First World War (WW1) Books

  • FTTF
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    Published in the year that marks the centenary of the end of the First World War, Fight to Finish chronicles the progress of the battle on a month-by-month basis.

    From the killing of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the beginning of the fighting to the signing of the armistice, the War lasted almost 52 months and was fought on land, sea and in the air.

    Based on Allan Mallinson's monthly commentaries in The Times throughout the centenary, Fight to the Finish provides armchair historians with an original portrait of this tumultuous time in our history.
  • The British Serviceman of the First World War Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781784423025
    BSWW
    (1)
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    • Just £2.00 per book
    These three books are full of true stories about the heroes who fought in the First World War.

    David and Stuart Hadaway's The British Airman of the First World War covers the pilots, observers and gunners that played a vital part in the Allied war effort; Quintin Colville's The British Sailor of the First World War explores the everyday experiences of those who served in the navy between 1914 and 1918; and Peter Doyle's The British Solder of the First World War goes beyond the familiar picture of soldier in muddy trenches and reveals what it was like to be an average British 'Tommy' - both in battle and at rest.

    All extensively researched, these are incredible books about the humans behind one of the world's most important battles.
    Format: paperback
  • World War Miscellanies Set - 2 Books - Collection - 9781849537117
    WWMS
    • £4.99
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    • Just £2.50 per book
    If you've ever wondered who fired the first British shot of the First World War, how low the Dambusters flew or just how many ships were sunk at Pearl Harbor, these two books will provide the answers.

    Compiled and written by Norman Ferguson, the miscellanies tell the stories of the battles, aircraft, weapons, soldiers, heroes and enemies of both world wars, while also presenting these tales in accessible, bite-sized chunks. Among the events covered in the First World War are the downing of the Red Baron and the first WWI soldier to receive the Victoria Cross...

    The book based around the Second World War tells the stories of the Battle of Britain, the Siege of Leningrad, the horrors of the Holocaust and the D-Day landings... Compelling throughout, the books also contain a startling number of facts and figures to dip into.
  • PSCH
    (1)
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    The Battle of Passchendaele took place between July and November 1917 and is widely regarded as one of the worst battles of both World Wars.

    Fought by the Allies against the German Empire in a small corner of Belgium, it was a horrific event that ended with over 500,000 men killed, maimed, gassed or drowned - and many bodies were never found.

    This book marks the centenary of the event. Historian Nick Lloyd references previously unexamined German documents to explain how the offensive put the Allies nearer to a major turning point in the war than anyone has ever imagined...

    It's a fascinating and poignant read for anyone with an interest in military history, trench warfare or past wars.
  • Imperial War Museum's History Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781471162497
    IWMH
    (1)
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    • Just £1.66 per book
    Published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum, this three-book collection brings together a fascinating and authoritative social history of the Second World War.

    A Prayer for Gallipoli covers the Great War from the point of view of a chaplain. Kenneth Best had no military training, so to fulfil his pastoral role, he had to get close to the front line and work with troops as they were under fire. As his empathy for the troops grew larger, he became more and more disgusted with their leaders. These diaries provide an insight into the horrific realities of trench warfare.

    The Secret History of the Blitz by Joshua Levine looks at the people that are not normally mentioned during accounts of the War - those spivs, outcasts and unsung heroes who were in the shadows; and D-Day to Victory features the diaries of a British tank commander as the war finally came to an end.

    All written using archive and primary sources, these are candid and compelling reads about the triumphs and tragedies of war.
  • AQVIN
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    Sunday Times Top Ten Best-seller. The final destruction of the Ottoman Empire - one of the great epics of the First World War, from best-selling historian Eugene Rogan. For some four centuries the Ottoman Empire had been one of the most powerful states in Europe as well as ruler of the Middle East. By 1914 it had been drastically weakened and circled by numerous predators waiting to finish it off. Following the Ottoman decision to join the First World War on the side of the Central Powers the British, French and Russians hatched a plan to finish the Ottomans off: an ambitious and unprecedented invasion of Gallipoli...Eugene Rogan's remarkable book recreates one of the most important but poorly understood fronts of the First World War. Despite fighting back with great skill and ferocity against the Allied onslaught and humiliating the British both at Gallipoli and in Mesopotamia (Iraq), the Ottomans were ultimately defeated, clearing the way for the making, for better or worse, of a new Middle East which has endured to the present.
  • MPWR
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    A very poignant and powerful book, Maps of War is a visual survey of how conflict was recorded and planned. It uses archive maps to reveal how warfare and documentation has changed through the centuries.

