World War I
Kensington in the Great War
Your Towns & Cities in the Great War
The Royal Borough of Kensington was an area of great wealth and extreme poverty, near enough to central London to be close to national events during the Great War. Drawing on extensive research and dramatic first-hand accounts, this generously illustrated local history charts the borough’s response: a resident’s attempt to teach the nation to make food economies, the shooting down of a Zeppelin, the raising of local regiments, and the local men who never returned.
Memoirs of a Cavalryman in the First World War
Having joined the 4th Dragoon Guards in 1913, at the age of only 15, Ben Clouting was among the first into France with the British Expeditionary Force and was present at most of the major engagements on the Western Front. This memoir is based on a series of interviews conducted in the 1980s and provides a detailed account of his experiences including the retreat from Mons, the second battle of Ypres and the occupation of Cologne in 1919.
Herbert Columbine VC
Noticing an isolated gun position had been abandoned during the Spring Offensive of 1918, Private Bertie Columbine took control of the Vickers gun and managed to repel German attacks for several hours before he was finally killed. This biography of the Victoria Cross-winning soldier traces his family background and characterizes the world in which he grew up as well as giving an account of his wartime service and the campaign to commemorate his heroism. Foreword by Dame Judi Dench.
Germany's High Sea Fleet in the First World War
Admiral Reinhard Scheer (1863–1928) commanded the German High Seas Fleet during the First World War, and was the first frontline officer to publish his account of the naval conflict. Reprinted here with a new introduction, it provides a rare insight into the attitudes of German naval officers, and a unique first-hand account of the controversial Jutland operation of 1916, the unrestricted submarine warfare that brought the USA into the war, and the Zeppelin raids on Britain.
British and German Espionage from Neutral Holland 1914–1918
With the rival armies entrenched in France and Belgium during the First World War, Rotterdam, in neighbouring Holland, became the centre of espionage. A background in fraud or deception was considered a suitable qualification to be an agent (which the German and British military establishment considered a less than honourable pursuit) and local Dutch operatives were drawn from the criminal underworld. This book explores the shady characters and sometimes amateurish activities of these fledgling spy networks in Holland.
Gentlemen, We Will Stand and Fight
Le Cateau, 1914
On 26 August 1914, as the British Expeditionary Force retreated in the aftermath of the Battle of Mons, the Second Corps, under Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, turned to fight the advancing German First Army. Though outnumbered three to one, they delivered such a crushing blow to the invaders that the BEF was able to continue its retreat unmolested. This meticulously researched book, supported by contemporary photographs and specially drawn maps, provides a gripping account of this dramatic engagement.
Fighting the First World War
In a radical re-evaluation of the First World War, Dr Philpott argues that the competing and emotionally charged accounts of the events of 1914–1918 have muddled perceptions of the war. Looking beyond the propaganda and myth-making, his clear narrative explains why and how the new type of combat came about; and he examines the attitudes and actions of political leaders and the willing responses of their peoples.
The Distant Drum
A Memoir of a Guardsman in the Great War
After having been rejected on medical grounds several times as a volunteer, Fen Noakes was conscripted in June 1917 and sent to France in October to join the 4th Battalion east of Arras. The memoir that he wrote in 1934, ‘while the memory is still comparatively undimmed’, together with the letters written from the Front to his mother, provide an articulate and very detailed account of living and fighting through the final year of the war.
Battle on the Aisne 1914
The BEF and the Birth of the Western Front
The battles at the river Aisne involving the British Expeditionary Force resulted in Britain’s first huge casualty figures, around 12,000 killed; it also marked the beginning of trench warfare when progress was halted and the BEF and French troops were ordered to dig in. Jerry Murland re-examines the battles from both the British and German perspectives, drawing extensively on diaries and letters written at the time to give a voice to those who fought there.
