World War I
Kitchener's New Army
Your Country Needs You!
In 1915 thriller writer Edgar Wallace (1875-1932) turned to patriotic non-fiction in this account of Lord Kitchener's recruitment drive and the accelerated training that produced the 'miracle' of his new divisions. Wallace's upbeat assessment reveals British attitudes towards the war in the months when a million volunteers were first swelling the country's army. Illustrated with contemporary photographs, cartoons and posters, this centenary edition features a new introduction giving the background to Kitchener's call for mobilization.
Marked for Death
The First War in the Air
Unreliable and flimsy aircraft and insufficient training added to the grave dangers of aerial combat during the First World War, leading to the deaths of 50,000 airmen. Beyond the glamorous reputation of the first 'aces', here the author of Empire of the Clouds (Postscript 11840 and 21782) examines the harsh reality of the pilots' struggle, and reveals how equipment and tactics developed rapidly so that by 1918 air power was recognized as imperative to any military strategy. Silk marker.
Four Years on the Western Front
Originally published under a pseudonym in 1922, this memoir of a private soldier in the London Rifle Brigade is closely based on the letters he sent home throughout the First World War, from enlistment and initial training in 1914 to the final Allied advance in the weeks leading up to the Armistice. It documents the experiences of an important but often overlooked branch of the British Army, first in the trenches then in the transport section.
To Fight Alongside Friends
The First World War Diary of Charlie May
From the day in November 1915 when he left for France until a few hours before he died on the first day of the Somme, Captain May of the Manchester Pals secretly filled seven pocket books with a diary for his wife, in which he vividly recorded his moments of terror and anticipation, friendship and frustration in the trenches. May's great-nephew has edited the complete diary and the family correspondence that followed his death.
The First World War: Mons 1914
The Battle of Mons was the first engagement for the British Expeditionary Force, meeting the German Army on the Belgian-French border in August 1914. Despite performing well they were forced into a withdrawal through the sprawling industrial area around Mons, in the face of superior German numbers. This feature-length documentary visits key locations in France and Belgium to tell the story of the BEF from arrival in France to the perilous retreat from the battle. 1 DVD 90min
Letters from the Trenches
A Soldier of the Great War
Harry Lamin was conscripted into the Army in late 1916 and fought in the infantry in France and Italy until the end of the First World War. His grandson Bill put his wartime letters online in blog format (http://wwar1.blogspot.co.uk), which became an internet sensation and attracted a worldwide following. The correspondence is at the heart of this history of Harry's service, which was first published in 2009 and is illustrated with postcards, photographs and maps.
We Are the Dead
Poems and Paintings from the Great War, 1914-1918
'My friend, you would not tell with such high zest/ To children ardent for some desperate glory,/ The old lie; Dulce et Decorum est/ Pro patria mori.' The response of Wilfred Owen to the war around him is just one of the many poems by British, Irish, Australian, Canadian, French and German writers in this evocative anthology. The poems' themes are echoed in paintings by artists including Paul Nash, John Singer Sargent, Otto Dix and Max Beckmann. With an introduction and biographical notes on the poets and artists.
Tommy at War
1914-1918: The Soldiers' Own Stories
Describing - from personal experience - the horror, exhilaration, comradeship and humour of warfare, this collection of first-hand accounts attempts to convey what it was like to serve as an ordinary British soldier in the Great War. Drawing on memoirs, diaries, correspondence and recorded interviews with survivors, the narrative examines recruitment and training and the soldier's experience of the home front and life in rear echelons as well as the discomfort, boredom and terror of the front line.
The Great War
Using over 1,000 rare and unseen photographs, facsimile reports and contemporary newspaper articles, Hamilton presents an extraordinarily vivid chronicle of the First World War. From the situation in the 'European tinder-box' prior to the outbreak of war, to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, the book provides a comprehensive narrative, a day-by-day chronology and a graphic guide to the progress of the conflict, its major battles and campaigns and the prominent military and political leaders.
When the Whistle Blows
The Story of the Footballer's Battalion in the Great War
Drawing on many previously unpublished letters, personal accounts and photographs, the authors tell the story of the 17th Battalion, the Middlesex regiment - the 'Footballers' Battalion' - and their experiences on the pitch and in some of the fiercest battles on the Western Front. With a foreword by the military historian Richard Holmes.
The Best 500 Cockney War Stories
After the First World War, the London Evening News invited its readers to send in their stories of the trenches. A collection of 500 was then published and this book is a facsimile edition of that volume. The stories are accompanied by cartoons by wartime artist Bert Thomas and the light-hearted tone of the anecdotes is testimony to the Cockney Tommy's ability to laugh in the face of adversity.
The Last of the Ebb
The Battle of the Aisne, 1918
The 'ebb' referred to in the title of this First World War memoir was the German offensive of May 1918 that pushed the Allies miles back towards Paris before the flow of the war turned decisively in the Allies' favour. First published in 1937, Rogerson's eyewitness account criticizes the French for their part in the humiliating retreat and includes a chapter written by the German officer who planned the offensive.