    Covering the history of military mapping, the book looks at beginning and what impact the invention of printing and introduction of gunpowder had. In the 17th century, military commanders and strategists started to document wars by way of illustration.

    In the 18th century, they started to use maps to chart progress. This chapter reflects the spread of European power and transoceanic conflict and focuses on the American war of Independence. The book then moves on to the 19th and 20th centuries, covering everything from the American Civil War to the World War, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars.
  • BGXJC
    • £44.00
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    Volume 3 carries the story of the XIV Reserve Corps through the momentous Battle of the Somme and into 1917, a period of transition for the German Army. The old tactics and strategy of trench warfare would undergo great changes as the German Army was transformed from a military force rooted in the 19th Century into a modern 20th Century fighting force with new strategies and tactics. The concept of a continuous trench system was being transformed into a defense in depth as a direct result of a shortage of men in the German Army. The reader will experience the withdrawal to the Siegfried Stellung (Hindenburg Line) and the subsequent fighting by Arras and trench warfare by Verdun and in the Champagne. What was not known to the rank and file during this time were the difficulties facing the German High Command in regard to manpower problems, and the huge consumption of critical resources resulting from fighting on numerous battle fronts. It was a time when Germany began to realize that something needed to change otherwise the war could be lost. It was a time for bold ideas and new strategies, tactics and weapons that could sustain the German Army as the war entered its third year. The reader will follow the men of the XIV Reserve Corps in their own words as they experienced the transformation of the German Army through Feldpost letters and previously unseen first-hand accounts. They will also see how the Allies changed the way they fought the war as new weapons and tactics appeared on the battlefield. It would be a volatile period during the war that became the basis for the final act of the war, the preparation and execution of the German offensives of 1918 and the eventual end of the war that will be covered in the fourth and final volume of this series.
  • AKNYY
    • £35.79
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    This is the most comprehensive study yet in the English language of the German Imperial Navy's battlecruisers that served in the First World War. Known as Panzerkreuzer, literally 'armoured cruiser', the eight ships of the class were to be involved in several early North Sea skirmishes before the great pitched battle of Jutland where they inflicted devastating damage on the Royal Navy's battlecruiser fleet. In this new book the author details their design and construction, and traces the full service history of each ship, recounting their actions, largely from first-hand German sources and official documents, many previously unpublished in English. Detailed line drawings and maps augment the text throughout, as do a wealth of contemporary photos that depict the vessels at sea as well as in dock, where details of damage sustained in action and many aspects of their design can be viewed in close up. A superb series of full-colour, specially-commissioned computer graphics show full length profiles and top-down views of each ship in precise and clear detail. This stunning book is a major new contribution to German naval history in this country and will become a 'must-have' volume on the shelves of historians, enthusiasts and modellers and indeed for anyone interested in the navies of the First World War and steel warships in general.
  • AWBZT
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    The author's compilation of a unique register identifying those individual South Wales miners who served in the tunnelling companies has allowed a remarkable story to be told. For the first time, the lives of individual South Wales miners are highlighted from pre-war mining days: their very personal contribution within the tunnelling companies, to the resting places of those who did not survive the war - and, for the survivors, their ultimate despatch home. The underlying theme is of an indefatigable band of men, together with like-minded miners from other British coalfields, asked to carry out multi-tasked duties associated with a form of military mining not foreseen prior to the outbreak of war. Before a major battle, these men constructed large underground dugouts to house troops away from enemy shell fire. In exploding huge mines under German lines immediately before the British attack, they aided the advancing infantry in causing death and confusion in the German lines. During the British advance in 1918, they became experts in the dangerous work of defusing enemy booby-traps, delay-action and landmines in front of the advancing troops. They showed all the resolution, fortitude and