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A Storm in Flanders

The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front
Narrated by: David Baker
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (121 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Storm in Flanders is novelist and prizewinning historian Winston Groom's gripping history of the four-year battle for Ypres in Belgian Flanders, the pivotal engagement of World War I that would forever change the way the world fought - and thought about - war. This is Groom's account of what would become the most dreaded place on Earth.

In 1914, Germany launched an invasion of France through neutral Belgium - and brought the wrath of the world upon itself. Ypres became a place of horror, heroism, and terrifying new tactics and technologies: poison gas, tanks, mines, air strikes, and the unspeakable misery of trench warfare. Drawing on the journals of the men and women who were there, Winston Groom has penned a breathtaking drama of politics, strategy, and the human heart.

©2002 Winston Groom. The Source Notes on pages 266-267 are an extension of the copyright page. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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I love, love, love this book!

What made the experience of listening to A Storm in Flanders the most enjoyable?

It is written by an American for Americans who know a little as I knew about WWI, which is to say only what I remember from "The Guns of August."

Who was your favorite character and why?

Every soldier who left the trenches on leave and returned. When he arrived as a new recruit he may have heard stories about the conditions but when he returned from leave, he knew first hand what he was facing and he returned nevertheless.

What does David Baker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He knows how to pronounce the French, German and Flemish names...at least I think he does.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the war is over and Churchill wants to leave the area in ruins as a memorial to the dead and the citizens of Ypres resist. Their lives needed to go on and they wanted a living memorial to the sacrifices that were made.

Any additional comments?

This book stirred my interest and I visited Ypres in August 2016. Anyone who thinks the solution to a problem is war should read this book and visit this area. The number of dead and missing is breathtaking! This is the area where gas was first used by the Germans and where the Germans first used flamethrowers in the trenches. The British Empire forces vaporized thousands of Germans when they tunneled under the German lines and planted explosives. Winston Groom has performed a public service by writing such a readable/listenable book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Heartbreaking and deeply interesting

At times it reads like a body count. Brace yourself. Will give you a deep understanding of the first and perhaps more so, the second world war.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Not a another PHD history TEXTBOOK!

If you could sum up A Storm in Flanders in three words, what would they be?

It was like watching a movie in my head.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Storm in Flanders?

The description of the Slaughter of the Innocents: the 17-19 year old German teens and students hooking arms as they charged into the lines of professional, sharpshooting BEF (British Expeditionary Force) solders who fired so fast i.e.over 15 rounds a minute, the Germans thought it was machine guns. Worse, each bullet was directed fire--aimed.

What about David Baker’s performance did you like?

He's fine--a little young.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, but I resisted because it was so good. I've studied this battle, really battles, for years but could not understand who was fighting who and where and why until by chance I ran across this one by the author of Forest Gump. Then I knew--at last here was some one could write and explain--with out getting lost in HQ (headquarters) minutiae: TACTICS AND STRATEGY-- and anecdote this tragic event.

Any additional comments?

We need more writers writing history. I've read so many books by BIG NAME college prof's PHD's WHO CAN'T WRITE. When I finish the ordeal I'm more confused than when started They're just good for research. Get the PHD's out of the "newspaper office" and get the gumshoes back who have a nose for history and can write, write, write--it's something you're born with like the body of a great prize fighter.

AUDIBLE--PLEASE INCLUDE MAPS FROM THE BOOK THAT I CAN DOWNLOAD.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Concisely told, basic, English centered, History

A easy listen, well narrated. Most names pronounced correctly. Very British centered. Using the standard narrative of the Great War.

Good beginner read/listen for the new WWI enthusiast.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Germans and parts of Germans

I've read a lot of books on various wars. This is one of the best. Mesmerizing. I laughed every time he said 'Germans and parts of Germans.' You'll see what I mean.

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Great chronicle of fighting in Flanders

This should not be the first book he read about World War I, as many of the related details are glossed over. It’s purpose is to focus on one geographic region of the war, and it does it very well.

I actually listen to the whole book twice, several months apart to get a full understanding of the area and the event in Ypres. Hope to go there some day in person to see it for myself.

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follows the BEF through World War 1

extremely good and detailed book on the I press silent. goes into great detail about the cost of life materials and the pain oven all out World War.

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  • cbspock
  • Holbrook, NY United States
  • 05-28-18

A really great overview of the War using Flanders

I really liked this booked. I learned about the Flanders battle, and in extension the combat in World War 1. I thought the content was really good, and the narration was well done

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Simply Superb

An excellent account of the bloody Flanders sector during the First World War. From start to finish, I was hooked! A must read for military history buffs and avid readers a like.

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The Horror of War

This book is a graphic description of the genuine horror that was WW 1 in the trenches.and the failure of the Generals on both sides to realize how new technology required different approaches .Pig headedly charging entrenched positions defended by machine guns, artillery and modern rifles is akin to breaching a concrete wall by battering your head against it.The end result was hundreds of thousands of unburied corpses in No Man's Land and buried corpses everywhere IN ,UNDER and around the trenches.There is more to the book than this but it certainly pulls no punches. The book was real,well written and the narrator was great. It had a profound effect on me.Normally I would listen to a historical book like this several times but I am not sure I want to think about such things again.
If you want to get the skinny on WW 1, I suggest you listen to the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Barbara Tuchman....THE GUNS OF AUGUST....I have listened to this several times and will do so again. Tuchman describes the culture and organization of the German,
Russian,British and French Armies and then takes you on a roller coaster ride of action that was the opening campaign. A Storm In Flanders is a blood and guts description of what happened in the years after the Germans were stopped and everyone dug in.