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British 8th Infantry Division on the Western Front, 1914-18

Thomas, Alun Miles (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This is a study of the British 8th Infantry Division on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918. It is set in the context of the dominant historiography of the last thirty years – that the BEF’s experiences on the Western Front between 1914 and 1918 were subject to a ‘learning curve’, that it learnt in a progressive fashion how to fight a skilled enemy. This process meant that the organisation was more effective by its end. The questions asked about operational effectiveness are informed by this debate. It also seeks to illuminate and carry the debate forward by an examination of the Division at various phases of its wartime experiences. The study utilises official documentation, including war diaries and after –action reports, the private papers of individuals who served with the Division and correspondence with the Official Historian. The study suggests that 8th Division underwent a learning process, progressively improving. However, this process was not constant being affected by casualties, terrain, changes in personnel and command style and the tasks faced. The study argues that by the end of the war, 8th Division, using devolved initiative, was able to employ the sophisticated use of all arms to overcome the enemy.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Modern History
Subjects:U Military Science (General)
DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
Library Catalogue:Check for printed version of this thesis
ID Code:599
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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