Download e-book for iPad: Albatros Fighters in action by John F. Connors

By John F. Connors

ISBN-10: 0897471156

ISBN-13: 9780897471152

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The British flank was obvious to the German commanders and two more regiments moved into action to turn the flank while three more pinned down the 5th Division from the front. More troops were ordered to move deeper into the British rear, but they moved slowly through the day and did not influence the battle. Meanwhile, as the flank attack unfolded, German artillery observers did their job from the hills north of Le Cateau. From about 6am there was ruth-lessly methodical German fire moving from target to target on the ridge, preparing the way for the infantry attack.

It would also fail to counter the assumption by some modern historians (and much of the popular media) that commanders in the First World War were less generally able than those who faced far less challenging circumstances in other wars. We would like to acknowledge the assistance of those who read draft sections of the book, including John Lee, Tim Ratcliffe, Howard Body, Kathryn Walls and Patrick Rose, and those who kindly allowed us to quote from their work. We particularly want to thank Paul Evans and the staff of the Library of the Royal Artillery Museum who opened up the Aladdin’s cave of archival material in the Royal Artillery’s remarkable collection, and Tim Ratcliffe who provided the superb maps and illustrations.

Belgian neutrality was guaranteed by international agreement, but the Belgians knew that their neutrality depended more on being ready to fight back than on what the Kaiser had derisively dismissed as ‘a scrap of paper’. They upgraded the fortifications around the key border city of Liege, the main communications hub for the area, and thus a key part of the German war plan hinged on rapidly defeating the dozen forts covering this one city. Established around 1890 under the direction of the highly regarded Dutch-born fortress engineer Henri Alexis Brialmont,3 the Liege forts were built to resist 210mm artillery, and although there had been some recent refurbishment, most of this was cosmetic and much of the core of the enceinte (defensive system) had not been upgraded with reinforced concrete.

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Albatros Fighters in action by John F. Connors


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