determination - if not sheer bloody-mindedness - to see the job through; so reminiscent of the miner at home struggling to earn a decent rate of pay in the most arduous of conditions. There was a price to pay...Details are given of the 207 miners who died whilst on active service and of how many others were repatriated after gunshot wounds, gas poisoning or ill-health. Accounts are given of miners entombed underground as a result of enemy explosions; medals awarded for acts of bravery when attempting to free trapped miners; and of those taken as prisoners of war when the enemy broke into British workings. Old men and young boys lied about their ages to gain acceptance into the tunnelling companies - and suffered the harsh consequences. A unique investigation such as this not only acknowledges the miners' personal contribution as tunnellers, but also serves as a scholarly and novel addition to the existing literature concerning the history of the Great War, its tunnelling companies, South Wales, its coalfield and the lives of its miners. There can be little doubt that this work will, in years to come, establish itself as a standard text in the history of military mining not only in a specific sense, but also as a work on the Great War in general.
  • ABAFC
    • £36.00
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    Peter Barton's landmark volume presents over 50 original panoramas of the battlegrounds of the Somme. They show what no other photographs can: the view from the trench parapet, and a great deal more. This revised edition also includes stunning new details of the use and misuse of an extraordinary network of 'Russian Saps' installed during the two months prior to battle. These tunnels beneath no man's land often brought the British - unseen - to within 10 metres of the German trenches, yet over-secrecy and poor communication led to most being left unexploited. In the sectors where they were employed, success was dramatic. And a host of previously unpublished personal testimony, and a fresh look at several unseen and forgotten aspects of the battle such as the Royal Engineers' Push Pipes, Bored Mines and huge Livens Flame Projectors. Here is the Somme as you have never seen it before. Praise for "The Battlefields of the First World War": 'An extraordinary set of panoramic photographs that reveal the battlefields of the Western Front as never before' - "The Times." 'Astonishing ...made my heart sigh' - "Independent." 'Without doubt the best publication on the Great War in many years ...a superb piece of work' - "Western Front Association. "
  • AKUPH
    • £36.00
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    The overriding image of the First World War is the bloody stalemate of the Western Front, but although much of the action did occur on land, the overall shape of the war - even the inevitability of British participation - arose out of its maritime character. It was essentially a struggle about access to worldwide resources, most clearly seen in the desperate German attempts to deal with the American industrial threat, which ultimately levered the United States into the war, and thus a consequence of British sea control. This radical new book concentrates on the way in which each side tried to use or deny the sea to the other, and in so doing it describes rapid wartime changes not only in ship and weapon technology but also in the way naval warfare was envisaged and fought. Combat produced many surprises: some, like the impact of the mine and torpedo, are familiar, but this book also brings to light many previously unexplored subjects, like creative new tactical practices and improved command and control. The contrast between expectation and reality had enormous consequences not only for the course of the war but also for the way navies developed afterwards. This book melds strategic, technical, and tactical aspects to reveal the First World War from a fresh perspective, but also demonstrates how its perceived lessons dominated the way navies prepared for the Second.
  • BCIUP
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    Generally conceded to be doomed from the outset by the most recent historiography, the Gallipoli campaign still arouses heated controversy. In a new compendium of original research by an impressive array of established and up-and-coming scholars, Gallipoli: The Mediterranean Expeditionary Force 1915-16 explores a wide variety of aspects of the Allied military effort to force a passage through the Dardanelles straits and eliminate Ottoman Turkey from its Central Powers alliance. Contributors & topics include: Phylomena Badsey: Hospital ships; John Bourne: Staffordshire Regiment; Stephen Chambers: POWs; Alexandra Churchill: The Evacuation; Jeff Cleverly: Suvla Bay; Rhys Crawley: Royal Navy; Brian Curragh: 10th Irish Division; Peter Doyle: Terrain; Katherine Swinfen Eady: Experiences of a 29th Division Staff Officer; Mel Hampton: First Battle of Krithia; Peter Hart: Royal Naval Division; Simon House: Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient; Gavin Hughes: Irish Regiments; James Peter Hurst: ANZAC Landing; Rob Langham: Artillery; Michael LoCicero: Krithia Nullah winter 1915; Ross Mahoney: Aviation/Airpower; Linda Parker: Chaplains; Simon Peaple: Grand Strategy; Chris Pugsley: New Zealanders; Chris Roberts: Australian Brigade Command; John Sneddon: Ordnance and Supply; Rob Stevenson: 1st Australian Division; Rob Thompson: Logistics; Tom Williams: Territorials at Suvla Bay; John Dixon & Richard Wood: Tunnellers.
