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Old 07-09-2014, 10:17 AM   #31
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Another that goes through WWII is Gordon A. Craig's excellent Germany 1866-1945 (1978, but worthwhile).
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Old 07-16-2014, 08:27 AM   #32
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Christopher Catherwood released the following book in May this year:

The Battles of World War I (Everything You Need To Know)
Allison and Busby
288 pages

No reviews listed on Goodreads or Amazon yet but here's the blurb:

Spoiler:
Our understanding of the twentieth century and beyond hinges upon the First World War. In this new and comprehensive book, the fascinating facts are presented in an accessible way, allowing anyone to brush up on the devastating conflict that changed the world we live in. Discover everything you need to know about:

The battle of Ypres

The Somme

The forgotten wars between Italy, Austria and Russia

The invention of the tank and how it changed the war

The role of the USA

The siege of Kut

The battle the Germans won

and much more . . .



I've read other Catherwood books and l generally like his style. (I bought it today using a Kobo contest code on the India site - it works out very cheap!)

Catherwood has published quite extensively.
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Old 07-17-2014, 03:40 PM   #33
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I have some (actually some quite considerable) hesitation in suggesting parts of Henry Williamson's fictionalised autobiography, A Chronicle of Ancient Sunlight.

There are five volumes (out of fifteen in the Chronicle) - How Dear Is Life, A Fox Under My Cloak, The Golden Virgin, Love and the Loveless, and A Test to Destruction which cover the years of the first world war. Williamson himself was in the trenches of the western front, and his own account of the Christmas Day truce of 1914 is one of the main historical documents relating to what happened.

The books have a real immediacy: they are one of the most substantial accounts of what WWI was like from the pen of someone who was actually there. They also have a certain literary quality (which you might or might not like) and are by no means a glorification of the war or even of Williamson's own part in it.

My hesitation arises from the fact that Williamson's own WWI experiences made him believe that anything was better than another European war, and that Hitler was one of the good guys working to prevent one (a belief Williamson appears to have held right to the end of his life in 1977).

The books are available in Kindle editions, but you might find it cheaper to look for second-hand paperbacks via AbeBooks (etc).
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:28 AM   #34
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I am currently reading Margaret MacMillan's 'The War that Ended Peace' and she is an excellent researcher and writer. (I previously read her 'Peacemakers' and by golly she puts across a zillion facts but she adds humour and the who's up who and who's paying the rent factor as well!
Finished the book and found it to be very similar in style to MacMillan's Peacemakers - a zillion facts, lots of other interesting tid bits and person pictures of the main players from all involved countries as well as peripherally involved countries.

It's a heavy reading book (as you might imagine) but one that I am glad that I read because the way that MacMillan covers the 'story' is inclusive of so many and varied intrigues and posturing that the how and the why of the final decision to go to war is made so much clearer. That doesn't mean I agree that war was the solution, far from it, but how the players reached that conclusion is clearer (and high on my list of reasons is vanity and 'honour').
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:38 AM   #35
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Robert Goddard has written a mystery and suspense series set around the death of an English Diplomat during the early days of the making of the Treaty of Versailles in Paris, 1919.

There will be three books in the series, with two already published.

Book 1
The Ways of the World
blurb:
Spoiler:
1919. The eyes of the world are on Paris, where statesmen, diplomats and politicians have gathered to discuss the fate of half the world's nations in the aftermath of the cataclysm that was the Great War. A horde of journalists, spies and opportunists have also gathered in the city and the last thing the British diplomatic community needs at such a time is the mysterious death of a senior member of their delegation. So, when Sir Henry Maxted falls from the roof of his mistress's apartment building in unexplained circumstances, their first instinct is to suppress all suspicious aspects of the event.

But Sir Henry's son, ex Royal Flying Corps ace James 'Max' Maxted, has other ideas. He resolves to find out how and why his father died - even if this means disturbing the impression of harmonious calm which the negotiating teams have worked so hard to maintain. In a city where countries are jostling for position at the crossroads of history and the stakes could hardly be higher, it is difficult to tell who is a friend and who a foe.And Max will soon discover just how much he needs friends, as his search for the truth sucks him into the dark heart of a seemingly impenetrable mystery.


Book 2
The Corners of the Globe
blurb:
Spoiler:
Spring, 1919. James 'Max' Maxted, former Great War flying ace, returns to the trail of murder and treachery he set out on in The Ways of the World. He left Paris after avenging the murder of his father, Sir Henry Maxted, convinced the only man who knows about the mysterious events leading up to Sir Henry's death is elusive German spymaster, Fritz Lemmer.

To find out more, he enlists in Lemmer's network under false colours and is despatched to the Orkney Isles, where the German High Seas Fleet has been interned in Scapa Flow. His mission: to recover a document secreted aboard one of the German battleships. But the information it contains is so explosive Max is forced to break cover and embark on a desperate and dangerous race south, pursued by men happy to kill him to recover the document.