Letters and News from the Trenches and the Home Front
During the First World War the Daily Mail published letters from soldiers and civilians as well as reports from the front line and comment by literary figures such as John Galsworthy, Arthur Conan Doyle and Thomas Hardy. This volume mixes these elements from the paper's archive with private diaries, correspondence and photographs from the battle- and home fronts to give a valuable contemporary perspective on the war.
The Lost History of the Most Important Battle of World War I, 1914-1918
The Battle of Verdun, the attritional struggle between the French and German infantries on the River Meuse, is traditionally held to have taken place between February and December 1916. John Mosier contends that the conflict in fact extended over the entire period of the war, across eight distinct battles. His new assessment of the strategy and execution of the engagements near Verdun is based on numerous military analyses, eyewitness accounts and newly translated French sources. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Airway to the East 1918-1920
and the Collapse of No. I Aerial Route RAF
Arab anger at the British reneging on their promise of independence after the First World War was the catalyst for the decision to fly 51 bombers of the newly formed RAF to Egypt in 1919. Seventeen of them crashed or were destroyed en route, killing eight men. This account of the little-known episode, written by the son of an RAF officer involved, investigates the bad management, political wranglings and cover-ups that marked the disaster.
The Battle of Bellicourt Tunnel: Tommies, Diggers
and Doughboys on the Hindenburg Line, 1918
The Bellicourt Tunnel is a 3.5-mile underground stretch of the canal that connects the cities of Cambrai and St Quentin. In 1918 it formed a part of the German defensive Hindenburg Line and the battles that took place in the vicinity played an important part in Germany's ultimate defeat. This detailed history examines the roles of the British, Australian and American troops in the fighting and assesses the performance of Field Marshal Haig and other senior commanders in the field.
Master of the Field
As one of the key generals of the First World War, Douglas Haig increasingly attracted censure as the century progressed and the 'lions led by donkeys' view of the war became prevalent. This account of Haig's campaigns in 1917 and 1918 was written in 1953 by one of his key staff officers to counter the growing and, he felt, unjustified criticism. It offers an important insight from within the Field Marshal's inner circle. With a new preface by Haig's grandson.
The Legend and Tragedy of General Sir Ian Hamilton
The disastrous Gallipoli campaign of the First World War cost Winston Churchill his job as First Lord of the Admiralty and ended the military career of Ian Hamilton, widely blamed for the bungling of the operation on the ground. This study of Hamilton's military career traces his rise to prominence in the British Army of the 19th century and examines his failings, as well as those of his superiors, at Gallipoli, and his prescient military writings after the war.
In Flanders Fields
And Other Poems of the First World War
Selected from the work of soldiers who died in action - starting with Rupert Brooke in 1915 and ending with Wilfred Owen, killed just seven days before the Armistice, this 'procession of voices silenced by the war' captures both the realities of life at the front, as in Isaac Rosenberg's Louse Hunting, and thoughts about death such as John McCrae's In Flanders Fields. The anthology is illustrated with contemporary paintings and finely bound in gold-embossed covers. Slip-cased.
From Battlefield to Blighty, 1914-1918
The call 'bearers up' that brought the stretcher carriers into the front line was the last thing a soldier heard in the trenches of the First World War before the command to attack. This account of medical care on the Western Front draws on eyewitness testimony to tell the stories of stretcher bearers, medical officers, surgeons, chaplains, orderlies and nurses and describe how they dealt with the overwhelming number of casualties and the horrific injuries.
A Doctor in the Great War
Andrew Davison tells the story of the 1st Cameronians, who achieved notoriety for selling the Great War's first front line photographs, and Fred Davidson, their 25-year-old medical officer, one of the first doctors to win the Military Cross. The book presents the photographs taken (despite the ban on cameras) by Fred and his fellow officers, to offer an unusually intimate portrait of life among the 'Old Contemptibles', from a parade ground in Glasgow to the brothels of Armentieres. Off-mint.
The Countdown to Global Conflict
The chain of events that led to the First World War was not obvious at the time; though simmering disputes were reported in the newspapers, it was not yet clear where they were heading. Illustrated with many dramatic photographs, this selection from the Daily Mirror archive charts the build-up to the conflict, year by year, from the beginning of the century, through crises in the Balkans and the Dreadnought arms race to the declaration of war in August 1914.
Some Desperate Glory
The Diary of a Young Officer, 1917
When Edwin Campion Vaughan set out for France, carrying Palgrave's Golden Treasury of poetry in his pack, he was an enthusiastic and patriotic young officer looking forward to adventure. This searingly honest and revealing diary traces his changing perspectives, evoking the day-to-day minutiae of trench warfare, and growing in horror and disillusionment as Vaughan's company - his 'happy little band' - is drawn into the carnage of Passchendaele.
British Posters of the First World War
The developments in graphic design and printing techniques that produced colourful and visually arresting commercial posters in the 1900s were put to good use during the First World War, calling volunteers to arms and informing and persuading the public about various issues throughout the conflict. This comprehensive survey of British posters of the period reproduces over 200 designs advising on everything from how to recognize enemy aircraft to the need to buy war bonds.