  • BTARJ
    • £6.24
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    Any visitor to the site of the bloodiest battle in the history of the United States will be drawn to Montfaucon, for it is here that General Pershing, the Commander in Chief, determined that the major memorial to the American Expeditionary Forces would be sited. The impressive classical column, erected on the summit of Montfaucon Hill, can be seen from many parts of the battlefield of the Meuse-Argonne 1918. The village of Montfaucon, perched on and around one of the most notable heights in the Argonne area, was a first day objective for the First American Army in its massive offensive that was launched on 26 September 1918 and which rumbled on until the Armistice. Montfaucon had been the scene of bitter fighting between the French and the Germans in the early stages of the war, finally staying securely in German hands. The attack started well, with the great numbers of Doughboys easily moving through the first line of the German defence system; and, indeed, good progress was made all along the front, even if final objectives were not attained that would have brought the Americans up to the Hindenburg Line defences. The most notable setback was the failure to capture Montfaucon, an objective given to the 79th Division. Why the task of capturing this key part of the German line to a 'green' division, composed of draftees and which had only had six weeks or so of training time in France, instead of the prescribed three months, has never been adequately explained. What has proved to be controversial ever since is why the 4th Division, a regular formation that had already been engaged in battle on the Western Front and which gained its objectives on the first day, did not seek to assist the 79th when it was clear that it was facing significant difficulties in overcoming the Montfaucon defences. The outcome was that the village and hill did not fall on the first day. How significant this setback was to the success and the duration of the offensive has also been the subject of considerable discussion. Montfaucon was an important observation point for much of the war, providing distant views over considerable amounts of ground and thus invaluable for the German artillery. How much its loss mattered to the Germans when fighting a defensive battle, with the defence lines south of it already lost, is more open to debate, given the vantage points that the Germans continued to enjoy from high ground to the north-west and east. Maarten Otte sets the importance of Montfaucon and the ultimately successful effort to capture it within a succinct narrative. In the tours section he takes the visitor on a number of routes so that they can see for themselves the problems on the ground that faced the 79th Division and puts Montfaucon in the context of the wider battle. He also provides a detailed tour of the village and hill itself, including the magnificent memorial and the preserved defences and ruins which surround it.
  • AYOBA
    • £32.00
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    The fast and formidably-armed battlescruisers of Great Britain and Germany that were developed before and during the First World War are, in this new book, compared and contrasted in a way, and at a level of detail that has never been attempted before. The authors begin by looking at the relationship and rivalry between Great Britain and Germany and at how foreign policy, strategic and tactical considerations, economic, industrial and technological developments, and naval policies led to the instigation of the battlecruiser programmes in both countries. Chapters are then devoted to the development of the type in each country, at their design and construction, protection, propulsion plants, weapons, fire control, and communication systems, focussing particularly on the innovative aspects of the designs and on their strengths and weaknesses. These ships eventually clashed in the North Sea at Dogger Bank, in January 1915, and while neither side suffered losses, the differences in their design and handling were apparent, differences that would be more starkly highlighted a year later at Jutland when three British ships were destroyed.These actions, and others they took part in, are described and assessed by the authors who then conclude by analysing their strengths and limitations. This is a major new work for naval enthusiasts everywhere.
  • BGJHQ
    • £32.00