Love Letters of the Great War
Gleaned from collections of wartime ‘private papers’ deposited in archives around the country, this book offers a poignant view of the war from the perspective of husbands and lovers fighting far from home and the wives and girlfriends left behind. Although written to and from British, French, ANZAC and German soldiers, the letters are an eloquent testimony to shared and deeply felt emotions. Mandy Kirkby provides brief introductions to each correspondent. Foreword by Helen Dunmore.
From Gaza to Jerusalem
The Campaign for Southern Palestine 1917
Involving Ottoman, ANZAC, British and Arab forces, the Palestine campaign of 1917 saw empires manoeuvring for control of the coveted Holy Land. Discussing military strategies and providing a detailed account of the harsh desert conditions for the fighting men of both sides, Hadaway’s book is a gripping narrative of the campaign and the British victory that redrew the map of the Middle East – with repercussions that continue to this day.
The Spy Net
The Greatest Intelligence Operations of the First World War
La Dame Blanche (The White Lady) spy network stretched across Europe, encompassing more than 1,000 Belgian and French agents and providing over 70 per cent of Allied intelligence on German forces during the First World War. The man running this ingenious operation was Henry Landau. His account of his wartime activities behind German lines was published in 1938 as Spreading the Net. It is reissued here, with a new introduction, in the Dialogue Espionage Classics series.
The Last Post
Music, Remembrance and the Great War
Ever since the annual two-minute silence was first observed in 1919, the Last Post has been a powerful symbol of remembrance. In his exploration of this simple bugle call’s history, Turner tracks down its earliest known use (as ‘Setting the Watch’) in the 18th century, examines the role of buglers during the First World War and shows how the Last Post has kept its significance despite early controversy over the nature of the Cenotaph ceremony and the changing meaning of Remembrance today.
Posters of the First World War (Imperial War Museum)
Perhaps the most famous image to come out of the First World War is Alfred Leete’s poster of a pointing Lord Kitchener. No other form of propaganda had such a profound effect on ordinary people. This commemorative volume reproduces almost 100 posters from all the combatant nations in full colour. Whether in English or German, French or Russian, their message was the same: to demonize the enemy and win support for the war effort.
To Complete the Jigsaw
British Military Intelligence in the First World War
Military intelligence has been an essential part of warfare since Sun Tzu wrote The Art of War in the sixth century BCE, but the sheer scale of the First World War saw it assume unprecedented importance. This groundbreaking history tells the story of the officers and NCOs who pioneered British army intelligence and security, paved the way for victory with new techniques such as aerial photography and radio interception, and laid the groundwork for today's service.
Between the Coast and the Western Front
Transportation and Supply Behind the Trenches
The trenches of the Western Front have come to embody the First World War, but immediately behind the lines, a vast operation was needed to sustain them. Illustrated with rarely seen contemporary photographs, this book describes the supply and distribution networks that brought men, food and ammunition to the front; the medical services and the vital role of the nurses who staffed them; and the transport links – road, canal and rail – that made it all possible.
No More Soldiering
Conscientious Objectors in the First World War
The Military Service Act of January 1916, which introduced conscription, created a sustained conflict between the authorities and various groups of Christians, Socialists, pacifists and other conscientious objectors, including prominent campaigners such as Bertrand Russell and Fenner Brockway. This absorbing history charts the fortunes of those who refused to fight – and in some cases to do any war work – and were publicly vilified, hauled before military tribunals, imprisoned, interned, and often forced to perform back-breaking physical labour in inhuman conditions.
Part One: Mons to the Somme
This first part of the Bedfordshires' story charts their first defiant defence among the slag heaps of Mons in August 1914 and their part in the First and Second Battles of Ypres, through to the ferocious fighting at Morval on the Somme in the autumn of 1916.
The German 66th Regiment in the First World War
The German Perspective
German Infantry Regiment 66 fought in most of the major battles of the First World War: Le Cateau, the Marne, Arras, the Somme, and the March offensive of 1918. This official regimental history, written in 1930 by Major Otto Korfes, an officer in the regiment for most of the war, incorporates the personal testimonies of many soldiers. Illustrated with maps and pencil sketches throughout, it presents a vivid first-hand account of the conflict from a German perspective.