The breathless chase will take Max from the far north of Scotland to London and on to Paris, where the world's governments are still bartering over the spoils in the aftermath of the Great War. The stakes could not be higher. It is life and death for all concerned.


NOTE
There is a free prologue to Book 1 called:
Intersection: Paris, 1919 (An exclusive prologue to The Ways of the World)

This very short introduction also includes chapter1 of Book 1, and is free on Kobo (probably on most country sites)

Edit
For info, in the Author's Note Goddard states: 'I am indebted to the authors of numerous books on the subject for the insights they gave me, most notably Margaret Macmillan (Paris 1919) and the late Harold Nicolson (Peacemaking, 1919).'

Last edited by Lynx-lynx; 07-22-2014 at 07:54 AM. Reason: add the edit
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:08 AM   #36
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A book on the making of the Treaty of Versaille, by a person who was a contributing party to English delegation :

Harold Nicolson
Peacemaking, 1919

blurb:
Spoiler:
'Of all branches of human endeavour, diplomacy is the most protean.' That is how Harold Nicolson begins this book. It is an apt opening. The Paris Conference of 1919, attended by thirty-two nations, had the supremely challenging task of attempting to bring about a lasting peace after the global catastrophe of the Great War.

Harold Nicolson was a member of the British delegation. His book is in two parts. In the first he provides an account of the conference, in the second his diary covering his six month stint. There is a piquant counterpoise between the two. Of his diary he writes, 'I should wish it to be read as people read the reminiscences of a subaltern in the trenches. There is the same distrust of headquarters; the same irritation against the staff-officer who interrupts; the same belief that one's own sector is the centre of the battle-front; the same conviction that one is, with great nobility of soul, winning the war quite single-handed.' The diary ends with prophetic disillusionment, 'To bed, sick of life.'

As a first-hand account of one of the most important events shaping the modern world this book remains a classic.


This book was first published January 1st 1933. And just as a bit of gossip, 'Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician. He was the husband of writer Vita Sackville-West, their unusual relationship being described in their son's book, Portrait of a Marriage.' (Copied from the Goodreads description of him)

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Old 07-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #37
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Can't believe I hadn't thought of this one before, but in fiction, Anne Perry has written a five-book mystery series set during WWI:

1. No Graves as Yet: 1914
2. Shoulder the Sky: 1915
3. Angels in the Gloom: 1916
4. At Some Disputed Barricade: 1917
5. We Shall Not Sleep: 1918
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:22 PM   #38
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Most books that have been written recently about WW1 attempt to describe why or how it came about, or to describe the opening phase. As we go along over the next half-decade, I am sure that we will see more books and films about particular events as we reach the centenary of each, such as the Dardanelles campaign, Verdun, The Somme, 3rd Ypres, Jutland, the Russian Revolution(s), Versailles, and so on. I wonder how many books we will see about the human costs of WW1.

I just finished "Hell's Foundations: A Social History of the Town of Bury in the Aftermath of the Gallipoli Campaign" by Geoffrey Moorhouse

I've had this book on my to-be-read list for almost two decades. I finally read it.

This is not a book about how WW1 was fought or why it was fought, although there is enough detail here to leave you in no doubt about how it was for the combatants. It is the story of the effects of WW1, during and after the war, on the mill town of Bury, the regimental depot town of the Lancashire Fusiliers, and it describes the terrible human costs of what was a distant war on the soldiers and on those not actually fighting, the families and the community, both initially, as the war was fought, and the lingering aftershocks in the long years after the Armistice.

The quality of the writing is quite good, Moorhouse has a very readable style. I wish something of this quality was available in English, telling the French and German experience.


I recently read "The Missing of the Somme" by Geoff Dyer. An excellent book of literary quality about how WW1 was memorialized in Britain.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:50 AM   #39
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The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
by John M. Barry
Not about the war per se, but the movement of troops helped spread it and it killed 3 to 5 percent of the world's population.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...reat_Influenza
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Old 07-27-2014, 08:46 PM   #40
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Robert Goddard has written a mystery and suspense series set around the death of an English Diplomat during the early days of the making of the Treaty of Versailles in Paris, 1919. There will be three books in the series, with two already published.

Book 1
The Ways of the World
Book 2
The Corners of the Globe
I read these, and considered them a rip roaring read!!!

The author doesn't find his style until maybe one third of the way into book 1, and then the story starts to form into a grand yarn.

Book 2 absolutely thunders along and if book 3 had been published I would have gone straight onto that. Unfortunately I'll have to wait till 2015 sometime for it (I expect).

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Old 07-28-2014, 07:18 AM   #41
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A book that may interest some:

Mapping the First World War: The Great War through maps from 1914-1918
By Peter Chasseaud, The Imperial War Museum

blurb:
Spoiler:
Follow the conflict of the World War 1 from 1914-1918 through a unique collection of historical maps, expert commentary and photographs.

