Reading and learning are two of my passions and it is my pleasure to share these books with you.I have read them all and have found them to be both insightful and engaging. I encourage your feedback and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did.
Maj Chris Buckham
Tuesday, 15 September 2015
The Other First World War: The Blood-Soaked Russian Fronts 1914-1922 - Douglas Boyd
This review has been submitted to Military History Monthly for publication.
The Other First World War: The Blood-Soaked Russian Fronts 1914-1922
international perspective, other than the actual collapse of the Russian Czar,
very little is known or understood about the conflict in the East during the
Great War years (1914-1918) and the follow-on Russian civil war period
(1918-1922). Yet, the impact of those years on the future of both the world and
European civilization in particular cannot be understated. Boyd has endeavoured
to relate a synopsis of the actual events and the impact of them on the broader
rendition of the Brusilov Campaign and the Battle of Tannenberg are highlights
of this book and he certainly does a reasonable job of the flow of events in
between. He makes some very interesting observations however, that I would have
liked to see some additional references made for further study. These include
the role that Romanian forces played in the operations on the Eastern Front as
well as the operational challenges of the various “Colour” factions and how
they came to be. Unfortunately, he also makes regular comments within his
narrative without the benefit of endnotes which I feel would have merited
reference in order to confirm source.
not provide a comprehensive bibliography but references endnotes at the close
of each chapter. I also found that the maps used were of limited value due to
the quality of both diagrams and the choice of style of map; certainly, a
series of comprehensive 'overview' maps would have been very beneficial in
following the myriad of changes and fronts throughout this period.
opinion Boyd has undertaken a very distracting style of writing as he tends to
flow off on tangents that would appear to have little to nothing to do with the
narrative. A key example of involves a discussion of his (the authors) time in
a Stasi prison in 1959 interjected into the middle of his discussion on the
Kerensky offensive in 1917. While the intention was good, I found it to be a
very frustrating habit.
The quality of the publication and the photographs are high and Boyd
provides a reasonable overview or start point for those wishing to garner a
very high level appreciation of the complexity of the Russian war, revolution
and civil war. However, I would suggest that the portion accepted was larger
than the diner could effectively consume and that significant aspects of the book
will leave the reader more confused than enlightened. Perhaps this in itself
best conveys the degree of confusion experienced by all of the players involved
in the tragic opera that was the Russian Front 1914-1922.