Recommended reading on the First World War

Discussions on all aspects of the First World War not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Terry Duncan.
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Pips
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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Pips » 15 Apr 2010 06:54

Captain Roy Brown: The Definitive Biography, by Alan Bennett.

I've been waiting years for this to come out. It was originally slated for release back in 2008, but for some reason it was postponed. Now due out in May this year. Based primarily on his correspondence and unpublished letters, it may hopefully finally give an insight into how he felt having been credited with Manfred von Richthofen's death.

Although I have to admit that I find his record as a Flight Leader (he never lost a man in combat) far more impressive than he's downing of the Red Baron.

The publishers write-up sounds interesting.


''This title includes a book & CD. The decades-old question surrounding the death of the Red Baron has been embroiled in controversy. In this book, the author has uncovered new information and insights, shedding new light on the events of that day. Part One of this comprehensive study covers the life of Captain Arthur Roy Brown, who is well-known as an ace fighter pilot. The basic story is told in Brown's own words, via his previously unpublished letters home and the entries in his Pilot's Flying Log Book. His surviving Combat Reports are also included. The letters and the Combat Reports are unedited, and are used to tell the story within a military, historical and geographical context. They are accompanied by over 500 photographs, most of them never before published, plus diagrams and maps. Part Two of the book covers Captain Brown's encounter with Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, in detail. The story is told on the basis of recently released official documents of the time, together with recently offered letters written by some of the participants and witnesses. The new information corrects several well-established beliefs, and is able to provide the true story together with the necessary confirmation. Explanations that expand on pertinent details of the story are placed on an enclosed CD, so that a technically-minded reader will find the necessary detailed information. In 1995 Alan Bennett toured the site in France where Captain Brown had attacked the Red Baron on 21 April 1918. As an experienced pilot of similar aircraft, he had grave doubts as to the truth of some parts of the story. The eventual result was a book written in conjunction with "Norman Franks: The Red Baron's Last Flight". After plentiful information from readers, Captain Roy Brown's family and Wop May's son, plus further research in France, a considerably different picture of the entire event and of Roy Brown's life emerged."
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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by renguy » 25 May 2010 00:25

hey guys.. not all of the war was butchery in the trenches of europe. lettow-vorbeck's campaign in east africa...check out "the fight for bundu"...naval warfare that is not jutland and dogger bank..."the kaiser's pirates",john walter..."konigsberg",kevin patience..."the last gentleman of war" about sms emden in the indian ocean..."tin pots and pirate ships" for the canadians out there (has the easiest to understand analysis of german strategy i've come across)..."shipping conspiracies in san francisco",david grover for those of us on the fringe of the great war...the scope and depth of german activity , especially in america, is a surprise to us yanks.

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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by OpanaPointer » 25 May 2010 00:51

"Dreadnought"
"Castles of Steel"
"Luxury Fleet"

And something about the Navies. 8-)
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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Attrition » 26 Jun 2010 23:11

'Writing the Great War' by Andrew Green, an analysis of the British Official History, the reasons for writing it, the ulterior motives of various government departments (War Office, Foreign Office, Cabinet Office etc) and the extent to which the volumes were influenced by them. Four books are studied, Gallipoli, 1916I, 1917II and 1918I, Edmonds' responses to comments on the drafts are followed to the versions published. Contra Travers, Liddell-Hart et al he finds that far from whitewashing Haig ,Edmonds laid bame relatively impartially but did so with subtlety so much critical comment is in footnotes or the main text which sometimes contradicts material in the Introduction and the Conclusion. Green also finds that there are significant passages where he indulges in hindsight and rhetoric, particularly in 1916I.

Having read the chapter on 1916-first day of the Somme and the one on 3rd Ypres I found myself in the odd position of broadly agreeing that the OH volumes I have read are serious scholarly works but disagreeing with his reasons. Green seems to agree with what I thought were exploded myths like troops advancing shoulder to shoulder, being weighed down with "66lbs of equipment", advancing at a slow pace into machine-gun barrages..., yet demonstrating that Edmonds showed considerable fortitude in resisting pressure to emphasise factors external to the army, not mention embarrassing matters which weren't dependent on hindsight and criticised more harshly in response to comments about drafts which were circulated to participants.

I haven't finished the book but already conclude that Green makes a better case for the OH's value as a scholarly work than its detractors do the opposite.

Apropos does anyone know of any sources which dwell on the implications of a difference between a 'win-lose' model of military operations and a 'cost-benefit' one?

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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by revans618 » 16 Aug 2010 04:30

Have got a the 1st book of a trilogy coming at the end of the week. The Beginning Of Futility by Gaetano V. Cavallaro. It's supposed to cover all aspects of the Austro-Italian Front including politics, diplomacy, the air and naval actions along with the main fighting along the Isonzo Front. The other 2 books are called Futlity Ending In Disaster and Disaster Ending In Final Victory.

They come highly recommended.

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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Attrition » 16 Aug 2010 08:59

I've had my eye on those so I hope they turn out to be as promising as they look.

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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by revans618 » 18 Aug 2010 00:47

I do too. I'll let you know how the first one is as soon as I start reading.

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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Attrition » 28 Sep 2010 12:27

'Germany's Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Greatwar, 1915: 2' Mark Osborne Humphries (Editor), John Maker (Editor).

It's only just arrived and cost a bomb but it looks like an invaluable peek over the other side of the hill.

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August 1914 Military Analysis

Post by Dave Bender » 28 Sep 2010 14:21

If you want a proper military analysis of the western front fighting during August 1914 then the two new books by Terence Zuber are essential. I haven't seen a military analysis this thorough since I was in the U.S. Army.

Ardennes 1914.
The Mons Myth.

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1914 Tanga military analysis

Post by Dave Bender » 28 Sep 2010 14:28

http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cgi-bin/showfil ... CISOPTR=65
Speaking of proper military analysis, the above link contains an excellent paper about the 1914 Battle of Tanga and the Ost Afrika Schultztruppen in general. And its free. What more could you ask for?

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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by OpanaPointer » 28 Sep 2010 14:53

I have the US Army in WWI (the "Green Books" for that war) on PDF. I'll upload them tonight. Somebody bug me if I don't post a URL, please.
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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by OpanaPointer » 28 Sep 2010 14:56

Also "Naval Aviation in World War I" from Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air) History Office.
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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by OpanaPointer » 29 Sep 2010 13:05

Come visit our sites:
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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by OpanaPointer » 29 Sep 2010 13:50

Some other WWI resources can be found here: http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/USN/Navy/
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Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Attrition » 06 Oct 2010 15:13

Attrition wrote:'Germany's Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Greatwar, 1915: 2' Mark Osborne Humphries (Editor), John Maker (Editor).

It's only just arrived and cost a bomb but it looks like an invaluable peek over the other side of the hill.
I've read about 1/3 and find it quite informative.The sections of analysis of Germany's strategic position are very interesting, there are bibliographic footnotes for other sources in English added by the editors and several good maps, some with contours. The descriptions of military operations aren't quite as good, they tend to display terms which grate - 'high angle' instead of howitzer, 'tasking' and 'missions'.

The story of the military operations has had some surprises, British efforts in Artois appear to have been more threatening on the other side of the hill than they appear in much British writing and the impression I gleaned from the few sources in English about the French army of 1915 has increased (they were quick to adapt to the needs of attack in trench warfare, the Germans had to work very hard to contain their attacks and that this justifies the risks taken with the disarmament of the Verdun forts to increase the field army's firepower).

Sadly the publishers say don't hold your breath for the next volume.

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