Epitaphs of the Great War: The Somme
‘Of all the voices of the First World War there is one that has been consistently overlooked, the voice of the bereaved.’ This collection of 100 epitaphs for soldiers who died during the Somme campaign of 1916 lets the bereaved families and friends speak through the inscriptions on War Graves Commission headstones. The book provides information on the soldiers and explains any biblical or literary allusions used in the short (they were limited to 66 characters) and often cryptic epitaphs.
The History of the War in the Air
Based on the records of the Air Ministry, along with eyewitness accounts of military and naval officers, this is the first volume of Professor Raleigh's great history of the British air forces' contribution to the First World War. Written in 1922, it remains one of the most important accounts of early aerial warfare and the formation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Naval Air Service. Tragically, Raleigh did not live to write volume two. Eyewitnesses from the Great War series.
A History of Conflict, Loss, Remembrance & Redemption
Long before the corn poppy became associated with remembrance of the First World War through John McCrae's poem 'In Flanders Fields', it had grown wherever ground was broken by conflict, cultivation or burial. The opium poppy has a different affinity with war, alleviating the suffering of its victims and inciting battles over its control. This book explores the iconic plant, its uses and associations from the remedies of the Ancient Egyptians to the narcotics trade in present-day Afghanistan.
Letters From A Flying Officer
In this 1928 account of a pilot in the First World War, the letters and diaries of Flying Officer Michael John Enderby and the comments of Group Captain Merrivale are ostensibly fiction. They are in fact closely based on the experiences of the author and offer an insight into the workings of the Royal Flying Corps, with descriptions of real combat events and observations on the development of aviation technology and the tactics of aerial combat during the war.
And the Birth of the Aircraft Carrier, 1914–1918
The Royal Flying Corps accommodated military and naval aviation units under one banner in 1912, but the particular problems of flying in support of ships instigated the formation of the Royal Naval Air Service as a separate unit by the beginning of the First World War. This book traces the development of naval aviation during the course of the war, from 'floatplanes' on converted steamers to squadrons of 20 or more adapted fighters flying from the first true aircraft carriers.
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.
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.
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 Courage of Cowards
The Untold Stories of First World War Conscientious Objectors
There had never been conscription in Britain until the Military Service Act of January 1916, which stipulated that all men between the ages of 18 and 40 were 'deemed to have enlisted for the period of the war'. Using memoirs, letters and official documents this book explores the experiences of conscientious objectors during the First World War, from their conflicts with the system and ostracization by society to service in the Friends Ambulance Unit and the Non-Combatant Corps.
British Pill Boxes and Bunkers 1914–1918
The first recorded British concrete machine gun post, concrete dugout or emplacement was constructed in August 1914 and the Army rapidly developed their expertise in this type of fortification throughout the course of the war. This book outlines the development of these pill boxes, as some designs came to be known, and examines all the structures still in existence in France and Belgium today, with photographs, GPS coordinates and maps showing how they fitted into contemporary defensive systems.
Gallipoli and the Dardanelles 1915-1916
Despatches from the Front
Initially a naval operation to secure the Dardanelles sea route to Russia from the Mediterranean, the Gallipoli campaign soon escalated to a lengthy and attritional land battle. The result was a humiliating defeat for Britain, which led to the ousting of First Sea Lord Winston Churchill and a change of government. This book reproduces the original despatches from Admirals Sackville Carden and John de Robeck and land commanders Ian Hamilton and his replacement Charles Monro.
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.
The Western Kennet Valley in the Great War
The massive intake of recruits into the British Army during the First World War meant that new depots were needed to train them. The downs of Berkshire and Wiltshire provided the ideal terrain, while soldiers could be billeted in the towns of Marlborough and Hungerford. Profusely illustrated with vintage photographs, this book celebrates the region's contribution to the war effort, and follows the fortunes of nine local men who went to fight in the 'war to end all wars'.
