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Gen. Sandworm
07-17-2006, 04:23 AM
Just starting reading this one but seems really good so far. Called 1914-1918 The history of the first world war. By David Stevenson. Has anyone else read this one by chance.

Firefly
07-19-2006, 04:08 PM
Never read that, a good but heavy tome is dreadnought and it deals with the reasons for the enmity between the British Empire and The German Empire in the 100 years leading up to the war. It ends just as the war begins and so there is no action so to speak, but it is interesting nonetheless.

pdf27
07-20-2006, 01:25 PM
Forgotten Victory by Gary Sheffield is rather good (if not quite a conventional history - more a book that sets out to slaughter rather a lot of overaged sacred cows). Mud, Blood and Poppycock is supposedly also rather good and covers the same territory, although I have seen mixed opinions on quite how accurate it all is.

GermanSoldier
02-01-2007, 07:45 PM
That sounds like my kind of book. Did you have to pick this up at your library.

pdf27
02-02-2007, 08:34 AM
That sounds like my kind of book. Did you have to pick this up at your library.
Which one is? Dreadnought is by Robert K Massie and is a fairly standard tome, so I'd guess quite a lot of libraries will have a copy. Forgotten Victory by Gary Sheffield is less well known, so US libraries probably won't have a copy (it's notable that he doesn't have a great deal of time for Pershing, accusing him of believing into 1918 in tactics that the other powers had abandoned by 1915 or so). They're both available on Amazon for $15 or so though.

Oh, and I've just got my paws on "Through German Eyes - the British and the Somme 1916" by Christopher Duffy. I'll let you know what that's like once I've finished it.

GermanSoldier
02-02-2007, 02:06 PM
Which one is? Dreadnought is by Robert K Massie and is a fairly standard tome, so I'd guess quite a lot of libraries will have a copy. Forgotten Victory by Gary Sheffield is less well known, so US libraries probably won't have a copy (it's notable that he doesn't have a great deal of time for Pershing, accusing him of believing into 1918 in tactics that the other powers had abandoned by 1915 or so). They're both available on Amazon for $15 or so though.

Oh, and I've just got my paws on "Through German Eyes - the British and the Somme 1916" by Christopher Duffy. I'll let you know what that's like once I've finished it.

The Forgotten Victory.

pdf27
02-03-2007, 06:22 PM
Oh, and I've just got my paws on "Through German Eyes - the British and the Somme 1916" by Christopher Duffy. I'll let you know what that's like once I've finished it.

Finished it. Not bad, but definately one to get from a library rather than buying. The interesting bit is how it describes the tactical progression of the British armies on the Somme, and particularly their technical progression. It is interesting to see the birth of co-operation between infantry, artillery and air power, and how the British applied it to their attacks.
The other really interesting thing to see is the very lack of reaction by the Germans to this revolution in warfare. The British and French were starting to substitute machines for men, while the German response seems to be limited to digging deeper.

Overall, the book leaves you with a much better impression of the British performance on the Somme than you would get from most recieved wisdom.

Digger
04-10-2007, 04:19 AM
Monash-The Outsider Who Won A War by Roland Perry is an excellent book on the best Allied general of the war.

Regards Digger.

32Bravo
04-12-2007, 07:27 AM
Monash-The Outsider Who Won A War by Roland Perry is an excellent book on the best Allied general of the war.

Regards Digger.

I presume you speak of Allenby? Byng was pretty good also.

Digger
04-12-2007, 08:11 AM
No, Sir John Monash.

Regards digger.

32Bravo
04-12-2007, 08:20 AM
A wizard from Oz?

Digger
04-12-2007, 08:37 AM
Not a wizard by any means. He planned his operations in great detail, used new technology intelligently and had a far better understanding of war than most British generals.

Regards digger.

32Bravo
04-12-2007, 11:52 AM
Not a wizard by any means. He planned his operations in great detail, used new technology intelligently and had a far better understanding of war than most British generals.

Regards digger.


Interesting chap. He appears to excell during the battles of 1918, when the war became more fluid.

I think most generals of any quality were frustrated by trench warfare, and were unabe to find a solution until such time as the improvement in the technology of artillery enabled infantry to advance behind a creeping barrage. Some, such as Byng, were thoughtful in the way they conserved their men. Others had no idea, and simply through there mens' lives away in response to political pressure.

