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John Terraine

(1921—2004) historian


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(1921–2004), British historian, born in London, educated at Keble College, Oxford. In 1944 he began working at the BBC, becoming associate producer and chief scriptwriter for the television series The Great War in 1963. In 1964 he became a freelance author. His reputation as a historian of the First World War was established with Mons: The Retreat to Victory (1960), the first of numerous studies of the conflict; subsequent works include Douglas Haig: The Educated Soldier (1963), Impacts of War, 1914 and 1918 (1970), The Road to Passchendaele (1977), To Win a War: 1918, the Year of Victory (1978), and White Heat: The New Warfare, 1914–1918 (1982). By his sometimes controversial but scrupulous interpretations of previously neglected sources, Terraine tends to qualify the general view of the First World War as an agonizingly extended exercise in deadlock and futility. Among his other publications are The Mighty Continent (1975), a survey of Europe in the twentieth century, and Business in Great Waters (1989), an account of submarine warfare from 1916 to 1945.

From The Oxford Companion to Twentieth-Century Literature in English in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).


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