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1 Ousby, Ian The Road to Verdun. World War I'S Most Momentous Battle and the Folly of Nationalism.
New York Doubleday 2002 0385503938 / 9780385503938 Hardcover Very Good in Very Good dust jacket 
Xviii, [2], 393 pages, plates, maps, cloth, DJ, very good. From Publishers Weekly: "British polymath Ousby, who edited The Cambridge Guide to Literature in English among many other titles, died last year at 54. Following up on his previous, much-praised historical work, Occupation: The Ordeal of France 1940-1944, this sadly posthumous book is a new triumph. The 1916 Battle of Verdun was the longest and one of the bloodiest of WWI: lasting 10 months, the battle killed 700,000 French and German soldiers, 10% of all those killed in the war. Yet a sense of glory was maintained, however inappropriately, amid the gore: the road leading to the battlefield was called the Sacred Way, and the French General Neville gained immortality by his brave statement, "They [the Germans] shall not pass." Ousby divides the story into three parts: "Friction at Verdun, February 1916"; "The Endless Crisis, 1870-1914" and "The Mill on the Meuse, March-December 1916." Ousby shows how the French loss to the Germans in 1870, followed by their losing the regions of Alsace and Lorraine, was essential background for understanding Gallic heroism at Verdun. Unlike those French who were quick to surrender to the Nazis in WWII, in 1916 they were resolved to win or die. So they did both, as Ousby notes, quoting the chilled reaction of one French soldier, Jacques P‚ricard, when he trips over the face of a dead soldier in the snow. Even today, 150,000 unidentified dead soldiers are commemorated by rows of white crosses at Verdun, a ghastly memorial to the carnage. Ousby's account is a must for any modern world history buff." ; 9.30 X 6.20 X 1.60 inches 
Price: 10.00 USD
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