A British soldier walked over to the German front line to deliver newspapers; British women married to Germans became "enemy aliens" in their own country; a high-ranking British POW discussed his own troops' heroism with the Kaiser on the battlefield. Just three amazing stories of contact between the opposing sides in the Great War that eminent historian Richard van Emden has unearthed--incidents that show brutality, great humanity, and above all, the bizarre nature of a conflict between two nations with long-standing ties of kinship and friendship. Meeting the Enemy reveals for the first time how contact was maintained on many levels throughout the War, and through its stories--sometimes funny, often moving--gives us a new perspective on the lives of ordinary men and women caught up in extraordinary events.
When war broke out in Europe in 1914, it surprised a European population enjoying the most beautiful summer in memory. For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded it was unavoidable.In Europe's Last Summer, David Fromkin provides a different answer: hostilities were commenced deliberately. In a riveting re-creation of the run-up to war, Fromkin shows how German generals, seeing war as inevitable, manipulated events to precipitate a conflict waged on their own terms. Moving deftly between diplomats, generals, and rulers across Europe, he makes the complex diplomatic negotiations accessible and immediate. Examining the actions of individuals amid larger historical forces, this is a gripping historical narrative and a dramatic reassessment of a key moment in the twentieth-century.
Despite superior air and artillery power, British soldiers died in catastrophic numbers at the Battle of Somme in 1916. What went wrong, and who was responsible? This book meticulously reconstructs the battle, assigns responsibility to military and political leaders, and changes forever the way we understand this encounter and the history of the Western Front.
"A magisterial piece of scholarship. . . . It is a model of historical research and should do much to further our understanding of the Great War and how it was fought."--Contemporary Review
"Revisionist history at its best."--Library Journal (starred review)
"A major addition to the literature on the military history of the Great War" - Jay Winter
There have been a number of studies published on the activities of British and German navies during World War I, but little on naval action in other arenas. This book offers for the first time a balanced history of the naval war as a whole, viewed from the perspective of all participants in all major theaters. The author's earlier examination The Naval War in the Mediterranean, 1914-1918, centered on submarine activities and allied efforts to counteract this new menace. With this welcome sequel he again takes the reader beyond those World War I operations staged on the North Sea. Halpern's clear and authoritative voice lends a cohesiveness to this encompassing view of the Italians and Austrians in the Adriatic; the Russians, Germans, and Turks in the Baltic and Black Seas; and French and British in the Mediterranean.
Important riverine engagements--notably on the Danube--also are included, along with major colonial campaigns such as Mesopotamia and the Dardanelles. The role of neutral sea powers, such as the Swedes in the Baltic and the Dutch in the East Indies, is examined from the perspective of how their neutrality affected naval activity. Also discussed is the part played by the U.S. Navy and the often overlooked, but far from negligible, role of the Japanese navy. The latter is viewed in the context of the opening months of the war and in the Mediterranean during the height of the submarine crisis of 1917.
The First World War prompted the recruitment and training of British soldiers on an unprecedented scale. And they all needed to be prepared for one of the deadliest, most gruelling conflicts in human history. Physical training, bayonet fighting training and hand-to-hand combat all fell under the instruction of the Army Gymnastic Staff, which grew from 200 to 2,000 officers and instructors between 1914 and 1918. Adam W. Culling, Curator of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps Museum, has collected here a number of training and equipment manuals, books, photographs and inspirational lectures. Together these provide an insight into how the physical training instructor kept the British soldier Fighting Fit.
This challenging and controversial analysis of the war on the Western Front from 1914 to 1918 reveals how and why the Germans consistently defeated the French and the British with one-half to one-third fewer casualties than the Allies, and how American troops in 1918 saved the Allies from defeat and a negotiated peace with the Germans.
Based on a decade of research into previously unused French and German sources, The Myth of the Great War shows what actually happened at the front as the participants perceived it at the time, as opposed to what French and British commanders and governments claimed. John Mosier, who visited all the major battlefields, describes and analyzes campaigns that are routinely neglected or ignored and shows why conventional accounts of such major battles as Verdun are incorrect. He explains how German tactics, weapons, training, and leadership were consistently superior, and why the endless, ineffective attacks of the French and British with inferior weapons and battle tactics of the previous century resulted in mindless slaughter and defeat. Mosier also discusses the major military leaders on both sides ' including Joffre, Petain, Foch, Gallieni, French, Haig, Wilson, Moltke, Ludendorff, Falkenhayn, Mudra, and Pershing.
The French and British military controlled, suppressed, and manipulated all battlefield reports. German losses were magnified; failures became successes, defeats victories. Allied intelligence was grossly inaccurate and inadequate, and the result was a distorted picture of what was really happening. Absorbing and persuasive, The Myth of the Great War is a striking new assessment of the military realities of World War I.
Seeing Reds tells the story of a turbulent period in Canadian history, when in 1918-19 the Canadian government, fearful in the wake of the Russian Revolution, tried to suppress radical political activity at home by branding legitimate labor leaders as "Bolsheviks" and "Reds." Daniel Francis examines Canada's Red Scare in a global context, including government responses to similar activities in the United States and Europe, as well as its ramifications for the contemporary war on terror, in which issues of free speech and political dissent are similarly compromised in the name of national security.
By exploring big themes such as democracy and empire, nationalism and capitalism, as well as art and poetry, The Long Shadow is stunningly broad in its historical perspective. Reynolds throws light on the vast expanse of the last century and explains why 1914-18 is a conflict that America is still struggling to comprehend. Forging connections between people, places, and ideas, The Long Shadow ventures across the traditional subcultures of historical scholarship to offer a rich and layered examination not only of politics, diplomacy, and security but also of economics, art, and literature. The result is a magisterial reinterpretation of the place of the Great War in modern history.