A Storm in Flanders is novelist and prizewinning historian Winston Groom s gripping history of the four year battle for Ypres in Belgian Flanders, the pivotal engagement of World War I that would forever change the way the world fought and thought about war In 1914, Germany launched an invasion of France through neutral Belgium and brought the wrath of the worldA Storm in Flanders is novelist and prizewinning historian Winston Groom s gripping history of the four year battle for Ypres in Belgian Flanders, the pivotal engagement of World War I that would forever change the way the world fought and thought about war In 1914, Germany launched an invasion of France through neutral Belgium and brought the wrath of the world upon itself Ypres became a place of horror, heroism, and terrifying new tactics and technologies poison gas, tanks, mines, air strikes, and the unspeakable misery of trench warfare Drawing on the journals of the men and women who were there, Winston Groom has penned a breathtaking drama of politics, strategy, and the human heart.
A Storm in Flanders The Ypres Salient Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front A Storm in Flanders is novelist and prizewinning historian Winston Groom s gripping history of the four year battle for Ypres in Belgian Flanders the pivotal engagement of World War I that would fore
This is a very awkward review to write. I've spent the better part of the last ten years turning myself into a historian, see, and so I feel like I should be speaking as an expert, analyzing this book of popular history, pointing out what's right and wrong, speaking from my so-called vast knowledge on the value of a book about Ypres written by the author of Forrest Gump. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in policy and enforcement. You can read why I came [...]
Winston Groom's A Storm in Flanders, offers the reader an interesting and satisfying overview of the fighting around the Ypres Salient between 1914 and 1918. The book is 276 pages in length of which over 260 is text. This account cannot be considered comprehensive in its study of the Ypres Salient in the Great War, for that you will need to look elsewhere. However what Mr Groom does offer is a compelling look at the numerous battles fought around the Ypres Salient, including one of the most drea [...]
I read Keegan, Strachan, Macdonald specifically about Ypres and a couple of other books about the big war. Most are, as i remember them since it's been a while, more comprehensive than Groom is here. As he states in the beginning this book is written for Americans who might not have had the same exposure to the 14-18 stories as Europeans in general and Brits specifically might have. That, i must say, makes for a good read. The author keeps the narrative going and nowhere gets boring like some of [...]
Powerful book, well written, worthy to be read by everyone. But check your heart as you begin. It is not pretty.Groom provides an overview of the conduct of the war regarding Flanders, such that the reader gains an appreciation of all factors weighting upon decisions that at times seem brilliant, more often idiotic, and usually puzzling. The ranking officers in the British Army had their own agendas and battled the political leaders (especially Gen. Haig vs. David Lloyd George). In addition, Gro [...]
This book presents a short overview of the Flanders campaign in WWI. It is the history of one long and destructive battle -- written by the author of Forrest Gump. Groom is a good story teller and succeeds in this book. It is claimed that this is a book about a campaign in Belgium that was British rather than French but also a book written for Americans to provide an introduction to WWI, a war that has not received the attention it should in the US relative to WW2, Vietnam, and other conflicts. [...]
Here's what I learned from this book: WWI really sucked. The key here is that I already knew this, but the book makes you realize that, no, you didn't know this already because How about this? At Ypres, you couldn't dig a trench more than a foot or so deep, so when the shells start coming, you're laying in a slight indentation in the earth. Or this? The shelling churned the soil to a depth of more than 10 feet, so when it rained you had 10 foot deep mud that sucked people under. If you tried to [...]
I discovered this book in my father's cabinet one day and, being a history-lover, I decided to start reading it. Groom does a great job detailing the horrors of the Ypres Salient (in Belgium) during World War I and dabbles a bit into how the war was started. Many of the chapters detail what it was like living in the trenches, some of the largest battles in the Salient, and what this did to the men who fought during the war. There are multiple meaningful quotes from well known soldiers at the tim [...]
3 1/2. I have read enough military history to know that if you are well-versed in this war the book is really not great at drilling down. I am not entrenched (sorry) in this subject matter yet, so I found it fairly enjoyable.