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    In the past, while visiting the First World War battlefields, the author often wondered where the various Victoria Cross actions took place. He resolved to find out. In 1988, in the midst of his army career, research for this book commenced and over the years numerous sources have been consulted. Victoria Crosses on the Western Front Third Ypres 1917 is designed for the battlefield visitor as much as the armchair reader. A thorough account of each VC action is set within the wider strategic and tactical context. Detailed sketch maps show the area today, together with the battle-lines and movements of the combatants. It will allow visitors to stand upon the spot, or very close to, where each VC was won. Photographs of the battle sites richly illustrate the accounts. There is also a comprehensive biography for each recipient, covering every aspect of their lives warts and all parents and siblings, education, civilian employment, military career, wife and children, death and burial/commemoration. A host of other information, much of it published for the first time, reveals some fascinating characters, with numerous links to many famous people and events.
  • BGDUD
    • £32.00
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    This book makes it possible to comprehend, via the trench naming, the daily life in the trenches, the vast range of weaponry and the lethal nature of the titanic battles. Names such as Lovers Lane, Doleful Post, Cyanide Trench and Gangrene Alley are as revealing as any history. While based upon the British trenches, there is a comparison with French and German practice. While a poignant concordance of suffering and an intriguing study of language itself, this book is also a vital research tool for military and family historians.
  • BSYVT
    • £31.99
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    A comprehensive biography of General Sir Alexander Godley, presenting for the first time a fair and balanced look at his time as commander of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) and II ANZAC Corps during World War I. While Godley is generally remembered as being a poor field commander, Terry Kinloch argues that he was in fact a capable one who had little or no ability to influence the failed battles at Gallipoli and Passchendaele that he is often seen as responsible for. Kinloch also presents, for the first time, a detailed account of Godley's long pre- and post-World War I career in the British Army. After the war Godley returned to the British Army, eventually reaching the rank of general before retiring in 1933. During his 48-year military career, he also served on operations in Rhodesia and South Africa, as a mounted infantry instructor, in the post-war British occupation force in Germany, and as the Governor of Gibraltar.
  • ATJBX
    • £30.00
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    This is a story of soldiers at war against the background the two battalions of the Scots Guards who served in Belgium and France from 1914 to 1918. The author's purpose is to display - by getting in amongst them - what they knew, saw, heard, felt and experienced around them and who they were as people. It is clear that the author has attempted to look and listen mostly through these men's eyes and ears - and sometimes through those of others who watched and listened nearby. In conveying how the war appeared to them, the author has not sought to achieve any wider view - nor to explain more than what is considered to be essential. What went on when the men were not in the trenches or fighting a battle holds just as much interest as when they were. The book is written in a chronological, narrative form - using as a basis the war diaries of the battalions, and supplemented from August 1915 by the two volumes of Cuthbert Headlam's History of the Guards Division in the Great War 1915-1918. The main content of the book stems from diaries, letters, notes, occasional pieces of verse, military documents and reports - as well as some press cuttings and any relevant published works. There are three key elements to the book: the first is that a great deal of the material used forms part of private collections and thus has never before; second is the intensive research which has been conducted into individual officers and soldiers; the third element is the blending together of all the research into a coherent whole so that there is a steady flow in an extraordinary story which is full of shocks and surprises, enjoyment and laughter - and (even in the most inauspicious situations) sorrow, joy and determination. These officers and men were ordinary human beings who experienced extraordinary events. In all other ways, they behaved as soldiers do, in that they did what they had to do - often misbehaving out of the line, but rarely in it; enjoying what there was to enjoy and grumbling about much else. Among themselves they had their personal likes and dislikes, but all had to depend on each other and work together. Because of the comradeship borne of the shared experience at close quarters, they got to know each other very well indeed. One cannot be but humbled and moved by their resilience amid dire adversity - not least in the winter conditions of 1916-17. It is extremely important when reading to remember that they had no idea how long the war would continue - and it is not surprising how unexpected and unreal the announcement of the Armistice was