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Provocative and revisionist, Dannatt and Lyman's meticulously researched volume charts the decline of the British Army from the end of the First World War to the beginning of the Second with tremendous insight and verve.
A compelling history of the decline of an army from the triumph of victory in 1918 to defeat in 1940 and why this happened. A salutary warning for modern Britain. The British Army won a convincing series of victories between 1916 and 1918. But by 1939 the British Army was an entirely different animal.
The hard-won knowledge, experience and strategic vision that delivered victory after victory in the closing stages of the First World War had been lost. In the inter-war years there was plenty of talking, but very little focus on who Britain might have to fight, and how.
Victory to Defeat clearly illustrates how the British Army wasn't prepared to fight a first-class European Army in 1939 for the simple reason that as a country Britain hadn't prepared itself to do so. The failure of the army's leadership led directly to its abysmal performance in Norway and France in 1940.
Victory to Defeat is a captivating history of the mismanagement of a war-winning army. It is also a stark warning that we neglect to understand who our enemy might be, and how to defeat him, at the peril of our country. The British Army is now to be cut to its smallest size since 1714. Are we, this book asks, repeating the same mistakes again?
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 352
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'Their analysis is succinct, scholarly, convincing, and, with the largest war since 1945 raging in Europe today, timely. It covers strategy, tactics, resources and capabilities, as one would expect, but also ranges far outside military explanations for the debacle, and will be the standard work on the subject for many years to come.' - Andrew Roberts, author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny
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