Great Writers on the Great War
During the First World War Buchan held a range of official positions, giving him a clear grasp of the situation. This book, edited from his two histories of the war (published in 1936 and 1938), shows how Buchan brought great narrative skill to bear on accounts of key battles, from the Marne through Verdun, Jutland and the Somme, to the final German offensive of 1918.
Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War
Travelling through the Balkans and drawing on his own experiences there as a war correspondent in the 1990s, Tim Butcher follows the journey of Gavrilo Princip, from a village in the mountains to Sarajevo, where he shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Slightly off-mint.
Stosstrupptaktik: The First Stormtroopers
German Assault Troops of the First World War
The stalemate of trench warfare in the First World War precipitated a gradual move towards more dynamic attacks by smaller units. These tactics became especially associated with the German 'stoss' or shock troops, the term later giving way to the more colourful 'stormtroopers'. This analysis of tactical developments in the German Army demonstrates how the elite units emerged and built their reputation, setting the groundwork for the fearsome agents of blitzkrieg in the 1930s.
Theatre of War
In a preface to this magnificent collection of wartime photographs, Mark Holborn describes Cecil Beaton as 'able to realise the visual potential from the most mundane as well as the most dramatic circumstances'. Whether taken on the home front amid the London Blitz, in the Western Desert, in India, Burma, China or industrial Tyneside, Beaton's photographs for the Ministry of Information are unfailingly eloquent and a powerful record of the years 1939 to 1945. With commentary by Beaton and a detailed chronology.
The Telegraph Book of the First World War
An Anthology of The Telegraph's Writing from the Great War
Without radio or television and amid 'a churning soup of rumour, falsehood and fear', the British public were almost totally dependent on newspapers for factual information about the course of the First World War. This collection of reports from the Daily Telegraph's war correspondents not only traces the course of the conflict, often with eye witness accounts from the fronts, but shows the war as it was presented to readers at home in 1914-18. With an introduction by Michael Wright.
The Western Front 1914-1916
Mons, La Cataeu, Loos, The Battle of the Somme
As had been the practice in earlier wars, British Commanders-in-Chief during the First World War were obliged to report their activities to the War Office in a formal dispatch. Providing the generals' own illuminating accounts of the conflict, this book contains the official dispatches of Sir John French, covering the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, Ypres and Loos, and his successor Sir Douglas Haig up to the end of May 1917, including the Battle of the Somme. NB: 'Le Cateau' is misspelled in the subtitle of this book.
I Chose the Sky
As the First World War progressed and the capabilities of combat aircraft improved, new units were formed to keep pace with the German aerial threat. No.3 (Naval) Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps was among them and this classic memoir, first published in 1977, is pilot 'Tich' Rochford's account of his time with the unit flying Sopwith Camels and Pups on the Western Front from January 1917 through to the end of the war.
Into the Blue
An accomplished author and war correspondent during the Second World War, Norman Macmillan was a fighter pilot during the First World War and turned his literary skills to recording his experiences in this classic book, first published in 1929. Joining the Royal Flying Corps in 1916, Macmillan's active service included flying Nieuports, Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters and Camels in France and Italy, claiming nine victories before an injury forced him to take up a training post.
The First World War on the Home Front
A signal that life would not continue as normal on the Home Front during the First World War was the passing of the Defence of the Realm Act (DORA) in 1914, granting the government unprecedented powers over all aspects of British life. Drawing on the extensive archives of the Imperial War Museums, this book explores contemporary diaries, letters and newspaper reports to reveal vivid and personal details of how life in Britain changed between 1914 and 1918.
Victoria Cross Heroes of World War One
Between the first Victoria Cross awarded in 1857 and the outbreak of war in 1914, 500 medals were conferred. Over the next four years that figure more than doubled with trench warfare seemingly affording endless opportunities for courage in the face of the enemy. Comprehensively illustrated with photographs, newspaper cuttings and maps, this impressive book profiles the 628 acts of conspicuous bravery, on land, at sea and in the air, that were rewarded with a VC during the Great War.
The Mons Myth
A Reassessment of the Battle
British historians have conventionally portrayed the battles of Mons and Le Cateau as successes of the heavily outnumbered British Expeditionary Force, which mowed down the German army with precise and rapid rifle fire. But Zuber offers a startling new assessment from the enemy's viewpoint: using German tactical manuals and regimental histories he reveals that their fighting techniques have been misunderstood, British troop-leading was poor and German casualties did not reach the levels claimed.
Great Scientists Wage The Great War
The First War of Science 1914-1918
Technological developments such as aeroplanes, submarines and powerful artillery made the First World War more brutal and destructive than any before, but parallel scientific advances improved medical care for the wounded. This book profiles the achievements of six prominent scientists active during the war, among them Chaim Weizmann, whose chemical research was crucial in the production of explosives, and Lawrence Bragg, who worked on sound ranging techniques to locate enemy artillery.