for many. The Scots Guardsmen's understanding of what others were doing at any time was limited to what they saw and heard - very rarely anywhere near the whole story and often inaccurate (and sometimes, however unintentionally, unfair). Those British soldiers who took part in the Retreat from Mons saw and were well aware of the plight of the refugees - and they could see behind them the fires as the advancing Germans burnt farms and villages. Those who landed at Ostend and Zeebrugge early in October 1914 were similarly well aware of the plight of refugees. Those in the area east of the Somme battlefields after the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917 saw the scale of calculated destruction. Those in the last weeks of the war who advanced across largely unfought-over Belgian and French territory (in the case of the Scots Guards, east of Cambrai) first met pathetically grateful civilians. Whatever else the war was about, it was also about liberation.
  • ATJBY
    • £30.00
    • RRP £37.50
    • Save £7.50Save 19.000000000000001563194018672220408916473388671875%
    This is a story of soldiers at war against the background the two battalions of the Scots Guards who served in Belgium and France from 1914 to 1918. The author's purpose is to display - by getting in amongst them - what they knew, saw, heard, felt and experienced around them and who they were as people. It is clear that the author has attempted to look and listen mostly through these men's eyes and ears - and sometimes through those of others who watched and listened nearby. In conveying how the war appeared to them, the author has not sought to achieve any wider view - nor to explain more than what is considered to be essential. What went on when the men were not in the trenches or fighting a battle holds just as much interest as when they were. The book is written in a chronological, narrative form - using as a basis the war diaries of the battalions, and supplemented from August 1915 by the two volumes of Cuthbert Headlam's History of the Guards Division in the Great War 1915-1918. The main content of the book stems from diaries, letters, notes, occasional pieces of verse, military documents and reports - as well as some press cuttings and any relevant published works. There are three key elements to the book: the first is that a great deal of the material used forms part of private collections and thus has never before; second is the intensive research which has been conducted into individual officers and soldiers; the third element is the blending together of all the research into a coherent whole so that there is a steady flow in an extraordinary story which is full of shocks and surprises, enjoyment and laughter - and (even in the most inauspicious situations) sorrow, joy and determination. These officers and men were ordinary human beings who experienced extraordinary events. In all other ways, they behaved as soldiers do, in that they did what they had to do - often misbehaving out of the line, but rarely in it; enjoying what there was to enjoy and grumbling about much else. Among themselves they had their personal likes and dislikes, but all had to depend on each other and work together. Because of the comradeship borne of the shared experience at close quarters, they got to know each other very well indeed. One cannot be but humbled and moved by their resilience amid dire adversity - not least in the winter conditions of 1916-17. It is extremely important when reading to remember that they had no idea how long the war would continue - and it is not surprising how unexpected and unreal the announcement of the Armistice was for many. The Scots Guardsmen's understanding of what others were doing at any time was limited to what they saw and heard - very rarely anywhere near the whole story and often inaccurate (and sometimes, however unintentionally, unfair). Those British soldiers who took part in the Retreat from Mons saw and were well aware of the plight of the refugees - and they could see behind them the fires as the advancing Germans burnt farms and villages. Those who landed at Ostend and Zeebrugge early in October 1914 were similarly well aware of the plight of refugees. Those in the area east of the Somme battlefields after the Germans withdrew to the Hindenburg Line in March 1917 saw the scale of calculated destruction. Those in the last weeks of the war who advanced across largely unfought-over Belgian and French territory (in the case of the Scots Guards, east of Cambrai) first met pathetically grateful civilians. Whatever else the war was about, it was also about liberation.
  • AUXBJ
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
