Arras 1914-1918

Part 1: Arras South

Jim Smithson, Tim Wright

A comprehensive visitor's guide to the First World War battlefields around Arras, south of the Scarpe, with descriptions of the battles, detailed maps and photographs.
Date Published :
November 2020
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
73 b/w photos, 41 b/w & 16 color maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781912174836
Pages : 282
Dimensions : 8.25 X 5.75 inches
Stock Status : Available


The Battle of Arras (9 April-16 May 1917) is known as a forgotten battle. Because of this, it is not one of the most written about or visited First World War areas on the Western Front; in fact, it lacks general awareness levels when compared to the iconic battlefields of the Somme or Passchendaele. Nevertheless, the Arras sector has much of interest for both the seasoned and curious visitor alike, with many visual reminders of the war a century on. 

Arras 1914-1918A Comprehensive Guide to the Battlefields Part I is designed to both guide and educate the visitor around four years of conflict that Arras and its environs endured. Organized geographically by sector, all major engagements are chronicled and locations chosen to enable the visitor to gain a greater understanding of the fighting. Thus one can stand on Observation Ridge and, employing a description of the battle accompanied by detailed maps and photographs, gain a full understanding of the 12th (Eastern) Division assault of 9 April 1917. A detailed modern map then allows the visitor to move on to and contextualize one of the many cemeteries in the area.

This is not a guide that tells one where to go or outlines prescribed routes but, by means of clearly marked key locations, allows the visitor to plan itineraries according to time, interest or inclination. Each location is provided with accompanying photographs and a clear description of what is to be seen and what happened at key moments during the fighting. Travel advice with regard to location accessibility (car, bicycle or foot) is also provided.

Lavishly illustrated with maps and photographs, Arras 1914-1918 covers the area south of the River Scarpe including the British and Dominion attacks of April-May 1917, the German offensive of March 1918 and the opening of the great Anglo-Canadian offensive which culminated in the end of the war.

About The Author

Born in Sheffield, Jim Smithson graduated from Durham University in 1990, after which he taught for the British forces schools in Germany. Retiring after 32 years service, he settled near Arras to pursue his passion for the First and Second World Wars. Working as a battlefield guide on the Western Front has provided Jim with the opportunity to share his enthusiasm with others. It was only natural that this guidebook should have as its subject, the very battlefield on which he lives.

Following three decades of employment in the corporate world, Tim Wright came to the realization that "you only live once" and decided to turn his enduring interest in the First World War into a career. Having embraced this life changing decision, Tim - a glass half full personality with a zest for life - now guides groups large and small over the battlefields of France and Flanders whilst sharing his passion and knowledge with anyone willing to listen.

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