"..the true role of infantry was not to expend itself upon heroic physical effort, not to wither away under merciless machine-gun fire, not to impale itself on hostile bayonets, but on the contrary, to advance under the maximum possible protection of the maximum possible array of mechanical resources, in the form of guns, machine-guns, tanks, mortars and aeroplanes; to advance with as little impediment as possible; to be relieved as far as possible of the obligation to fight their way forward."
General Sir John Monash

A man to dmire.


http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/~rmallett/Generals/monash.html

Gen. Sandworm
12-03-2007, 06:21 PM
I have just read "The Guns Of August" and I think this is an absolutely wonderful book. I suggest it to all. What is most surprising is that it is written by a woman when women (especially in 1962) were not known for understanding of warfare. She is a great writer and military historian. Let me know if you have read it. Honestly one of the best books ive ever read.

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guns_of_August

Rising Sun*
12-03-2007, 07:18 PM
I have just read "The Guns Of August" and I think this is an absolutely wonderful book. I suggest it to all. What is most surprising is that it is written by a woman when women (especially in 1962) were not known for understanding of warfare. She is a great writer and military historian. Let me know if you have read it. Honestly one of the best books ive ever read.

More info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guns_of_August

Agreed.

Read it maybe ten, fifteen years ago.

Very informative, lots of detail, but written in a very readable style.

I still have to say that, although I understand the steps leading to WWI, it's still mystifying how they got from shooting Archduke Ferdinand to what became WWI. It's like pulling the pin on a grenade and ending up with an A bomb going off. Tuchman explains it as well as anybody could.

32Bravo
12-04-2007, 06:27 AM
Guns of August. Absolutely superb. Shows kitchener in a different light. A permanent resident on my bookshelf.

'A Long Long Way' a novel by Sebastian Barry.

William - named after King William of Orange - born in Dublin to Roman Catholic parents, volunteers for the British Army and is posted to the trenches. Home on leave, gets caught up in the Irish Revolution.

This is grass-roots experience, including th German gas attacks - excellent read, one can taste the gas!

George Eller
12-04-2007, 01:03 PM
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Some nice personal accounts that I read years ago:

Good-Bye to All That
by Robert Graves
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good-Bye_to_All_That

All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Quiet_on_the_Western_Front

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32Bravo
12-22-2007, 08:13 AM
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Some nice personal accounts that I read years ago:

Good-Bye to All That
by Robert Graves
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good-Bye_to_All_That

All Quiet on the Western Front
by Erich Maria Remarque
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_Quiet_on_the_Western_Front

-

Both excellent books and vey much a part of the GCE Advanced level curriculum here.

32Bravo
12-22-2007, 08:20 AM
Another very excellent book by Barabara W Tuchman, is The Proud Tower
("While from a proud tower in the town,
Death looks gigantically down!"
'The City In the Sea' Edgar Allan Poe.)

A portrait of the world before the war ...1890 - 1914.

This ought to be read together with The Guns of August, if not before it, it gives the reader an excellent insight into the causes of WW1.

Rising Sun*
12-22-2007, 08:45 AM
Another very excellent book by Barabara W Tuchman, is The Proud Tower
("While from a proud tower in the town,
Death looks gigantically down!"
'The City In the Sea' Edgar Allan Poe.)



I think she might equally appositely have quoted the last few lines of the poem, e.g. A redder Glow, or, Hell, Rising, rather than the piece she selected mid-way through.


While from a proud tower in the town
Death looks gigantically down.

There open fanes and gaping graves
Yawn level with the luminous waves;
But not the riches there that lie
In each idol's diamond eye-
Not the gaily-jewelled dead
Tempt the waters from their bed;
For no ripples curl, alas!
Along that wilderness of glass-
No swellings tell that winds may be
Upon some far-off happier sea-
No heavings hint that winds have been
On seas less hideously serene.

But lo, a stir is in the air!
The wave- there is a movement there!
As if the towers had thrust aside,
In slightly sinking, the dull tide-
As if their tops had feebly given
A void within the filmy Heaven.
The waves have now a redder glow-
The hours are breathing faint and low-
And when, amid no earthly moans,
Down, down that town shall settle hence,
Hell, rising from a thousand thrones,
Shall do it reverence.

Williams
10-11-2008, 05:52 AM
Has anyone read "The Great war" or "Gallipoli" By Les Carlyon?
I think there well written and descriptive using survivors accounts of their memories of the war. It mainly focuses on the Australian perspective.

32Bravo
10-11-2008, 06:55 AM
I think she might equally appositely have quoted the last few lines of the poem, e.g. A redder Glow, or, Hell, Rising, rather than the piece she selected mid-way through.

But would it have been as applicable to the text?

The Proud Tower describes the subject matter i.e a changing world in which the blind arrogance of imperialism and ancient monarchies, on the eve of decline, face the growing threat of an upstart, German militaristic state. Where old enmities are forgotten and new alliances are born.



