The Secret Battle


Read by Roger Melin

(4.7 stars; 101 reviews)

Like many soldiers at the beginning of their military careers, Harry Penrose has romantic ideas of climbing the ranks and attaining hero status. However, while stationed at Gallipoli, the realities of war begin to take their toll on Penrose, not only physically, but also mentally where the war has become a 'battle of the mind.' This is his story as related by a fellow soldier, as well as the story of the campaign at Gallipoli which is vividly portrayed from the author's own personal experiences.

During his tenure as an officer, Penrose slowly asserts himself; the war takes a toll on his personality, but he begins to live up to his early dreams of heroism. However, his creeping self-doubt grows by degrees; following Gallipoli, he is reassigned from his post as scouting officer once on the Somme, knowing he cannot face another night patrol, and earns the wrath of his commanding officer - an irascible Regular colonel - over a trivial incident. The colonel piles difficult, risky work on him - remarking to the narrator that "Master Penrose can go on with [leading ration parties] until he learns to do them properly" - and Penrose submits, working doggedly to try and keep from cracking. After a long period of this treatment, by the winter of 1916, Penrose's spirit is worn down. What follows his downward spiral may surprise and even shock today's readers, but was common and controversial at the time. (Introduction adapted from Wikipedia with contributions from the narrator and the proof listener.) (5 hr 58 min)

Chapters

01 - Chapter 1 32:20 Read by Roger Melin
02 - Chapter 2 34:33 Read by Roger Melin
03 - Chapter 3 30:17 Read by Roger Melin
04 - Chapter 4 25:29 Read by Roger Melin
05 - Chapter 5 37:32 Read by Roger Melin
06 - Chapter 6 25:04 Read by Roger Melin
07 - Chapter 7 32:23 Read by Roger Melin
08 - Chapter 8 31:55 Read by Roger Melin
09 - Chapter 9 22:05 Read by Roger Melin
10 - Chapter 10 26:27 Read by Roger Melin
11 - Chapter 11 22:13 Read by Roger Melin
12 - Chapter 12 20:06 Read by Roger Melin
13 - Chapter 13 18:28 Read by Roger Melin

Reviews

MAN'S INHUMANITY TO MAN.


(5 stars)

THAT WAS ONE OF THE SADDEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ BUT IT DOES BRING TO MIND 'THE PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER', THAT WAS WHAT HE LOVED EVEN OVER AND ABOVE THE LOVE OF HIS WIFE. HARRY WAS NOT HAPPY WITH HIS HUMDRUM LIFE AND CRAVED EXCITEMENT. HE WAS A GOOD MAN, A GREAT MAN, BUT HIS PROBLEM WAS THAT HE REALLY BELIEVED HE WAS INDISPENSIBLE, WHICH IS AN EGO PROBLEM WHICH OF COURSE HE DID SUFFER FROM BUT HE COULD NOT SETTLE HIS MIND, BY NO REAL FAULTOF HIS OWN, THAT THERE IS A MIDDLE ROAD, HE EITHER LIVED AT THE BOTTOM EXTREMETY WHERE HE HAD NO EGO AND DRIVE TO THE UPPER EXTREME WHERE HIS EGO ACTUALLY DROVE HIM TO HIS OWN DESTRUCTION, I THINK IF HE'D HAD A STRONGER WIFE WHO COULD CONVINCE HIM THAT HE HAD SERVED HIS COUNTRY WELL AND THAT HE COULD REST ON HIS LAURELS THE END WOULD HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT. I WILL PUT A PERSONAL BIT HERE, I BELIEVE IN KARMA AND I HOPE THOSE NASTIES GOT THEIR JUST DESERTS. THOSE MEN DID CRUCIFY HARRY.


(5 stars)

Second time listening to this book. Exceptionally well written and read. Gives the day to day life living in the trenches of WWI plus the mental / emotional damage to those who fought month after month. The ending is very sad and talks of the cold and strict rules of the British military. British Army and Navy were eventually forced to ease discipline between the World Wars but too late for the man who’s experience this book is about.


(5 stars)

very interesting and dramatic story of world war I. details of the Gallipoli campaign which we don't hear much about. this story may or may not be true, but it has undoubtedly been true for at least one, maybe more soldiers. Talk about Justice being blind- British martial law was horrendously blind in world war I.


(4 stars)

Wow what an injustice ! sad story, the reader did a wonderful job. my only negative comment is the author does waffle on a bit at times, but he did a good thing telling his friends story. it makes you wonder how many more poor men suffered a similar wrong doing.

a fascinating and sad true story


(5 stars)

what some of these soldiers went through was so disturbing and so scary thank you to the author and thank you to the reader you did an excellent job


(5 stars)

I have read a lot of these accounts on the personal experience of soldiers in war. This one is one of the best I have read. A unique story and a sublime perspective.


(5 stars)

A very good account of a sorry tale about a man crushed in the wheels of military bureaucracy. Well read, thanks to the reader.

A powerful read.


(4 stars)

This was a well written tale of a man who meet a tragic fate at the hands of lesser men