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About the book
  • Published: 1 May 2007
  • ISBN: 9781845951092
  • Imprint: Pimlico
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $35.00

Riding The Retreat

Mons to the Marne 1914 Revisited


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A classic book from one of the most celebrated military historians.

The retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from Mons in the early months of the First World War is one of the great dramas of European history. Blending his recreation of the military campaign with contemporary testimony and an account of his own ride over the route, Richard Holmes takes the reader on a unique journey - to glimpse the summer the old world ended.

  • Pub date: 1 May 2007
  • ISBN: 9781845951092
  • Imprint: Pimlico
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • RRP: $35.00

About the Author

Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes was educated at Cambridge, Northern Illinois and Reading University. He was a member of the Department of War Studies at RMA Sandhurst between 1969 and 1985, when he left to command 2nd Battalion The Wessex Regiment. He was appointed Professor of Military and Security Studies at Cranfield University in 1995. Professor Holmes has written over a dozen books on military topics, is general editor of Oxford University Press's Companion to Military History and he has written and presented several television programmes, including two six-part BBC TWO series, War Walks I and War Walks II, as well as a series on the Western Front which was televised in the summer of 1999.

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Praise for Riding The Retreat

“The retreat of the British Expeditionary Force from Mons in August 1914 marked one of the two occasions on which we nearly lost the First World War through a military defeat in the field... Richard Holmes, has had the idea of riding with four friends along the route of the retreat, from Mons to the Marne where the German advance was stopped at the start of September. His ride, like the campaign of August 1914, took place in scorching weather and he passed through still recognisable battlefields and cemeteries of distracting sadness. The author tells two stories in parallel: that of his own journey and a first-rate account of what happened eighty years before.”

Max Egremont, Evening Standard

“A book that amuses yet haunts, brisk at one moment, melancholy the next... an effortless blend of past and present.”

Michael Sheridan, Independent on Sunday

“Succeeds admirably in both parts: the travelogue weaves in and out, giving welcome relief from the sweat and fear, the sleeplessness, the fearful wounds and the killing... Masterly.”

The Marquess of Anglesey, Daily Telegraph


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