Baptism Of Fire

3.76 avg rating
( 17 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780002007276: Baptism Of Fire

Nathan M. Greenfield’s talent for combining rich (and often overlooked) historical data with first-person accounts made his book The Battle of the St. Lawrence both a critical and popular success. Now he turns his formidable storytelling skill to one of the defining battles of the First World War and a seminal event in the building of our country.

The Second Battle of Ypres pitted the highly trained German soldiers—armed with the first weapon of mass destruction, chlorine gas—against the 1st Canadian Division, which had been in the trenches for just over a week. Yet it was the Canadians who ultimately triumphed, stopping the German advance that followed history’s first poison-gas attacks.

In Baptism of Fire, Greenfield revisits the battlefields and war rooms of history, deconstructing military motives and unearthing scores of unpublished interviews, giving voice to the men who faced what one officer called a “filthy, loathsome pestilence” that turned copper buttons green and seared the Canadians’ lungs. He describes how surprise turned to terror as the infantry saw the first clouds of chlorine gas rolling towards them; how, at first, the German soldiers had joked that their mysterious silver cylinders, spied across the enemy line, were a new kind of German beer keg. Recreating how the Canadians immediately filled the 12-kilometre- long hole in the Allied lines after the initial gas attack, Greenfield takes readers into the unimaginable horror of shell fire that turned men into “pink mist” and obliterated trenches, leaving the survivors to defend a position of death. And he explains how the untried Canadians, with their defective Ross rifles, breathing through urine-soaked handkerchiefs, successfully made one of the most important stands of the war—perhaps even staving off an ultimate German victory.

With alacrity and a great respect for the men in the trenches, Greenfield adds a new dimension to, and explodes a few myths behind, the Battle of Ypres. Within his pages are the words of the Canadian—and German—soldiers themselves, many of whom have never been heard before. Their accounts make this a gripping read for anyone seeking to understand our historical or military past.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Back Cover:

The Second Battle of Ypres pitted highly trained German soldiers—armed with the first weapon of mass destruction, chlorine gas—against the 1st Canadian Division, which had been in the trenches for just over a week. Yet it was the Canadians who triumphed, stopping the German advance. After that battle, which claimed John McCrae’s close friend, the doctor and poet penned “In Flanders Fields,” now read every Remembrance Day.

In Baptism of Fire, Nathan M. Greenfield revisits the battlefields and war rooms of history, deconstructing military motives and unearthing scores of unpublished interviews. He gives voice to the Germans who nervously joked that the mysterious silver cylinders, filled with poison gas, were a new kind of German beer keg; reveals how surprise turned to terror as the Canadian infantry saw the first clouds of chlorine gas rolling towards them; and relates, in the soldiers’ own words, the nightmare of the “filthy, loathsome pestilence” that turned copper buttons green and seared men’s lungs.

Recreating how the Canadians immediately filled the 12-kilometre-long hole in the Allied line after the initial gas attack, Greenfield takes readers into the unimaginable horror of shell fire that obliterated trenches and turned men into “pink mist,” leaving the survivors to defend a position of death. And he explains how the untried Canadians, with their defective Ross rifles, breathing through urine-soaked handkerchiefs, made one of the most important stands of the war—perhaps even staving off an ultimate German victory.

About the Author:

NATHAN M. GREENFIELD, PhD, is the Canadian correspondent for TES and is a contributor to Maclean’s, Canadian Geographic and TLS. He is the author of The Damned, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction; Baptism of Fire, which was a finalist for the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction; the widely praised The Battle of the St. Lawrence and in October of this year publishes The Forgotten. Greenfield lives in Ottawa.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Greenfield, Nathan M.
Published by HarperCollins (2007)
ISBN 10: 0002007274 ISBN 13: 9780002007276
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description HarperCollins, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2007274

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 405.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds