• Mallinson uncovers a litany of rivalry and miscalculation. With the Great War's centenary commemorations on the horizon, he has produced a must-read for anyone who wants to know how Britain practically stumbled into one of the bloodiest conflicts in history.

  • Formidable and page-turning . . . Mallinson's clinical examination of the 'what ifs' is as compelling as his account of the death of a small but professional army, scarficed to the incuriosity of our politicians and disinclination of military leaders to countenance any challange to what they believed were best laid plans.

    Michael Tillotson, THE TIMES
  • Compelling and rigorously researched...paints a vivid picture. . . this is not dry military history. He tells the story through many eyes of those on the frontline, from general to Tommy. It's recounted through regimental histories and underpinned with his deep understanding of tactics . . . offers unique insights on the planning, 'politicking' and fighting.

  • In the deluge of books to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War, it is refreshing to find one written by a former soldier who is also an accomplished military historian . . . a vivid picture . . . with his soldier's grasp of tactics and strategy, Mallinson describes with clarity and authority the opening weeks of the war.

    Simon Heffer, DAILY MAIL
  • Mallinson writes with an exciting pen and a cool head and he understands war.

    Prof. Michael Clarke, Director General of the Royal United Services Institute, The Times

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