Pouring With Rain – Troops Fed Up

British Second Army And The Liberation Offensive In Flanders 1918

Dennis Williams

Date Published :
March 2018
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Wolverhampton Military Studies
Illustration :
16 b/w maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781911096559
Pages : 268
Dimensions : 9.5 X 6.75 inches
Stock Status : Available


In September 1918 Second Army was the weakest of the British Armies on the Western Front; many of its formations had been rebuilt through young conscripts and men reclassified as fit for the frontline. It was, however, commanded by General Herbert Plumer (‘Plumer of Messines’), considered by some historians to be perhaps the most successful of the British generals. During the final months of the First World War, Second Army fought and won two major battles. In coalition with Belgian and French forces in the Groupe d’Armées des Flandres, Second Army became the spearhead of a successful war of liberation which drove the German occupying forces out of Flanders. Its victories assisted Allied forces to clear the Channel coast, and led to the liberation of occupied Belgium. The story is presented from the perspective of Second Army and is based largely on original research – primarily the war diaries of the Army’s formations – together with selected contemporary writing, unit histories and current academic analysis of the latter part of the war. This volume describes events on the Western Front in 1918 which have received little or no attention in the available literature on the war. It tells of a war of movement… a war of liberation… a war where men fought and died for control of cottages and farms, villages and towns. The liberation offensive in Belgium began on 28 September with the final breakthrough to eliminate the iconic salient around Ypres – it ended on 11 November with the British Commander-in-Chief Douglas Haig threatening to resign his post unless Second Army was restored to his command. The background to these and other events are addressed in this comprehensive military history of the campaign. From the initial planning and preparations, strategy, tactics and subsequent fighting – all examined through exhaustive British war diary research. As a result, novel and challenging conclusions emerge.

About The Author

Dennis Williams B.Ed. M.Ed.M.A.M.Phil. has a professional background in teaching, education management, and children’s services; after leaving local government he undertook a range of consultancy, interim management and administrative roles. He has pursued his interest in military history through his research and writing, and in his secondhand book business. Dennis also works in support of his wife Sue’s vintage and design business and as an independent chair for NHS Continuing Healthcare services. Having resided in Yorkshire for many years, Dennis and Sue now live in East Sussex. In 2003 Dennis was awarded the MA in Military History at the University of Leeds. He undertook subsequent research through the University of Birmingham, receiving an M Phil award in 2016 for his work on British Second Army in Flanders. Dennis also contributed a chapter for a recent book on the British Army in the Hundred Days, has written a 19th century Europe wargames rulebook, and is a book reviewer for the Western Front Association. Pouring With Rain Troops Fed Up is his first book.


“The author accomplishes a nice blend of tactical and logistical data with the wider operational and command issues, …”

- Minature Wargames

“Dennis Williams work is a detailed study…….extensively researched and referenced… it is balanced”

- SOFNAM Autumn 2018

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