In the interminable rain and engulfing mud of Flanders, 400,000 allied- soldiers died in perhaps the most catastrophic offensive in military history. The dearly prayed for end to the grinding war waged in the trenches was merely an accelerated attrition, no less dismal. There is narrative enough in the strategy and tactics of the campaign; the violence which ensued; the ways in which men died. But Mr. Wolff's attention is focussed upon the leaders, and upon the unpublished story of how the holocaust was conceived, sponsored, opposed. Lloyd George and Churchill were among those who at last reluctantly stood by, while the British Commander Haig- indomitably certain of victory- embarked on the suicidal attacks. Exactingly, Mr. Wolff portrays the narrow minds and narrower personal ambitions of the Allied military; the systematic deceptions practised by the civilian heads to conceal from the public the suffering and casualties of the soldiers, their resistance to orders and to the enticing peace offers from Berlin. To Mr. Welff, the story of Flanders is largely an exemplification- in its purest and direct form of the nature of war and the nature of political leadership. This is not to render the book a tract; its substance is far too grim and circumstantial. But as it informs and illustrates- it scores its own cleancut victory.