World War I
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.
A History of 177 Tunnelling Company RE from 1915 to 1919
Stung by the success of German mines beneath British trenches in 1914, the British rapidly recruited mining experts to the Royal Engineers. Illustrated with contemporary maps and plans, this book explains their crucial role in the conflict through the operational history of 177 Tunnelling Company.
Imperial Russian Air Force 1898–1917
In Photographs at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
Compared with the US and France, Russian colonization of the skies was almost a decade behind, but by 1910 a nascent aviation industry, with its flying schools, festivals and maiden flights, began capturing the nation’s imagination. This collection of over 400 photographs documents the flying machines of pre-revolutionary Russia, from turn of the century balloons and dirigibles to First World War bombers, and portrays the enthusiasts and aviators that made the Russian skies come alive.
I Was a Spy!
The Classic Account of Behind-the-Lines Espionage in the First World War
While working as a nurse in 1915, tending to wounded German soldiers near her Belgian home of Roulers, Marthe McKenna was recruited by the British as a spy. Using her multilingual skills and proximity to the enemy, she worked with locals in sabotage operations and aided escaping prisoners until she was captured herself. This classic memoir was first published in 1932 and is reproduced here with the original foreword by Winston Churchill.
War Beneath the Waves
U-boat Flotilla Flandern 1915–1918
The inconclusive outcome of the Battle of Jutland left the Royal Navy in control of British waters, and Germany continued the war at sea with its U-boat fleet, building a substantial base on the Belgian coast. Translated from the Belgian edition, this is a detailed analysis of the U-boat campaign, supported by the author's own underwater archaeology. Tomas Termote examines the vessels and life for the submariners, and outlines the operational history of each of the 93 U-boats housed in Belgian ports. Translated from the Dutch.
The Great War
The epitome of Prussian militarism, Paul von Hindenburg (1847–1934) was recalled from retirement to command the German forces in the east in 1914 and became a national hero after his first campaign at Tannenberg. Written in the immediate aftermath of defeat in 1918, his memoir provides a unique insight into German strategy during the First World War. This abridged edition is edited and introduced by Charles Messenger.
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.
We Die Like Brothers
The Sinking of the SS Mendi
On a foggy morning in 1917, a large British mail ship travelling dangerously fast off the Isle of Wight collided with SS Mendi, a steamship carrying more than 600 members of the South African Native Labour Corps (SANLAC). The Mendi sank in 20 minutes, leaving few survivors. Drawing on recent archeological evidence from the wreck, the book reconsiders this terrible tragedy and tells the story of the SANLAC in the British war effort.
Against the Tommies
History of 26 Reserve Division 1914–1918
In 1920, the German 26th Reserve Division produced a commemorative record of its service during the First World War, which included many photographs taken by the men of the division (German soldiers not being subject to the same restrictions on keeping diaries and taking photos as the British). This book reproduces the best of the collection, providing a valuable German perspective on life in the trenches, in the towns behind the lines and on battlefields including the Somme and Arras.
Gunner on the Somme
The Memoir of William Robert Price, 1st South Midland 1914–1917
Despite a public school and university education, William Price felt that his debilitating stutter prohibited him from becoming an officer and he enlisted as a gunner in the Royal Field Artillery in 1914. This thoughtful memoir, written in 1958 but based on his own contemporary diary, reveals the everyday comradeship of the men, conditions at the front and the progress of the war from the soldiers' point of view, including the battles of the Somme and Passchendaele.
The Battle of Jutland
Voices from the Past
Both Britain and Germany claimed victory in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916; the Royal Navy losing more ships and men but successfully containing the German fleet for the duration of the war. The outcome, its significance and the performance of the commanders during the battle has been debated ever since, and this book provides a picture of how events unfolded and what people thought at the time through official records and despatches, newspaper reports and detailed personal accounts.
Into the Abyss
The Story of the First World War, Volume One
Volume one of this authoritative account of the First World War covers 1914 and 1915, examining the machinations of the belligerent parties, from the Habsburgs and the Serbs to the Hohenzollerns and the Ottoman Turks, in the 34 days leading up to outbreak. Each chapter presents extensive background information on people, places and events, including the French and British military commanders, pre-war London and Paris, the war at sea, and the technology that assured both deadlock and mutual destruction.
City of London in the Great War
Your Towns and Cities in the Great War
Throughout the First World War, London played a major part in the conflict; the seat of government and centre of finance, it was the target of bombing raids by Zeppelins and Gotha biplanes. This absorbing history charts the city’s spirited response – the establishment of recruiting centres, women’s war work, the treatment of 11,396 wounded servicemen at St Thomas’s Hospital, and the execution of twelve German spies in the Tower.
The Guards Came Through
An Illustrated History of the Guards in the Great War
More used to ceremonial duties than armed conflict in 1914, the prestigious Household Cavalry and Guards regiments of the British Army were amalgamated into a single Guards Division and pitched into active service from the earliest engagements of the First World War to the last. This illustrated history chronicles their wartime activities, profiles notable actions and personalities and contains many contemporary photographs, portraits, paintings and maps. Foreword by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
The Renaissance of the Fortress
Examining the background, strategy and events of the ten-month-long Battle of Verdun, the authors look afresh at key aspects of the fighting including the German deployment of stormtroopers and the use of artillery and aircraft. They also discuss the renaissance of fortress engineering at Verdun which led to the construction of the Maginot Line and other fortifications in Europe before the Second World War, and the development of artillery powerful enough to destroy such forts.
Great War Britain: Hull & the Humber
Susanna O'Neill offers an insight into Hull’s experiences of the war years, when its factories turned their attention to munitions making, its fishing trade supplied vessels and men, and German Zeppelin aerial attacks killed 47 people between 1915 and 1918.
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.
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.
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.
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.