"The diplomatic origins, so-called, of the War are only the fever chart of the patient; they do not tell us what caused the fever. To probe for underlying causes and deeper forces one must operate within the framework of a whole society and try to discover what moved the people in it."
--Barbara W. Tuchman
The fateful quarter-century leading up to the World War I was a time when the world of Privilege still existed in Olympian luxury and the world of Protest was heaving in its pain, its power, and its hate. The age was the climax of a century of the most accelerated rate of change in history, a cataclysmic shaping of destiny.
In The Proud Tower, Barbara Tuchman concentrates on society rather than the state. With an artist's selectivity, Tuchman bings to vivid life the people, places, and events that shaped the years leading up to the Great War: the Edwardian aristocracy and the end of their reign; the Anarchists of Europe and America, who voiced the protest of the oppressed; Germany, as portrayed through the figure of the self-depicted Hero, Richard Strauss; the sudden gorgeous blaze of Diaghilev's Russian Ballet and Stravinsky's music; the Dreyfus Affair; the two Peace Conferences at the Hague; and, finally, the youth, ideals, enthusiasm, and tragedy of Socialism, epitomized in the moment when the heroic Jean Jaurès was shot to death on the night the War began and an epoch ended.
"Tuchman [was] a distinguished historian who [wrote] her books with a rare combination of impeccable scholarship and literary polish. . . . It would be impossible to read The Proud Tower without pleasure and admiration."
--The New York Times
"Tuchman proved inThe Guns of August that she could write better military history than most men. In this sequel, she tells her story with cool wit and warm understanding, eschewing both the sweeping generalizations of a Toynbee and the minute-by-minute simplicisms of a Walter Lord."
--Time

The Guns of August brings it all to a head (A brilliant, fever chart, as described above), and goes on to describe the first battles of the war up until the stalemate of the trenches. I would think your suggestions more applicable here (and how different a war it was as compared with those pictures we see everywhere of the war in the trenches.) However, The Guns of August is evocative - and sells.

32Bravo
10-11-2008, 06:58 AM
Sorry for the late response. I seem to have overlooked it. :(

32Bravo
12-03-2008, 11:00 AM
Sassoon sent an open letter to The Thunderer (The Times) crticizing the government for conducting an aggressive war. Normally, he would have been court martialed for cowardice, but as he had already earned an MC that would have been difficult. Their solution was to proclaim him insane. He was committed to the same establishment as Owen and they became friends. Owen admired both Sassoon and graves, but in the end, Owen, in my opinion, developed into a far better poet.

Graves visited Sassoon to persuade him to return to his regiment, The Royal Welch Fusiliers, in which they both served as officers.

Graves gives an account of this in his book ‘Goodbye To All That’

http://www.enotes.com/goodbye-all



Sassoon in his biography.

Pat Barker covers in depth in her book/movie ‘Regeneration’

http://www.freud.org.uk/warneuroses.html

http://www.mediacircus.net/regeneration.html

Clips on Youtube

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=4yoQ-2d4jRk

32Bravo
12-04-2008, 02:56 AM
Sneak peak of The Somme:

http://tw.youtube.com/watch?v=-Q8Ijsy2mMM&feature=related

Cojimar 1945
01-04-2009, 01:26 AM
Has anyone read the book "Medical Services: Casualties and Medical Statistics" from 1931? It sounds like it contains considerable info on casualty statistics from the war.

TheBeam
01-18-2009, 10:47 AM
I've read a fair number of books on WWI, including an entire encyclopedia. And the best books I've read, by far, are two very recent ones, both by the same author, Tim Cook. The first is At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914-1916 and then the very recently released book (I think it came out this November or December)...Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918.

Now I am Canadian, so I may find the history and politics more interesting because of that, but the main reason I love these books is the amount of detail he uses to capture what it is like for the soldier...what life was like, both in and out of the trenches (they only got 2-weeks of leave a year!) He's read thousands of letters and memoirs and included the best and most interesting stories captured in them. Many a great letter quote that captures the mood and essense of the men during these awful times. Everything from field punishments, VD on leave, getting beaten by NCO instead of getting written up, to grousing about not enough rum before an attack. And the attack details are clear and yet entirely from the individuals perspective so you really get a sense of what happened.

Awesome. Just awesome.

I'll give one of many interesting stories: 4 guys are taking cover in a shell hole, one drink water from a canteen, another holding his rifle out, trying to keep it clear from mud when a massive shell screams into their hole and blows them all out of it, literally, throwing them in different directions. The guy with the canteen has his canteen shedded with a massive hole in it. The rifle was cut into two pieces. And all 4 dazed men got up, inspected themselves and found not a hole in any of them.

VonWeyer
09-01-2009, 02:56 AM
I recommend "Forgotten Voices of the Great War" ...true accounts told by the soldiers themselves. A definite eye-opener.