A vivid, engrossing history that is particularly effective in conveying the horrific loss and inexplicable futility of World War I.
Winston Groom, most known for Forrest Gump, tells the sombre story of the battle at the Ypres Salient from an American perspective. Groom provides historical details and personal accounts of the "gigantic corpse factory" that the Belgium land became during the four year battle.The Ypres Salient in Belgium Flanders was the most notorious and dreaded place in all of the First World War, probably of any war in history.Written with flourishes and cringe-worthy imagery often found in fiction, Groom r [...]
After my earlier trysts with the subject of WW1 (Catastrophe and partially in The Iron Kingdom), I finally found a book that I hold in high regard in equal footing to the book that gave me a boost from curiosity to outright fascination: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. And if I could clarify on what I said, I mean fascination as in the attention to detail in all aspects of the war in terms of its scope, brutality and yes, tragedy. What I mean by detail is the just as Ms Tuchman used the op [...]
A solid summary of the salient. This book does exactly what the author advertises: it provides an overview of the three battles of Ypres for an American audience. It breaks the Ypres campaigns out from the details of the rest of the war, only providing ancillary insights where necessary for context. In focusing just on Ypres, the book provides a good overview and some interesting detail on the battles. It is easily digestible and a quick(ish) read and is well-researched. If you are looking for a [...]
Honestly this is one of the best World War I books I've read. Winston Groom effortlessly moves back and forth between the perspective of soldiers on the ground at Ypres and the larger picture of what was happening in the Great War as a whole. His powers of description are second to none, so much so that I had to set the book aside a couple of times, especially when the author describes the "hellscape" that was Passchendaele.A very readable and accessible account from the author of "Forrest Gump. [...]
Overall I feel Winston Groom is an excellent writer and I found the book both easy to read and informative. That said, I disagree with some of the statements he makes. For example, his assessment of the Schlieffen and his explanation for the removal of Falkenhayn from command of the German reason 1916. I also feel that his conclusions regarding the success of the English and the failures of the Germans in 1918 are vague.
I feel kind of guilty saying I "really liked" a story this horrific, but I just learned so much from it, and it was so well written. Yes, Winston Groom is the same guy that wrote Forrest Gump, but he also served as an officer in Vietnam and was nominated for a Pulitzer for Conversations With the Enemy, about POWs in Vietnam - so he's more than the "life is like a box of chocolates" guy.Groom tells a "war is hell" story that strips away the cliche and exposes in gruesome detail one of history's - [...]
This book is about World War One. It was written by Winston Groom whom you may know better as the author of Forest Gump. Groom writes this book for Americans who know little about the first World War. As he says, most people's reference point to war (and indeed how the world has been shaped as a result for decades after) starts from World War Two.Part of what I enjoyed about this book is how Groom gives us some pre-history. Setting the stage briefly in Europe from about the 1880's forward, and a [...]
When you think your life is bad, you need only to read a chapter of so of this book to realize how good you have it. The Ypres Salient was formed at the end of the first German advance in WWII during the "Race to the Sea" where both sides entrenched their positions. When the Germans realized that the war had changed from a war of manoeuvre to a war of static position, they chose the best terrain available for their positions. As such, they took the high ground which dominated Ypres to the north, [...]
Take this for what it is (as the author explains), an "introductory" / "american account" of Ypres and all it brought. If you accept this, it's a great starter book and a very fluid/good read. For details, etc. definitely need to find more sources and books, especially the final battles which are dealt with quickly. "In a fit of Wagnerian frenzy, the German students came on arm-in-arm or waving their rifles in the air, singing, and with their spiked picklehaube helmets festooned with flowers. By [...]
A Storm in Flanders was a compelling read. Although I’ve read several books about the Second World War, I believe this was my first nonfiction book on WW I.I watched and greatly enjoyed Forrest Gump, but this was my first time to read a book by Winston Groom. Mr. Groom appears to have conducted a good deal of research and learned his topic well. He gives a good accounting of opposing views on the major players in the conflict, and to the best of my knowledge, lays out an unbiased telling of [...]
