The Underground War: Vimy Ridge to Arras

By Phillip Robinson

Published by Pen & Sword Military (2014)

This is the first part of a planned four-volume series focusing on a hitherto largely neglected aspect of the Great War on the Western Front - the war underground. The subject has fascinated visitors to the battlefields from the very beginning of battlefield pilgrimages in the years immediately after the Armistice. This volume looks mainly at the central Artois, the environs of the whole line of the Vimy Ridge to the River Scarpe and Arras. The narrative draws on French and German archival material and personal descriptions. The text is illustrated with numerous diagrams and maps, in particular from the British and German records, and there is an exhaustive guide to the Grange Subway. Other sites open to the public are also explained and put into context. Endorsements 'The Underground War is that rare combination of a deeply researched and very detailed book that is also very well-written and engages both historian and layman alike. It is enlived by many first-hand accounts from the soldiers and tunnellers and excellent photographs and maps which vividly bring to life that grim, yet invisible subterranean war...Robinson and Cave look not only at the technical nature of the tunnelling and mining, but also the existing topography and they include a fascinating section on touring the relevant battlefield, that enables visitors to find what still remains, and visit sites open to the public. If you have any interest at all in the First World War, then this book comes highly recommended.

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