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.
The modern Middle East was forged in the crucible of the First World War, but few know the full story of how war actually came to the region. As Sean McMeekin reveals in this startling reinterpretation of the war, it was neither the British nor the French but rather a small clique of Germans and Turks who thrust the Islamic world into the conflict for their own political, economic, and military ends.
The Berlin-Baghdad Express tells the fascinating story of how Germany exploited Ottoman pan-Islamism in order to destroy the British Empire, then the largest Islamic power in the world. Meanwhile the Young Turks harnessed themselves to German military might to avenge Turkey's hereditary enemy, Russia. Told from the perspective of the key decision-makers on the Turco-German side, many of the most consequential events of World War I--Turkey's entry into the war, Gallipoli, the Armenian massacres, the Arab revolt, and the Russian Revolution--are illuminated as never before.
Drawing on a wealth of new sources, McMeekin forces us to re-examine Western interference in the Middle East and its lamentable results. It is an epic tragicomedy of unintended consequences, as Turkish nationalists give Russia the war it desperately wants, jihad begets an Islamic insurrection in Mecca, German sabotage plots upend the Tsar delivering Turkey from Russia's yoke, and German Zionism midwifes the Balfour Declaration. All along, the story is interwoven with the drama surrounding German efforts to complete the Berlin to Baghdad railway, the weapon designed to win the war and assure German hegemony over the Middle East.
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.
From the acclaimed military historian, a history of the outbreak of World War I: the dramatic stretch from the breakdown of diplomacy to the battles--the Marne, Ypres, Tannenberg--that marked the frenzied first year before the war bogged down in the trenches.In Catastrophe 1914, Max Hastings gives us a conflict different from the familiar one of barbed wire, mud and futility. He traces the path to war, making clear why Germany and Austria-Hungary were primarily to blame, and describes the gripping first clashes in the West, where the French army marched into action in uniforms of red and blue with flags flying and bands playing. In August, four days after the French suffered 27,000 men dead in a single day, the British fought an extraordinary holding action against oncoming Germans, one of the last of its kind in history. In October, at terrible cost the British held the allied line against massive German assaults in the first battle of Ypres. Hastings also re-creates the lesser-known battles on the Eastern Front, brutal struggles in Serbia, East Prussia and Galicia, where the Germans, Austrians, Russians and Serbs inflicted three million casualties upon one another by Christmas. As he has done in his celebrated, award-winning works on World War II, Hastings gives us frank assessments of generals and political leaders and masterly analyses of the political currents that led the continent to war. He argues passionately against the contention that the war was not worth the cost, maintaining that Germany's defeat was vital to the freedom of Europe. Throughout we encounter statesmen, generals, peasants, housewives and private soldiers of seven nations in Hastings's accustomed blend of top-down and bottom-up accounts: generals dismounting to lead troops in bayonet charges over 1,500 feet of open ground; farmers who at first decried the requisition of their horses; infantry men engaged in a haggard retreat, sleeping four hours a night in their haste. This is a vivid new portrait of how a continent became embroiled in war and what befell millions of men and women in a conflict that would change everything.
World War I was one of the greatest upheavals in history, involving upwards of 70 million combatants--9 million of whom lost their lives--and setting off shock waves that were felt worldwide long after the Armistice of 1918. In The Experience of World War I, J.M. Winter marshalls a comprehensive range of historical materials, hundreds of vivid illustrations, and numerous eye-witness accounts to provide an illuminating and gripping chronicle of this cataclysmic event and its aftermath.
How did the assassination of one man, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, trigger such vast devastation? What was combat like for the common soldier? Why did the generals persist in large-scale offensives after catastrophic losses early in the war? What was the impact of the war on European politics, the world economy, and the arts? To answer these and myriad other questions, Winter examines the war year by year, describing the conflict as it was experienced by politicians, generals, soldiers and civilians. Illustrated with hundreds of color and black-and-white photographs, the book uncovers many intriguing aspects of the war: it reveals that soldiers in fact spent only two weeks per month in the front trenches, describes how the father of tycoon Rupert Murdoch broke the story of the disaster at Gallipoli, and outlines the unprecedented logistics problems the military faced (it took 20 boxcars of food per day to feed 17,000 men--and there were 5 million men in the British army alone). There is also a wealth of fascinating sidebar material covering a wide variety of secondary topics, from women's war poetry to the sinking of the LusitaniaT. The book is further enhanced by numerous first-hand accounts of life during the war, drawn from diaries, memoirs and other writings of both men and women, from all countries and social groups, and it also includes a full chronology, many full-color maps, and tables of essential data.
Combining political, military, and social history, this evocative account captures the Great War in all its complexity, from the bloody battles of Verdun, the Somme, and Passchendaele, to the flood of post-war literary and artistic works, including All Quiet on the Western Front and Jean Renoir's film La Grande Illusion.
This is the kind of investigatory history Hochschild pulls off like no one else . . . Hochschild is a master at chronicling how prevailing cultural opinion is formed and, less frequently, how it's challenged. -- Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh AirWorld War I was supposed to be the "war to end all wars." Over four long years, nations around the globe were sucked into the tempest, and millions of men died on the battlefields. To this day, the war stands as one of history's most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. To End All Wars focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the war's critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Many of these dissenters were thrown in jail for their opposition to the war, from a future Nobel Prize winner to an editor behind bars who distributed a clandestine newspaper on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britain's most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other. As Adam Hochschild brings the Great War to life as never before, he forces us to confront the big questions: Why did so many nations get so swept up in the violence? Why couldn't cooler heads prevail? And can we ever avoid repeating history? Hochschild brings fresh drama to the story and explores it in provocative ways . . . Exemplary in all respects. -- Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Superb . . . Brilliantly written and reads like a novel . . . Hochschild] gives us yet another absorbing chronicle of the redeeming power of protest. -- Minneapolis Star Tribune
Based on previously unused French and German sources, this challenging and controversial new analysis of the war on the Western front from 1914 to 1918 reveals how and why the Germans won the major battles 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.
While the overriding image of the First World War is of the bloody stalemate on the Western Front, the overall shape of the war arose out of its maritime character. It was essentially a struggle about access to worldwide resources, most clearly seen in Germany's desperate attempts to counter the American industrial threat, which ultimately drew the United States into the war. This radical new book concentrates on the way in which each side tried to use or deny the sea to the other, and in so doing describes rapid wartime changes not only in ship and weapons technology but also in the way naval warfare was envisaged and fought. Melding strategic, technical, and tactical aspects, Friedman approaches the First World War from a fresh perspective and demonstrates how its perceived lessons dominated the way navies prepared for the Second World War.