MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS : THE CROFTON DIARIES, YPRES 1914 ' 1915.

Roynon, Gavin.


£25.00




Sutton, Stroud, 1st ed., 2004. Xxv + 286 pp., many photo-ills., + maps. D.j., 24 x 15cm. FINE. Sir Morgan Crofton, a cavalry officer with the 2nd Life Guards, kept a diary of his experiences at the Western Front from late October 1914 to June 1915. Crofton's acerbic commentary, on both his immediate surroundings and the conduct of the war as a whole, offers a fascinating glimpse into the mind-set of the regular officer class which was largely wiped out by the end of 1915. Covering the period when bloody and unsuccessful British attempts to break the stalemate were made at Festubert, Neuve Chapelle and Aubers, Crofton describes the bewildering pace of technological change as new weapons such as gas and hand grenades entered the fray. Whether criticising government policy, analysing the repercussions of battles in other theatres of war or observing the burgeoning war economy behind the lines, Crofton's outspoken scepticism informs our understanding of a lost generation of professional soldiers.


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