First World War (WW1) Books

  • FTTF
    • £9.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £15.01Save 60.00000000000000085265128291212022304534912109375%
    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.
  • PSCH
    (1)
    • £6.99
    • RRP £25.00
    • Save £18.01Save 71.9999999999999937472239253111183643341064453125%
    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)
    • £4.99
    • RRP £24.97
    • Save £19.98Save 78.9999999999999982946974341757595539093017578125%
    • 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
    • £8.79
    • RRP £10.99
    • Save £2.20Save 20.00%
    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.
  • AEUEC
    • £53.69
    • RRP £65.00
    • Save £11.31Save 17.00000000000000142108547152020037174224853515625%
    Although T.E. Lawrence, commonly known as 'Lawrence of Arabia', died in 1935, the story of his life has captured the imagination of succeeding generations. Seven Pillars of Wisdom is a monumental work in which he chronicles his role in leading the Arab Revolt against the Turks during the First World War. A reluctant leader, and wracked by guilt at the duplicity of the British, Lawrence nevertheless threw himself into his role, suffering the blistering desert conditions and masterminding military campaigns which culminated in the triumphant march of the Arabs into Damascus.
  • BGXJC
    • £44.00
    • RRP £55.00
    • Save £11.00Save 20.00%
    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
    • RRP £45.00
    • Save £9.21Save 20.000000000000001136868377216160297393798828125%
    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
    • £35.99
    • RRP £45.00
    • Save £9.01Save 20.000000000000000426325641456060111522674560546875%
    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.
  • BCIUP
    • £36.00
    • RRP £45.00
    • Save £9.00Save 20.00%
    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.
  • AKUPH
    • £36.00
    • RRP £45.00
    • Save £9.00Save 20.00%
    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.
  • BGDUD
    • £32.00
    • RRP £40.00
    • Save £8.00Save 20.00%
    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.
  • AYOBA
    • £32.00
    • RRP £40.00
    • Save £8.00Save 20.00%
    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
    • RRP £40.00
    • Save £8.00Save 20.00%
    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.
  • BSNNQ
    • £32.00
    • RRP £40.00
    • Save £8.00Save 20.00%
    The Somme sector of the Western Front was held by French forces until early 1916, when the British and Dominions Third and Fourth Armies moved into the northern part, before the joint First Battle of the Somme from July to November 1916\. In 1917, with the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line, British responsibility moved further south. By early 1918 the British Third and Fifth Armies were responsible as far south as east of Noyon. In Spring 1918 the German attack and advance from the Hindenburg Line came west almost to Amiens. However the British and French Armies finally stopped the advance, and from August 1918 drove the German Army back eastwards until the Armistice on 11 November 1918. In this book the metre gauge networks established before the First World War are examined. Then the build up of light (60cm gauge) railways, initially mainly French but later British, in 1915 and 1916, is considered, with an assessment of the contribution of these and the metre gauge lines to the war effort. With the major movements of the front line in this sector in 1917 and 1918, the response of the narrow gauge railways is considered chronologically as well as by area, in the context of overall railway policy and development. After the war the light railways contributed to the reconstruction of the devastated areas, and then in some places served the sugar beet industry. The metre gauge railways were rebuilt or repaired. The story is followed to the closure of the last of these railways in the 1960s. This book is a companion volume to Narrow Gauge in the Arras Sector (Pen & Sword Transport, 2015) by the same authors. It refers also to other previous works on British and French railways in the First World War, but contains sufficient information to stand alone. It describes how to find key locations now, and where rolling stock can be seen. Some walks are included for those who wish to explore the territory.
