A groundbreaking historical study, Norman Stone's The Eastern Front 1914-1917 was the very first authoritative account of the Russian Front in World War I to be published in the West. In this now-classic history he dispels the myths surrounding a still relatively little-known aspect of the war, showing how inefficiency rather than economic shortage led to Russia's desperate privations and eventual retreat. He also interprets the connection between the war and the chaos that followed, arguing that although fighting had almost ceased by the end of 1916, Russia was still in turmoil--undergoing a period of change that would inexorably lead towards revolution.
Prior to July 1914, the extensive British grip on the Mediterranean Sea was beginning to weaken, leading to a wide-open competition between Austria-Hungary, Italy, France and Great Britain. This change, Jon Hendrickson contends, was driven by three largely understudied events: the weakening of the British Mediterranean Fleet to provide more ships for the North Sea, Austria-Hungary's decision to build a navy capable of operating in the Mediterranean, and Italy's decision to seek naval security in the Triple Alliance after the Italo-Turkish War. These three factors radically altered the Mediterranean balance of power, forcing Britain and France to come to a mutual accommodation and accelerate ship construction to defend their respective interests in the region. However, the July Crisis and the ensuing World War obscured these events, leading later historians to ignore these events.
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.
A classic book on propaganda technique proposes a general theory of the strategy and tactics of propaganda.
This classic book on propaganda technique focuses on American, British, French, and German experience in World War I. The book sets forth a simple classification of various psychological materials used to produce certain specific results and proposes a general theory of strategy and tactics for the manipulation of these materials. In an introduction (coauthored by Jackson A. Giddens) written for this edition, Harold Lasswell notes that this study was partially an exercise in the discovery of appropriate theory. It raised the crucial questions of how to classify the content of propaganda--for instance, a distinction is made between value demands (war aims, war guilt, and casting the enemy as evil personified) and expectations (the illusion of victory)--and how to summarize the procedures employed in organizing and carrying out propaganda operations. Propaganda Technique in World War I deals primarily with problems of internal administration and lateral coordination rather than with the relationship between policymakers and propagandists. However, Jackson Giddens enumerates procedures in the book that illustrate an underlying assumption that decision makers were deeply involved in propaganda and influenced by considerations of public opinion. He takes the study of propaganda further by elaborating on the nature and meaning of the category of war aims and its relation to the propagandist, for this, more than any other category of content, is the catalyst of transnational political action. Giddens's exploration of the development of a comprehensive theory of propaganda adds another dimension to Lasswell's study while confirming its value as outstanding groundwork for continuing research.
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
The Great and Holy War offers the first look at how religion created and prolonged the First World War. At the one-hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the war, historian Philip Jenkins reveals the powerful religious dimensions of this modern-day crusade, a period that marked a traumatic crisis for Western civilization, with effects that echoed throughout the rest of the twentieth century.
The war was fought by the world's leading Christian nations, who presented the conflict as a holy war. Thanks to the emergence of modern media, a steady stream of patriotic and militaristic rhetoric was given to an unprecedented audience, using language that spoke of holy war and crusade, of apocalypse and Armageddon. But this rhetoric was not mere state propaganda. Jenkins reveals how the widespread belief in angels and apparitions, visions and the supernatural was a driving force throughout the war and shaped all three of the major religions--Christianity, Judaism and Islam--paving the way for modern views of religion and violence. The disappointed hopes and moral compromises that followed the war also shaped the political climate of the rest of the century, giving rise to such phenomena as Nazism, totalitarianism, and communism.
Connecting numerous remarkable incidents and characters--from Karl Barth to Carl Jung, the Christmas Truce to the Armenian Genocide--Jenkins creates a powerful and persuasive narrative that brings together global politics, history, and spiritual crisis as never before and shows how religion informed and motivated circumstances on all sides of the war.
A study of the British experience in the trenches between 1914 and 1918, of the literature that memorialized, conventionalized, and mythologized that experience, and of the resulting impact on modern consciousness
In his classic book, T.E. Lawrence--forever known as Lawrence of Arabia--recounts his role in the origin of the modern Arab world. At first a shy Oxford scholar and archaeologist with a facility for languages, he joined and went on to lead the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Turks while the rest of the world was enmeshed in World War I. With its richly detailed evocation of the land and the people Lawrence passionately believed in, its incisive portraits of key players, from Faisal ibn Hussein, the future Hashemite king of Syria and Iraq, to General Sir Edmund Allenby and other members of the British imperial forces, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is an indispensible primary historical source. It helps us to understand today's Middle East, while giving us thrilling accounts of military exploits (including the liberation of Aqaba and Damascus), clandestine activities, and human foibles.
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.
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.