We have taken the opportunity with our 2021 editions of the OFFICIAL HISTORY OF THE GREAT WAR – FRANCE AND BELGIUM series to redesign the covers and print on 140g silk paper. This official history was the grandest ever produced in Britain, and its purpose was to provide “within reasonable compass an authoritative account, suitable for general readers and for students at military schools”. Due to the number of full-colour maps bound in each volume, previous attempts to reprint this valuable reference either floundered, or were produced with the maps in monochrome. At last, the acclaimed work of the official cartographers who had 90,000 maps at their command can be examined as they intended – in full colour.
Originally published in a restricted edition of 100 copies – ironically in 1945, as another British occupation of Germany was beginning – this final volume of the official history of the Great War covers in great detail the ten-year occupation of the area of the Rhineland, centred on the cities of Aachan and Cologne. It describes how, under the terms of the Armistice, the British armies moved slowly forward from the line they had reached at the Armistice on November 11th 1918 to occupy and administer the area – a task that continued for the next decade.