Whitehouse concerns himself less with the War's historical development than with compiling its myths and legends, many of...

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EPICS AND LEGENDS OF WORLD WAR I

Whitehouse concerns himself less with the War's historical development than with compiling its myths and legends, many of which are silly inventions of the press but are nonetheless living history. At Mons, for example, trapped Coldstream Guardsmen were led to safety through the dawn by a tall, slim angel in a white gown, with a gold band on her brow, Eastern sandals on her feet and white wings on her back. The inspired Guardsmen then went to a new position at Ypres and held it, unrelieved, for three weeks. The execution of spy-Nurse Edith Cavell, a just but foolish German action, spread such a tale of heroism in Britain that recruiting stations were jammed. The great secret engine of the War was the armored tank, 32 of which the British unleashed near Bray in 1916 and which surprised the German soldiers as greatly as might have Hannibal's elephants or Cyrus's scythe-wheeled chariots. Stories of the blood bath at Somme, valor at Verdun, Sergeant York's phenomenal capture of 132 Germans at one crack, are told in a reasonable voice with an edge of authenticity to it.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963