Published in association and including mapping from the archives of the Imperial War Museums. Ebook best viewed on a tablet. Over 100 maps demonstrating how the Great War was fought around the world.

Types of maps featured:
• Small scale maps showing country boundaries and occupied territories
• Large-scale maps covering the key battles and offensives on all fronts of the war
• Trench maps showing detailed positions of the front line
• Maps from newspapers, battle planning and propaganda Key offensives covered include:
• The Battles of the Marne and Ypres
• Tannenberg and the Eastern Front
• Verdun and the Somme
• The Gallipoli Campaign
• Battle of Jutland
• The Advances to Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad
• Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele
• German 1918 offensives and Allied counter-offensives
• Battle of Jutland Along with the maps, key historical events are described, giving an illustrated history of the war from an expert historian.

(This book is currently AUD4.99 on both Amazon and Kobo)

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Old 07-28-2014, 07:24 AM   #42
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For Australian and New Zealand followers of this thread:

Passchendaele: The Anatomy of a Tragedy
Andrew McDonald

blurb:
Spoiler:
This extensively researched book tells the story of one of the darkest hours of Australia and New Zealand′s First World War military. With the forensic use of decades-old documents and soldier accounts, it unveils for the first time what really happened on the war-torn slopes of Passchendaele, why, and who was responsible for the deaths and injuries of thousands of soldiers in the black mud of Flanders.

Macdonald explores the October battles of Third Ypres from the perspective of the generals who organised them to the soldiers in the field, drawing on a wide range of evidence held in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Britain and Germany.

His book is far more than a simple narrative of battle and includes critical and comparative assessments of command, personality, training discipline, weapons, systems, tactics and the environment. It looks equally at the roles of infantry, artillery and engineering units, whether Australian, New Zealand, Canadian or British, and in so doing presents a meticulous, objective and compelling investigation from start to finish. Along the way it offers numerous unique insights that have, until now, been obscured by a nearly century-old fog of war.

This book will reshape the understanding of one of the most infamous battles of the First World War.


(Currently priced AUD4.99 on both Amazon and Kobo.)
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:38 AM   #43
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This book looks very interesting, and I don't know about anyone else but I find visiting war graves an extremely moving experience. (I've visited WWI graves in various places in Europe and also the great memorials at El Alamein (Egypt))

Empires of the Dead: How One Man’s Vision Led to the Creation of WWI’s War Graves
David Crane
blurb:
Spoiler:
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize for non-fiction; the extraordinary and forgotten story behind the building of the First World War cemeteries, due to the efforts of one remarkable and visionary man, Fabian Ware.

Before WWI, little provision was made for the burial of the war dead. Soldiers were often unceremoniously dumped in a mass grave; officers shipped home for burial.

The great cemeteries of WWI came about as a result of the efforts of one inspired visionary. In 1914, Fabian Ware joined the Red Cross, working on the frontline in France. Horrified by the hasty burials, he recorded the identity and position of the graves. His work was officially recognised, with a Graves Registration Commission being set up. As reports of their work became public, the Commission was flooded with letters from grieving relatives around the world.

Critically acclaimed author David Crane gives a profoundly moving account of the creation of the great citadels to the dead, which involved leading figures of the day, including Rudyard Kipling. It is the story of cynical politicking, as governments sought to justify the sacrifice, as well as the grief of nations, following the ‘war to end all wars’.

(Again currently very reasonably priced at AUD4.99 at Amazon and Kobo)
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Old 07-28-2014, 01:47 PM   #44
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This Project Gutenberg book may be of interest:

The Great War in Verse and Prose, edited by J.E. Wetherell, 1919
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Old 07-28-2014, 02:06 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynx-lynx View Post
A book that may interest some:

Mapping the First World War: The Great War through maps from 1914-1918
By Peter Chasseaud, The Imperial War Museum

blurb:
Spoiler:
Follow the conflict of the World War 1 from 1914-1918 through a unique collection of historical maps, expert commentary and photographs.

Published in association and including mapping from the archives of the Imperial War Museums. Ebook best viewed on a tablet. Over 100 maps demonstrating how the Great War was fought around the world.

Types of maps featured:
• Small scale maps showing country boundaries and occupied territories
• Large-scale maps covering the key battles and offensives on all fronts of the war
• Trench maps showing detailed positions of the front line
• Maps from newspapers, battle planning and propaganda Key offensives covered include:
• The Battles of the Marne and Ypres
• Tannenberg and the Eastern Front
• Verdun and the Somme
• The Gallipoli Campaign
• Battle of Jutland
• The Advances to Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad
• Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele
• German 1918 offensives and Allied counter-offensives
• Battle of Jutland Along with the maps, key historical events are described, giving an illustrated history of the war from an expert historian.

(This book is currently AUD4.99 on both Amazon and Kobo)
This sounds interesting to me; I've always liked trying to follow battles with maps. I wonder if the images in the ebook are detailed enough for the purpose, though. Have you, or anyone else, looked at it and can comment?
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