This controversial and stirring account of one of the bloodiest battles of the Great War recounts a heroic but disastrous engagement which left a lasting rift between the British and Australians. Drawing from a wealth of unpublished sources and eyewitness accounts, Jonathan Walker’s study of the Battle of Bullecourt is vital to an understanding of the difficulties that faced Great War generals. Central to The Blood Tub is a reassessment of Sir Hubert Gough, one of the Great War’s most colourful yet controversial commanders.
In the late spring of 1917, the Allies attacked at Arras, and a combined British and Australian force under General ‘Thruster’ Gough assaulted the fortress village of Bullecourt. Despite using the new wonder weapon, the tank, Gough’s first attack ended in disaster and bitter recriminations. He then launched a second massive attack. For the next two weeks, the Battle of Bullecourt dominated British offensive action on the Western Front. It was the excessive brutality and ferocity of the hand-to-hand fighting that earned Bullecourt the name ‘Blood Tub’.
BLOOD TUB General Gough and the Battle of Bullecourt 1917
A penetrating and unsparing account of the battle of Bullecourt in 1917, when controversial British General Sir Hubert Gough ordered repeated attacks by Australian forces on a fortified village near Arras despite mounting casualties., which earned Bullecourt the well-deserved nickname ‘the blood tub’.