1918: End Game
The First World War in Photographs
Month by month, the authors use a collection of around 250 photographs and reproductions to follow events during the final year of war, from the arrival of American troops and guns in January to the German surrender in November. The final chapters examine many aspects of the immediate aftermath, including the battlefields where 'peace visitors' toured the devastation, the ongoing treatment of wounded men, and the funeral of the Unknown Soldier in London.
The Stockbrokers' Battalion in the Great War
A History of the 10th (Service) Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Members of the London Stock Exchange from well-known families such as the Rothschilds served alongside clerks from City insurance, shipping and banking firms in the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers during the First World War. This book uses personal diaries and letters as well as accounts written after the war to tell the story of this 'pals battalion', which was in action on the Somme, at Ypres and during the advance through France in the last months of the war.
Bloody Red Tabs
General Officer Casualties of the Great War 1914–1918
The prevailing 20th-century view of the First World War as fought by 'lions led by donkeys' has been subject to revision in recent decades and this book adds weight to the argument, exploding the myth of generals operating in distant safety while millions died in the trenches. The authors profile 78 British commanders who were killed and another 146 wounded while on active service, often in the front line, between 1914 and 1918. First published in 1995.
Of Those We Loved
A Great War Narrative Remembered and Illustrated
Dick Read (1895–1971) joined the Leicestershire Regiment as a Private at the outbreak of the First World War and made it through to the end, by which time he held a commission and had been awarded the Croix de Guerre. Written in the 1960s and first published in the 1990s, this thoughtful and detailed memoir charts the author's experiences at the battles of the Somme and the Marne, in Egypt and back in Flanders for the Final Advance in 1918.
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 Armentières. Off-mint.
MI5 in the Great War
In 1921 MI5 commissioned a comprehensive report on its own operations during the First World War. Never intended for circulation outside of the government, this document has now been declassified and is published here in an edited version, introduced by Nigel West. The main narrative examines attempts to manage and detect double agents and the apprehension and execution of enemy spies, but the report also contains a unique account of the Kaiser's pre-war and wartime intelligence offensive.
The German Air Force I Knew
Major Georg Paul Neumann was a former German Air Force officer who had served in the First World War, and produced his outstanding survey of Germany's air services in 1920. Drawing on his own and others' experiences, he compiled a full and accurate account of the force that began as the Imperial German Army Air Service in 1910 and ended the war as the Luftstreitkräfte. Translated by JE Gurdon; edited and introduced by Bob Carruthers. Eyewitnesses from the Great War series.
Europe Goes to War
A tangled web of international alliances fuelled the politics of 1914 and, when war broke out, confidence in decisive military action soon faded as a stalemate became established on the Western Front. Here bestselling author Max Hastings examines the political and military manoeuvres of 1914, using the accounts of leaders and generals as well as ordinary people, to assess how Europe was drawn into war and review the first few months of action. American-cut pages and felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge. Slightly off-mint.
The First Blitz
Bombing London in the First World War
The military potential of aviation was first exploited in the First World War, when London and other major cities were attacked by Zeppelins and, from 1917, Gotha and Staaken 'Giant' biplanes. This book examines the offensive and defensive strategies, the impact of each of the attacks and their legacy in defence planning. This is an updated, single volume version of London 1914–17: The Zeppelin Menace (2008) and London 1917–18: The Bomber Blitz (2010).
Kitchener's New Army
Your Country Needs You!
In 1915, Edgar Wallace (1875–1932), the author of popular thrillers, turned to non-fiction to write this patriotic account of Lord Kitchener's recruitment drive and the training regime that produced the 'miracle' of his new divisions. Wallace's upbeat assessment reveals British attitudes towards the war at a time when a million volunteers were enlisting to fight. Illustrated with contemporary photographs, cartoons and posters, this 2015 edition includes a substantial 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.
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.