Monday, November 07, 2011

Five best eyewitness battlefield accounts

Max Hastings's latest book is Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945.

One of his five best eyewitness accounts from the battlefield, as told to the Wall Street Journal:
Lady Under Fire on the Western Front
Edited by Andrew and Nicola Hallam (2010)

This work offers an unusual perspective on World War I, delivered through the letters of 25-year-old Lady Dorothie Feilding, who served as an ambulance driver in Belgium and France between 1914 and 1917. Although Feilding deplored the conflict's horrors, she relished the opportunity to join the select few in her generation of privileged European girls who were freed from the dreary confinement of the social round at home. "It's topping being up near things & so jolly interesting," Feilding writes. She was understandably reluctant to brave German fire to recover German wounded: "I don't mind running risks for our men or the French but I'm blithered if I'm going to have holes put in me by a bally Teuton while I pick up their men." The proof of her courage is that she became the first woman ever to receive Britain's Military Medal.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue