My Book World
The author of Forrest Gump changes his hat to historian here. In 276 pages he does a superb job of summarizing this one battle of World War I. In some ways the war is a family squabble: “England’s George V, Russia’s Nicholas II, and Germany’s William II were all cousins, either directly or through marriage, descendants of England’s Queen Victoria” (6). Mostly, Groom documents the wastage: the millions of soldiers’ lives lost on all sides, the Brits, the Belgians, the French, and the Germans. (Not to mention civilians, the Canadians, and others who aid the Allies.) The huge “puddles” caused by shelling and excessive rain. The Christmas where all fighting stops and soldiers from both sides “celebrate” together. (What? you ask.) The lack of quality leadership on all sides. One failure passes off his work to another failure of leadership. And the only people who suffer are the men in the ranks and civilians. I don’t know about the Triumph Groom references in his title (except that the Allies “win”), but there is certainly a lot of Tragedy. Millions of people of one generation are never able to see their lives come to fruition, mostly because of the hubris of a few men.
NEXT BLOG: Tuesday, June 15, 2021