Courage Without Glory

The British Army on the Western Front 1915

Date Published :
October 2019
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Editor :
Spencer Jones
Series :
Wolverhampton Military Studies
Illustration :
16 color maps, 15 b/w illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781910777183
Pages : 464
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781912174119
Pages : 464
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


The year 1915 was one of unprecedented challenges for the British Army. Short of manpower, firepower and experience, the army needed time to adapt before it could hope to overcome the formidable German defenses of the Western Front. Yet the insistent demands of coalition warfare required immediate and repeated action. The result was a year of disappointments, setbacks and costly fighting.

The very difficulties of 1915 make it especially worthy of study. This book offers a fresh and insightful evaluation of the experience of the British Army through a series of thematic essays examining the strategic, operational, tactical and logistical problems that shaped the fighting. Within these pages are assessments of broad topics such as the performance of British high command, the ‘Shell Scandal’ and the development of the Royal Flying Corps, as well as a thorough selection of battle studies which cast new light on engagements such as Neuve Chapelle, Second Ypres, Festubert and Loos. Special attention is placed on the composite nature of the British Army, with chapters examining Canadian, Indian, Regular and Territorial unit experience.

Taken as a whole these essays offer an important reassessment of a forgotten year of the war, and illustrate the tremendous difficulties faced by the British Army as it endured a bloody learning curve in difficult conditions. This book will be of great interest to anyone who studies the First World War, and of particular value to those who seek a greater understanding of the British Army of the era.

About The Author

Dr. Spencer Jones lectures at the Centre for First World War Studies at the University of Birmingham and at the History, Politics & War Studies department at the University of Wolverhampton. His previous publications include From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army 1902 - 1914, as well as numerous scholarly articles.


“ … The book contains much of significance and interest

- Soldiers of the Queen

"variety is my thing and I want to learn as much as I can about a range of military history that sets the scene for the world I live in. This is the sort of book to do just that. It is brilliant.’"

- War History Online

‘This well rounded title is a truly academic study, but do not be put off as it flows wonderfully and the arguments well presented. … The gauntlet has been thrown down, and we await the coming debate with eagerness.’

- Britain at War

“ … A highly impressive collection of essays. As Brian Bond observes in his foreword, it is hugely reassuring to see the arrival of the new generation military historians of ‘proven ability and admirable dedication’.”

- British Journal for Military History

“ … a deeply analytical view of a sometimes passed over year of the First World War…”

- Newsletter of the Society of Friends of the National Army Museum

“ … This is another highly valuable work of evaluation, analysis and historical judgment…”

- Stand To! The Journal of the Western Front Association

“Both Spencer Jones, the editor, and Duncan Rogers of Helion must be commended for providing a superb volume in which these writers can display their talents.”

- British Journal for Military History

“An important and very welcome addition to the historiography of the First World War. 1915 was a year of learning lessons and refining techniques on and off the battlefield, which this volume captures perfectly.”

- Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research

"This is an excellent collection of articles that help with our understanding of a year that is over overshadowed by the more famous battles of 1914, and the much larger struggles of 1916 onwards, but that played a major role in turning the BEF from a small largely colonial army into a major European force."

- History of War

More from this publisher