World War I
The Splintered Empires
The Eastern Front 1917–21
At the beginning of 1917, three warring empires were at breaking point. Russia was the first to collapse, triggering the Bolshevik Revolution; but by the end of 1918, both the German and Austro-Hungarian empires had also disintegrated. The fourth and final volume of Prit Buttar’s history of the Great War’s Eastern Front charts these momentous events and describes the ‘successor wars’ that followed the Armistice – the bitter struggles for national sovereignty that paved the way for the Second World War.
Unseen Panoramas of the Third Battle of Ypres
Specialist photographers risked life and limb during the First World War to take images of the front that could be pieced together into broad panoramas delineating the battlefield terrain. This history of the fighting at Ypres in 1917 reproduces 50 examples of these vital reconnaissance images, both British and German, and also uses hundreds of maps, plans, diagrams and the first-hand accounts of combatants to tell the story in detail.
The Red Baron
A History in Pictures
By 1918, the Red Baron was a national hero and his death in April of that year was a significant loss for the German Air Force and the nation; the event has been the subject of conflicting accounts and theories ever since. This biography is led by a collection of archive photographs of Richthofen during the war years, as well as significant people, places and aircraft.
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).
The First World War in 100 Objects
From Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s car, which stalled and gave the assassin his opportunity to shoot, to the Menin Gate commemorating the missing from the battlefields around Ypres, each of Peter Doyle’s 100 objects represents an element of the conflict. Discussions of apparel, equipment and weapons shed light on the realities of trench warfare, while other entries cover the war in the air and at sea and the badges of less familiar groups such as the Chinese Labour Corps or the Legion of Frontiersmen.
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 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.
Photography & The Great War
Photography had been around for over half a century but it was not until the First World War that the medium was able comprehensively to document a war. This book, published to accompany an exhibition at the Antwerp Fotomuseum, looks at a broad range of photographs from propaganda images encouraging patriotic support or discrediting the enemy to souvenir portraits of soldiers departing for the front and their own documentary snaps of what they found when they got there.
Mud and Bodies
The War Diaries and Letters of Captain NAC Weir, 1914–1920
Neil Weir broke his studies at Oxford to join the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in 1914 and was a company commander by the age of 19. Surviving the battles at Loos, Ypres, Vimy Ridge, Ploegsteert and the Somme, Weir went on to train officers and work for the War Office. In 2009 his detailed war diaries and extensive correspondence with his family during the period were rediscovered by his grandson Mike, who contributes a preface to this book.
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.
Donald Dean VC
The Memoirs of a Volunteer and Territorial from Two World Wars
‘When the autumn rains came, liquid mud ruled our days.’ Donald Dean’s stirring memoirs recount his time in the First World War trenches at Ypres, Passchendaele and Lens, after which he was awarded the Victoria Cross for doggedly defending a captured German trench. Promoted to colonel in the Second World War, he was one of the last to leave Boulogne in 1940, a story told with clarity and unfailing modesty.
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.
The Ship that Hunted Itself
When two ocean liners, one British the other Argentine, were pressed into military service at the outbreak of the First World War, each was disguised as the other vessel. When they met by chance in the South Atlantic – to the utter surprise of both captains – a tremendous battle ensued. Erstwhile war correspondent Colin Simpson draws on the ships’ logs, survivors’ accounts and official archives to tell the tale. Bears old cover price.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. In this history of the iconic plant, the author explores its differing uses and associations, from the remedies of the Ancient Egyptians to the narcotics trade in present-day Afghanistan.