A Storm in Flanders by Winston Groom

A Storm in Flanders

A Storm in Flanders is novelist and prizewinning historian Winston Groom's gripping history of the four-year battle for Ypres in Belgian Flanders, the pivotal engagement of World War I that would forever change the way the world fought -- and thought about -- war. In 1914, Germany launched an invasion of France through neutral Belgium -- and brought the wrath of the world upon itself. Ypres became a place of horror, heroism, and terrifying new ta...

Details A Storm in Flanders

TitleA Storm in Flanders
Release DateApr 7th, 2003
PublisherGrove Press
GenreHistory, Nonfiction, War, World War I, Military, Military History

Reviews A Storm in Flanders

  • Megan Baxter
    This is a very awkward review to write. I've spent the better part of the last ten years turning myself into a historian, see, and so I feel like I should be speaking as an expert, analyzing this book of popular history, pointing out what's right and wrong, speaking from my so-called vast knowledge on the value of a book about Ypres written by the author of Forrest Gump. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes i...
  • 'Aussie Rick'
    Winston Groom's A Storm in Flanders, offers the reader an interesting and satisfying overview of the fighting around the Ypres Salient between 1914 and 1918. The book is 276 pages in length of which over 260 is text. This account cannot be considered comprehensive in its study of the Ypres Salient in the Great War, for that you will need to look elsewhere. However what Mr Groom does offer is a compelling look at the numerous battles fought around...
  • Sweetwilliam
    “They are not missing. They are here,” said General Herbert Plumer at the 1927 dedication of the Menin gate monument. Plumer was referring to the 90,000 troops of the British Empire that were missing in action within the Ypres Salient.A storm in Flanders is another great read by Winston Groom. He has a knack for making history read as easy as fiction, accept this is not fiction and nobody could make this up. In a war that produced nine-millio...
  • Jeff Rowe
    Here's what I learned from this book: WWI really sucked. The key here is that I already knew this, but the book makes you realize that, no, you didn't know this already because... How about this? At Ypres, you couldn't dig a trench more than a foot or so deep, so when the shells start coming, you're laying in a slight indentation in the earth. Or this? The shelling churned the soil to a depth of more than 10 feet, so when it rained you had 10 foo...
  • Koen
    I read Keegan, Strachan, Macdonald specifically about Ypres and a couple of other books about the big war. Most are, as i remember them since it's been a while, more comprehensive than Groom is here. As he states in the beginning this book is written for Americans who might not have had the same exposure to the 14-18 stories as Europeans in general and Brits specifically might have. That, i must say, makes for a good read. The author keeps the na...
  • Ian Hulsbosch
    I discovered this book in my father's cabinet one day and, being a history-lover, I decided to start reading it. Groom does a great job detailing the horrors of the Ypres Salient (in Belgium) during World War I and dabbles a bit into how the war was started. Many of the chapters detail what it was like living in the trenches, some of the largest battles in the Salient, and what this did to the men who fought during the war. There are multiple mea...
  • Rich
    Powerful book, well written, worthy to be read by everyone. But check your heart as you begin. It is not pretty.Groom provides an overview of the conduct of the war regarding Flanders, such that the reader gains an appreciation of all factors weighting upon decisions that at times seem brilliant, more often idiotic, and usually puzzling. The ranking officers in the British Army had their own agendas and battled the political leaders (especially G...
  • Philip
    I feel kind of guilty saying I "really liked" a story this horrific, but I just learned so much from it, and it was so well written. Yes, Winston Groom is the same guy that wrote Forrest Gump, but he also served as an officer in Vietnam and was nominated for a Pulitzer for Conversations With the Enemy, about POWs in Vietnam - so he's more than the "life is like a box of chocolates" guy.Groom tells a "war is hell" story that strips away the cliche...
  • Marks54
    This book presents a short overview of the Flanders campaign in WWI. It is the history of one long and destructive battle -- written by the author of Forrest Gump. Groom is a good story teller and succeeds in this book. It is claimed that this is a book about a campaign in Belgium that was British rather than French but also a book written for Americans to provide an introduction to WWI, a war that has not received the attention it should in the ...
  • Brandon Carter
    Honestly this is one of the best World War I books I've read. Winston Groom effortlessly moves back and forth between the perspective of soldiers on the ground at Ypres and the larger picture of what was happening in the Great War as a whole. His powers of description are second to none, so much so that I had to set the book aside a couple of times, especially when the author describes the "hellscape" that was Passchendaele.A very readable and ac...
  • Straw
    3 1/2. I have read enough military history to know that if you are well-versed in this war the book is really not great at drilling down. I am not entrenched (sorry) in this subject matter yet, so I found it fairly enjoyable.
  • Edward Sullivan
    A vivid, engrossing history that is particularly effective in conveying the horrific loss and inexplicable futility of World War I.
  • Carlee
    Winston Groom, most known for Forrest Gump, tells the sombre story of the battle at the Ypres Salient from an American perspective. Groom provides historical details and personal accounts of the "gigantic corpse factory" that the Belgium land became during the four year battle. The Ypres Salient in Belgium Flanders was the most notorious and dreaded place in all of the First World War, probably of any war in history. Written with flourishes and...
  • Ken