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    This is the first book devoted to the subject of reconnaissance in the nascent Tank Corps in the Great War. It is a neglected field in spite of passing references to reconnaissance in a number of early books on the history of the Tank Corps. This is also the first attempt to provide a conceptual framework in which to consider intelligence and reconnaissance work and to see it in the broader context of military reconnaissance. Adding the term 'Reconography' to the military lexicon draws attention to a little-known monograph on the subject which has never entered the popular domain before now. The introduction of the tanks on the Western Front in 1916 launched a new form of armoured warfare. After their baptism on 15 September 1916, the tanks became dependent on a few reconnaissance officers to guide them into action. The importance of these officers was fully recognised within the Tank Corps itself, but less so outside. The reconnaissance officers came to form an elite group of talented men, a special caste, whose contribution to the nascent Tank Corps was far greater than their numbers might suggest. It is surprising, therefore, that the contribution made by these officers has hitherto been neglected in the historiography of British tank operations in the First World War. This book aims to appeal at a number of levels: it seeks to pull together the activities, skills and techniques of tank Intelligence and reconnaissance officers and assess their place and contribution to British tank operations in the Great War; it places tank reconnaissance work in the wider context of intelligence and reconnaissance activities prior to the wa and it also provides a case study of the tensions that inevitably occur when new wine is put into old bottles, or more prosaically, new technology into existing organisations. It has been necessary to create conceptual structures in which reconnaissance operations can be analysed; it attempts to breathe life into what some might regard as a dull technical subject by devoting space to key figures in Tank Corps' intelligence and reconnaissance activities. Fortunately, and perhaps as a consequence of their activities, they were some of the most colourful and interesting figures in the Tank Corps at that time. In awarding the author the WFA-Helion Holmes Prize, the judges concluded that 'his work reflects deep research, a high standard of writing and a notable originality'.
  • BPLPC
    • £28.00
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    An Unappreciated Field of Endeavour is not a comprehensive examination of British Expeditionary Force (BEF) logistics on the Western Front, nor indeed a short history. To achieve the former would involve several volumes and the latter would omit much fascinating detail. It does however bring a new and fresh perspective by analysing, in a series of engaging essays, the critical contribution of particular components of military and commercial logistics to the preparations and operations of the British and Empire Armies in the pre-war period and during the Great War on the Western Front, through the lens of specific elements and themes, each of which, cast penetrating light into dark corners of an important, yet mainly forgotten story. An Unappreciated Field of Endeavour explains how pre-war strategic, economic, political and defence dynamics constrained military logistic resilience but influenced the plans to rely upon commercial assets to support military and naval operations, before examining the role of the commercial railways and mercantile marine in the planning, preparation and execution of Defence mobilization and movement in the United Kingdom during Transition To War in 1914. The role of British railways in playing a defining part in a critical moment of European history is explored in depth as are the technical processes and managerial interfaces that enabled them. The contribution of British commercial and business leaders and managers to enhancing the combat capability of the BEF is examined through the lens of the increasing industrialization of logistic support to operations. In particular, the influence of commercial practice in improving military logistic efficiency and effectiveness, whilst also subtly changing military culture is matched to the dynamics and frictions of employing commercial logistic advisers in the operational environment of the Western Front. Whilst, the exploits of the combat elements of the BEF in 1914 have been analysed in depth, the contribution of the logisticians who kept the BEF in the fight has effectively marched into the mists of time. An Unappreciated Field of Endeavour explores the success of the BEF's Quartermaster-General, Wully Robertson, in utilizing the skill of his logistic planners and soldiers to deliver the agile operational logistic capability that was the salvation of the BEF in 1914. Also examined, is the long forgotten but extraordinary logistic feat of deploying Indian Expeditionary Force A to France, through the mobilization and transportation of its soldiers across deserts and oceans before its complex logistic integration to the BEF in France. The solutions to the challenges in executing these operations by military and civilian logisticians from Britain, France and India, offer unusual insight into Coalition co-operation from three culturally diverse countries. Rarely studied, logistic planning, resources and execution played a crucial role in the preparations for the Battle of the Somme. These important aspects are analysed to highlight a developing capability, the military 'learning curve' of