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Posted on Mar 27, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features

The British Expeditionary Force 1914-15 – Book Review

By Rick Baillergeon

Osprey1.jpgThe British Expeditionary Force 1914-15
Bruce Gudmundsson with Dr. Duncan Anderson (Consultant Editor)
Osprey Publishing, 2005

General Colin Powell once said, “Never neglect details.” Certainly, that is the credo that Osprey Publishing has exemplified for well over three decades. One of its most recent publications, The British Expeditionary Force 1914-1915 is no exception. It is a book that will appeal to a specific readership and is filled from front to back with details.


A review of this book is really not any different than any other of the over 1,500 titles that Osprey has published. In fact, the Osprey formula is fairly straightforward. In a book of about 100 pages combine, rare photographs, full color maps, numerous charts and wiring diagrams with oh yes, significant written details by an acclaimed historian (in this case Bruce Gudmundsson). After reading dozens of Osprey titles, it is a formula that has never disappointed me.

Within the pages of The British Expeditionary Force 1914-15, readers will find detailed (that word again) treatment of the organization, tactics/doctrine and weapons and equipment of the force that initially fought the Germans in August 1914. More importantly, Gudmundsson analyses the capabilities of that force and how the British adapted or failed to change their systems and tactics for the remainder of the War. Again, this book is for a particular reader and is not intended to appeal to everyone.

If you are not entrenched with World War I (I had to throw that in), there are over a dozen different series of books published by Osprey. These include campaigns, elite units, men –at – arms and warriors spanning the history of warfare. If you have not bought an Osprey book before, I believe I owe you a word of caution. Once you read one, you are hooked! You will find you will crave more of them for their collect ability and to immerse yourself with those details.