Winston Groom, war historian and novelist, changes his usual focus from the Civil War to World War One in “A Storm in Flanders,” a useful popular history of the crushing, devastating battles that took place near the town of Ypres in Belgium. WWI was primarily a war of attrition with its trench warfare; therefore, it doesn’t easily lend itself to a traditional battle narrative, but Groom handles the task well in this accessible history. Given Groom’s past as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam, he [...]
I co-worker lent me this book after finding out I was a military history buff. The author also wrote 'Forest Gump' (I've only seen the movie).The book is excellent. The attention to historical detail and bringing the whole history of World War I into the battles around Yrpes is done in a compelling way.I learned a lot about World War I that I didn't know - like the huge tunnel mine bombs. The book also included personal stories based on letters home from the soldiers or diaries, and told the sto [...]
By far one of the best books I have read in a while. We follow several different people through the war but briefly and we meet Adolf Hitler. Now I have an idea for my next vacation. This book caused me to miss more than one stop on my train. The Great War, wiped out generations entire divisions of soldiers and yet I feel so guilty for not knowing much about this war. I had no idea how atrocious the Germans were, not that any sort of war brings out the best in people. I don't want to spoil anyth [...]
2nd time and a great book covering one of the more awful places to be soldiering in during WWI. What I have always enjoyed in this work is the very clear and concise telling of the sordid military affairs that vanquished so many lives hideously and most likely needlessly. Chilling and moving with snippets of personal information from various diaries in extant. Pretty much concentrates on the British personalities involved - and one could place a fault in this volume if you were looking to find a [...]
I was enthralled with this book on WW I. Truth is definitely stranger than fiction. Oddly, the same author wrote Forrest Gump. I never dreamt that I would so thoroughly enjoy a book about war, but I was utterly fascinated. I'm tempted to rattle off just a few of the amazing anecdotes from this book, but it's best to just read it yourself. Even if you're not a WW I or history buff, I can't see how this book could fail to amaze you. I couldn't stop myself from reading passages aloud and relaying t [...]
I had no idea As a reader who isn't very knowledgeable about war, this book really opened my eyes. I can't imagine the conditions the soldiers endured in the trenches of Flanders during WWI. No movie I've seen could portray it the way it was described in this book.I wouldn't normally choose this book to read, but since I will soon be visiting Belgium, and taking a tour of the WWI battlefields, I wanted to learn a bit more about it.This was a very readable book, very interesting and enlightening. [...]
A friendly book covering perhaps the least friendly predicament faced by large numbers of men - the Ypres salient, where the clash of 19th century romanticism and 20th century technological warfare converged. As others have mentioned, Groom doesn't get into the level of detail that other books detailing this part of WWI do. He does bring a novelist's touch to the material though, so I think it evens out. There's plenty of material to go over.
A well-written and informative book about the Ypres Salient battles during WWI. Winston Groom does an excellent job of balancing stories about individuals with the battle information and details about life in the trenches. For a detailed history, it was a very easy read. I came away with a much better understanding of the Western Front of WWI and an appreciation of the incredible bravery and heroism of the Allied forces (mostly British) who defended the region.
This was a solid, quick read. I think it covered Ypres (Ee-pra) very well. It probably lost a star right at the end when he talked about how Belgiums were going to rebuild Ypres. "During the first part of the twentieth century, a school of "Modernist" architecture had come into vogue, exemplified by the buildings of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe." Those are two very different architects.
A fascinating and fairly easy to follow history of World War One. Ever since I discovered the 'futility of war' poems by Sassoon and Wilfred Owen many decades ago, the horrors of this war in particular have saddened me deeply. The soldiers that had to live for months and years on end in conditions so terrible it practically defies understanding.This book by Winston Groom (he of Forrest Gump fame)is a very thought provoking and enlightening piece of work.