which, is of at least equal significance to those in the operational and tactical environments. The influence of the BEF's Wheeled Motor Transport (WMT) component upon the operational art on the Western Front is reviewed, including its impact upon the deployment and employment of armour, infantry, artillery and aviation. These were all affected by the expanding use of WMT, creating a requirement to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. Logistics were fundamental to the use of tanks in the Great War, an aspect comprehensively examined, to assess how transportation in particular, constrained the development of operational deployments. An Unappreciated Field of Endeavour also analyses how, in 1918, the BEF's logisticians were able to generate the capability to sustain All-Arms mobile three dimensional combat operations in a chemical warfare environment, ...
  • BPWNA
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    This is a major new study of Italian naval camouflage schemes developed and used during World War Two. When Italy entered the War in June 1942, the Regia Marina (Italian navy) was a force still under development and both Italian warships and merchant ships faced the War in their peace colours; and nor had any had prewar plans been made for camouflaging ships. At that time all the principal warships were painted in a light matt grey ('grigio cenerino chiaro'), which had been adopted in the 1920s and early '30s. With the advent of War, and the start of convoy traffic to Libya, the need to camouflage ships for purposes of deception, rather than outright concealment, became apparent and the first initiatives were undertaken. In the first part of the book, employing contemporary schematic drawings, photographs and his own CAD profiles, the author describes the development of the varied schemes that were adopted for the capital ships, such as _Caio Duilia_ and _Littorio_, cruisers, destroyers and torpedo boats, landing craft and merchant ships; even the royal yacht and small tugs were given camouflage schemes. In the second, and longest, part he depicts all the ships and their schemes, at different dates, with both sides of a ship shown where possible, in his own beautifully rendered schematic profiles, all in full colour, and it is this section with more than 700 drawings that gives the reader a complete and detailed picture of the whole development of Italian naval camouflage. He also looks in detail at the Greek theatre where there were many exceptions, influenced by the German presence and by the camouflage schemes of captured vessels. This major new reference book will prove invaluable to historians, collectors, modelmakers and wargamers and follows in the wake of the hugely successful Seaforth editions covering German and British camouflage schemes of the Second World War.
  • BRHNW
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    The battlecruiser is perceived by many as the most glamorous of warships, remembered for its triumphs and tragedies in both world wars. Often forgotten are its lineal ancestors, the big cruisers that were constructed as capital ships for distant waters, as commerce raiders, and as fast scouts for the battlefleet during the last decades of the nineteenth century and the first years of the twentieth. In this new book by bestselling author Aidan Dobson, the 200 or so big cruisers that were built for the world's navies from 1865 are described and analysed in detail. The type came into being in the 1860s when the French built a series of cruising ironclads to project its power in the Far East. Britain followed suit as did Russia. By the 1890s the general adoption of these fast, heavily-armed and moderately armoured vessels ushered in the golden age of the big cruiser. These great ships would go on to be key combatants in the Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese wars, the Japanese employing them within the battlefleet in a manner that heralded later battlecruiser tactics. In Britain, in reply to the launch of the big Russian _Rurik_ in 1890, there was spawned the freakishly huge HMS _Powerful_ and HMS _Terrible,_ ships that underlined the public's view of the glamour of the 'great cruiser'. Indeed, the two ships' cap-tallies became ubiquitous on the sailor suits of late Victorian British children. In some navies, particularly those of South American republics, the big cruiser became the true capital ship, while the Italians built the _Giuseppe Garibaldi_ as a more affordable battleship. By the beginning of the twentieth century the type became yet bigger and guns approached battleship size; with HMS _Invincible_ the British created what was, in 1912, officially dubbed the 'battlecruiser'. Despite their growing obsolescence in the new century some had remarkably long careers in patrol and other subsidiary roles, the Argentine _Garibaldi_ still sailing as a training ship in the 1950s. The design, development and operations of all these great vessels is told with the author's usual attention to detail and depth of analysis and will delight naval enthusiasts and historians of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.