Published Jan 2010
Attrition tells the story of one year, two battles and several million men. At the start of 1916 everything looked hopeful for the Franco-British Armies on the Western Front. The Entente Powers (Britain, France, Italy and their allies) were about to mount a number of coordinated offensives against the German and Austrian Armies, culminating in the Big Push: a joint Anglo-French offensive astride the Somme. But then, unfortunately for the Allies, the Germans struck first at Verdun.
A controversial and compelling text, Attrition points at the failure of high command to realise that until new offensive technology was invented to overcome the bias of defensive technology, the death toll could only rise, and asks why no system of Supreme Command was set up to handle the strategic direction of the war.