This one-volume edition comprises both Richard Holmes' well-loved War Walks and War Walks 2. Dates such as 1066 and names such as Dunkirk often strike a chord of nostalgia, but the details of the historic events associated with them are forgotten. In The Complete War Walks Richard Holmes takes us on fascinating journey through time to visit twelve battlefields throughout Britain, Northern France and Belgium that mark crucial moments in Britain's bloody and turbulent history. From Hastings to Dunkirk, Agincourt to The Somme, Richard vividly recreates the atmosphere of these key battles in our history. With his expert knowledge of weapons and warfare and using specially commissioned maps, Richard Holmes provides a brilliantly clear picture of the events which led up to each battle, the conflicts themselves, and the people who fought them. Using practical 'views of the field', he travels the battlefields as they exist today, pointing out their places of interest, paying tribute to the men who fought there, and bringing history to life. This book focuses on a selection of battles, six fought in Britain - or, in one case, on a struggle that straddled the Channel.
A further six are set in a few hundred square miles of northern France and southern Belgium, a space so confined that a single day's drive could take us across all our battlefields. Choosing the battles from a long list of potential candidates was far from easy, but a certain logic prevails. Battles that had far-reaching consequences, historically and politically, were brought to the forefront of the possible choices. In some cases, because of a battle's importance, it entered part of an enduring mythology that demands attention. There were other obvious considerations that favoured certain battles over others: battles that were particularly decisive, or ones that were well documented, or have battlefields that remain striking today. I shied away from some battles that had already been described so well in print or on film, that I felt there was nothing new to add. In the twentieth-century France: Hastings, Agincourt, Bosworth, Naseby, The Boyne, Waterloo, Mons and Le Cateau, the Somme, Arras, Dunkirk, the Blitz and Operation Goodwood.show more