  • BSYVT
    • £31.99
    • RRP £39.99
    • Save £8.00Save 20.00%
    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
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • BROFM
    • £30.00
    • RRP £37.50
    • Save £7.50Save 19.000000000000001563194018672220408916473388671875%
    This subject appeals not only because it is dramatic and controversial, but also because of the complexity, uncertainty and unpredictability of raiding. Leadership was critical since raiding posed many challenges including vicious hand-to-hand fighting most often at night in unfamiliar trenches. These are just some of the reasons why raids are high in "human interest." The book examines the nature, purposes, mechanics, execution and value of trench raiding. In this it succeeds admirably. It is also unique in three aspects. First, it shares the originality that features so strongly in all of Radley's books. This in itself is appealing given that all too many books today seem to be less original that they are reiterative. While there have been in the past two accounts of raiding, in this latest work originality shines through in Radley's choice and use of sources; in the imaginative use of Kipling's six honest serving men that makes the answers to Kipling's queries stand out sharply; and in the detailed description of preparing raid plans and orders, including their format, content and increasing sophistication. No other book so thoroughly and clearly guides readers from conception to plan and then translation into operation orders and instructions. What is also evident is this soldier-historian's ability, which stems from long-service in the Canadian Army (Regular), and sound military education including Staff College, to apply the tests of military probability, soldierly logic and military common sense to what he has studied. These enable interrogation of misapprehension, nuance and unfounded deductions and conclusions. Second, Radley's approach is unique. At the end of the first eight chapters, which thematically answer Kipling's six queries, readers will be well aware of the nature of planning and executing raids. No other book tackles "How" to raid to the extent this one does. The first half also enables fuller appreciation of the lessons, course and conduct of the selected raids that year by year comprise the last half. Wisely, the author avoided including every raid, a course that almost inevitably would result in indigestible catalogue. Instead, the book offers selected raids, selection based on criteria such as unusual nature, purpose, size or technology, reasons for success or failure, innovation and lessons. Readers are free, of course, to wish this or that raid was present, but the author had also to consider the balance of the book, Canadian and British. Nor is the enemy forgotten. Radley exploits, for example, a Canadian brigadier's primer (the "Book of Wisdom") on preventing and defeating enemy raids. Finally, this book, like all Radley's work, is extremely well documented thanks to a wide range of primary and secondary sources. The Bibliography, at over 40 pages, provides an unprecedented reference guide. Unlike earlier accounts Radley has made extensive use of the contemporary manuals. Remarkably, one earlier account did not even mention SS 107 Notes on Minor Enterprises, but then that account lists only three journal articles and two British divisional histories! For his part, Radley has made unprecedented use of the published histories of 45 British divisions and all the Canadian battalions, each being weighed against the other sources, not only to corroborate, but to enliven the bald official accounts with the colour and perspective of officers and men. While these unit and formation histories have serious flaws, and their quality varies, many offer valuable information not available elsewhere. Often these reveal even more in what they do not say. If the reader has appreciable military service so much the better since knowing how an Army works unlocks the nuances and enables amplification. In short, On The Dangerous Edge offers a unique approach and perspective plus thorough and careful assessment and analysis based on broad and deep research in both familiar and in heretofore neglected areas. It is ...
  • AUXBJ
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00Save 20.00%
    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'.
  • BPWNA
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00Save 20.00%
    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.
  • BPYYZ
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00Save 20.00%
    1916 was a pivotal year for the British Army. It was a year of intense combat that was defined by the Battle of the Somme and the appalling casualties of the 1st July 1916. Yet it was also the year in which the British Army began to master industrial warfare and the tide of the war began to turn in favour of the Allies. This book brings together leading scholars of the First World War to examine the experience of the British Army in this controversial year. It includes essays which consider Britain's grand strategy, the role of key commanders, intelligence gathering, the development of logistics and the performance of Dominion forces, as well as offering a thorough examination of the nature of the fighting at the Battle of the Somme and beyond. Drawing upon the latest research, this book provides many valuable new insights and marks a major contribution to our understanding of the Battle of the Somme and the British Army of the First World War.
  • BPLPC
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00Save 20.00%
    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, ...
  • BQZEF
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00Save 20.00%
    From the start of the First World War casualties were far higher than had been anticipated. The losses required rapid replacement in order to maintain operational effectiveness, but the provision of manpower and the drafting processes would require consideration and refinement throughout the war. Using original sources, this work examines the provision and management of Other Rank replacements for British Infantry battalions on the Western Front. It is predominantly pitched at the management level, but the subject requires exploration of the political context and the impact on battalions of political and managerial decisions. The provision of new sources of manpower with the coming of conscription and the introduction of National Service are considered, and the suggestion that the Government actively withheld reinforcements in 1918 is reviewed. The initial influx of volunteers had created a much larger Army than had previously existed. The maintenance of its battalions consequently required the creation of new draft-finding units and successive changes to be made to the drafting and reinforcement processes. It has previously been assumed that these changes and the introduction of conscription destroyed the cohesion of regiments by causing replacements to be drafted with no concern for the traditional recruiting areas of the battalions to which they were sent. Detailed analysis of individual fatalities sustained by battalions belonging to Regiments recruited from the English/Welsh Marches of Western Command shows, however, that the majority of men in these battalions in late 1918 had been drawn from the Regiments' parent Home Command.
  • BRHNW
    • £28.00
    • RRP £35.00
    • Save £7.00Save 20.00%
    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.