Mud, Blood and Determination

The History of the 46th (North Midland) Division in the Great War

Simon Peaple

Date Published :
April 2015
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Wolverhampton Military Studies
Illustration :
50 b/w photos, 8 color maps, 2 tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781910294666
Pages : 240
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


This groundbreaking modern history of the 46th (North Midland) Division draws upon a vast array of largely neglected sources from a variety of archives, and challenges some comfortable assumptions. 

University historians' increasingly positive views of Haig are challenged by primary evidence of his own blatant willingness to change his mind to protect his promotion prospects.  The overall theme is of how the ordinary Tommies of 46th Division learnt to fight more effectively and ultimately stormed the Hindenburg Line. 

In dealing with the Somme, the book effectively rewrites our understanding of Third Army's experience; the book demonstrates that Middlebrook was mistaken in accepting the claim by Major General Stuart-Wortley that he was sacked for saving his men from further slaughter.  That chapter concludes with the evidence of young subalterns, bringing to life moments in history that illuminate a generation's experience of the carnage of war. 

All previous large-scale studies have focused on elite units, but this book follows this un-fancied, often belittled, division along the learning curve of the British Army. The book therefore develops the view put forward in studies of the Canadian Corps, and reflected in modern biographies of leading commanders, that the British Army gradually developed the system of "bite and hold".

The poignant chapter on a "Shot at Dawn" and the concluding chapter on the poor postwar treatment of the many miners make this book more than a purely military history by linking the First World War to its social, political and economic context.  "Mud, Blood and Determination" brings scholarly debate, detailed historical accounts and the wider implications of war together for both the specialist military history buff and the general reader, and with the added dimension that it will have poignant local interest across Staffordshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Lincolnshire whose Territorials went off to war in March 1915.

About The Author

Author and retired teacher whose previous work on 46th Division was awarded second prize as Best First Book in 2015 by the Society for Army Historical Research.


“ … an accomplished piece of research which works very hard to remain objective whilst making a case for the Division; again, commendations to Helion for making research of this quality available at a price accessible to all with an interest.”

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

“ … a product of much research and academic vigour … a model of clarity in terms of analysis and explanation of events. It contains some of the best maps I have seen in recently published work and makes for a very good reference work.”

- The Long, Long Trail

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