place. I pass no judgement on your opinions- you and your private critic are entitled to hold differing views.

     But the great essence of differing opinions-however tenaciously held,- should be the ability  to get to 5 o'clock, knock off and go down the pub for a pint and a curry- and all animosity of debate put where it properly belongs-in the bin.

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On 06/08/2018 at 19:53, Daveleic said:

Having now got the book I have to say that I tend to agree with you. I like Peter Hart’s “1918: A Very British Victory” but “Last Battle” seems rather unsatisfactory.[...]. I think his earlier book was certainly clearer. It is also rather disappointing to find an account of the “Bellenglise Canal tunnel”, where Hart has clearly confused and amalgamated the Bellicourt canal tunnel, and its “corpse factory” with the Bellenglise tunnel which 46 Division captured (a German made defensive tunnel and not part of the canal at all). 

What I should have added to make my point clearer is that in Mr Hart’s “1918” there is a good account of the Bellicourt canal tunnel and the discovery of the “corpse factory” (that wasn’t) and a good account of 46 Division’s capture of the booby-trapped (non-canal) tunnel complex at Bellenglise. In his new book the account is a dog’s breakfast, and incorrect. I find it difficult to understand how this has come about, but it is the sort of thing that undermines my confidence in a book.

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The naval detail is iffy - he states six dreadnaughts were surrendered/interned...

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On 07/08/2018 at 22:57, voltaire60 said:

 

 But, for God's sake, it's a book . Everyone is entitled to their opinions as to whether they find a book good, bad or ugly. It is what makes the world go round-at least for me as a bookseller it did- One man's meat is another man's poison.  Without the span of publications-of varying quality- and the freedom of the reader to read what they want- and rate it as they want- the world would be a poorer place. I pass no judgement on your opinions- you and your private critic are entitled to hold differing views.

     But the great essence of differing opinions-however tenaciously held,- should be the ability  to get to 5 o'clock, knock off and go down the pub for a pint and a curry- and all animosity of debate put where it properly belongs-in the bin.

:D like that! B) 

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