    After my earlier trysts with the subject of WW1 (Catastrophe and partially in The Iron Kingdom), I finally found a book that I hold in high regard in equal footing to the book that gave me a boost from curiosity to outright fascination: The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman. And if I could clarify on what I said, I mean fascination as in the attention to detail in all aspects of the war in terms of its scope, brutality and yes, tragedy. What I me...
  • Trey Weller
    There's a lot of interesting information here, but not always presented in the most interesting way. Well, it's not that the way information is presented is dull, it more that the structure is obnoxiously repetitive. The formula is as follows: description of a battle/element of a battle/trench life in a distant, clinical manner; introduction of this page's witness of the battle/whatnot; direct quote from the witness; rinse and repeat. And when th...
  • Katrina Nowak
    A solid summary of the salient. This book does exactly what the author advertises: it provides an overview of the three battles of Ypres for an American audience. It breaks the Ypres campaigns out from the details of the rest of the war, only providing ancillary insights where necessary for context. In focusing just on Ypres, the book provides a good overview and some interesting detail on the battles. It is easily digestible and a quick(ish) rea...
  • David Sheedy
    Overall I feel Winston Groom is an excellent writer and I found the book both easy to read and informative. That said, I disagree with some of the statements he makes. For example, his assessment of the Schlieffen and his explanation for the removal of Falkenhayn from command of the German reason 1916. I also feel that his conclusions regarding the success of the English and the failures of the Germans in 1918 are vague.
  • Corey Bourne
    Great book I have read little on WW1 battles and I’m glad I picked this up. I went out and picked up more titles to read on the Great War. Groom’s writing style keeps it interesting where some writers get bogged down and bore you he does not. Will look forward to reading more of his books.
  • Christopher Backa
    A comprehensive book about the ongoing battle in Flanders through out the war. The book uses Flanders to give the reader a view of what it was like on the front lines in the trenches in world war 1. The gas attacks, shelling and the use of the tank.
  • Dan Pasquini
  • Brian
    This book is about World War One. It was written by Winston Groom whom you may know better as the author of Forest Gump. Groom writes this book for Americans who know little about the first World War. As he says, most people's reference point to war (and indeed how the world has been shaped as a result for decades after) starts from World War Two.Part of what I enjoyed about this book is how Groom gives us some pre-history. Setting the stage brie...
  • Maduck831
    Take this for what it is (as the author explains), an "introductory" / "american account" of Ypres and all it brought. If you accept this, it's a great starter book and a very fluid/good read. For details, etc. definitely need to find more sources and books, especially the final battles which are dealt with quickly. "In a fit of Wagnerian frenzy, the German students came on arm-in-arm or waving their rifles in the air, singing, and with their spi...
  • Mark Hainds
    A Storm in Flanders was a compelling read. Although I’ve read several books about the Second World War, I believe this was my first nonfiction book on WW I. I watched and greatly enjoyed Forrest Gump, but this was my first time to read a book by Winston Groom. Mr. Groom appears to have conducted a good deal of research and learned his topic well. He gives a good accounting of opposing views on the major players in the conflict, and to the bes...
  • Al
    Winston Groom, war historian and novelist, changes his usual focus from the Civil War to World War One in “A Storm in Flanders,” a useful popular history of the crushing, devastating battles that took place near the town of Ypres in Belgium. WWI was primarily a war of attrition with its trench warfare; therefore, it doesn’t easily lend itself to a traditional battle narrative, but Groom handles the task well in this accessible history. Give...
  • Steve
    I co-worker lent me this book after finding out I was a military history buff. The author also wrote 'Forest Gump' (I've only seen the movie).The book is excellent. The attention to historical detail and bringing the whole history of World War I into the battles around Yrpes is done in a compelling way.I learned a lot about World War I that I didn't know - like the huge tunnel mine bombs. The book also included personal stories based on letters h...
  • Jennifer
    By far one of the best books I have read in a while. We follow several different people through the war but briefly and we meet Adolf Hitler. Now I have an idea for my next vacation. This book caused me to miss more than one stop on my train. The Great War, wiped out generations entire divisions of soldiers and yet I feel so guilty for not knowing much about this war. I had no idea how atrocious the Germans were, not that any sort of war brings o...
  • Chris Laskey
    2nd time and a great book covering one of the more awful places to be soldiering in during WWI. What I have always enjoyed in this work is the very clear and concise telling of the sordid military affairs that vanquished so many lives hideously and most likely needlessly. Chilling and moving with snippets of personal information from various diaries in extant. Pretty much concentrates on the British personalities involved - and one could place a ...
  • Jennifer
    I was enthralled with this book on WW I. Truth is definitely stranger than fiction. Oddly, the same author wrote Forrest Gump. I never dreamt that I would so thoroughly enjoy a book about war, but I was utterly fascinated. I'm tempted to rattle off just a few of the amazing anecdotes from this book, but it's best to just read it yourself. Even if you're not a WW I or history buff, I can't see how this book could fail to amaze you. I couldn't stop...
  • Carol Mandel
    I had no idea... As a reader who isn't very knowledgeable about war, this book really opened my eyes. I can't imagine the conditions the soldiers endured in the trenches of Flanders during WWI. No movie I've seen could portray it the way it was described in this book. I wouldn't normally choose this book to read, but since I will soon be visiting Belgium, and taking a tour of the WWI battlefields, I wanted to learn a bit more about it. This was...