Victoria Crosses on the Western Front Battle of Amiens written by Paul Oldfield and published by pen and sword books- 19.99 – Softcover – Pages 290

In the past while visiting the First World War battlefields, the author often wondered where the various Victoria Cross actions took place, he resolved to find out. In 1988 in the midst of his army career research for his book commenced and over the years numerous sources have been consulted.  Victoria Crosses on the Western Front Battle of Amiens it’s designed for the Battlefield visitor as much as the armchair reader a thorough account of each VC action is set within the wider strategic and tactical context detailed sketch maps show the area today together with the battle lines and the movements of the combatants it will allow visitors to stand upon a spot or very close to where each VC was won, photographs of the battle sites which richly illustrate the accounts, there is also a comprehensive biography for each recipient covering every aspect of their lives warts and all.

I have to admit here that this was/is a totally different book to what I expected, but it was a pleasant surprise. I expected to be reading biographies celebrating brave young men, whilst I did get that later in the book. What you do get for about the first 80 pages of the book is the detail of the Battle at Amiens, which is very good and stunning in detail, which I must say runs throughout the book. I was probably thinking just because I knew about the battle I didn’t need to know about it. But I was wrong, the battle was very well written and informative. The amount of research and documentation that has been gone through is phenomenal. We then go onto the stories that were awarded Victoria Crosses. Again the research and information is stunning, Paul Oldfield the author has done an amazing job with the research and background. Generally this is pretty much it, but don’t be fooled the work, battle, biographies in this particular book is first class. The book is also supported by excellent photographs, pictures, drawings and charts, their support of the text only heightens the brilliance of the book. I can’t recommend this book highly enough to others, the writing, research and information is outstanding, whether I was at the actual place or sat in my armchair at home, I would want to read this.