Book Review: Bloody Bullecourt
Author: David Coombes
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
While the two battles at Bullecourt in northern France in April-May 1917 have been covered fairly recently in book form, this is the first look at the fighting from the Australian perspective, which had divisions serving with the British Army. What’s immediately apparent is that the British officer in charge of the Australian troops made every effort to ensure they were looked after but, as the fighting took its toll, the Australians started to wonder why they were being ordered around by the British command. What didn’t really help their cause was that poor Australian staff work before the second battle meant it turned into a slaughterhouse for both them and the British involved in the attack.
Dispensing personal anecdotes along with strategic overview, the author manages to make it both interesting and sobering at the same time. The first battle saw the disastrous use of tanks, the second a herculean effort by the Australians to take Bullecourt, even though it actually had little strategic value.
Purchase your copy directly from Pen & Sword here
436 pages • Hardback • £30
As reviewed in The Armourer July 2018