The Royal Marines on the Western Front written by Daniel J McLean published by Pen & Sword Books – £19.99 – Hardback – Pages 161

From the mud of the Somme to the raid on Zeebrugge, the Royal Marines fought in almost every element of the Great War on the Western Front. Today they are known world-wide as an elite commando fighting force, but that has only been their role since 1940, a fraction of their period in existence. Until 1923 they existed as two corps – the Royal Marine Light Infantry and the Royal Marine Artillery – and both served with distinction along the western front in the great war. This book examines and explains the engagements in which they were involved, the equipment used and the organisation and training undertaken in hitherto unseen detail, drawing on a wide variety of sources to give an accurate picture of their contribution to the war in France and Belgium.

What a really good book on everyday soldiering that captures the frustration, disillusion, teamwork, comradery and bravery. This book takes you from the beginning during the Great War on the Western Front such as the Spring Offensive and events like the raid on Zeebrugge. The Royal Marines are made up of a number of different units and we learn a lot about the amalgamation of these and what they did or why they were chosen. There is lots of academic knowledge written and various bits of different formats such as quotes, reports or extracts from diaries. This was good in that it breaks up the reading not that that was needed but you can read from bit to bit in a slightly different order if you want. This is a really good and not being an expert on the origins of the Royal Marines, this book is very informative and I’ve learnt a lot from it. There is a table of names of members at the back of the book, which is brilliant, along with notes, tables and achievements. Certainly a book I’ve really enjoyed and would fully recommend.