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.
User avatar
Pips
Member
Posts: 1122
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 08:44
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Pips » 23 Oct 2015 03:47

Sid Guttridge wrote:For the best introductory overview, I would suggest starting with the old, 1970s, Purnell partwork The History of the First World War (nowadays often available in charity shops quite cheaply).
Cheers,

Sid.
Thanks for that head-up Sid. I have Purnell's history of the second world war, didn't know that they had done one on the first as well!

Will have to get online and find it. :)

User avatar
Attrition
Member
Posts: 3647
Joined: 29 Oct 2008 22:53
Location: England

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Attrition » 23 Oct 2015 15:37

I found a set of the WWII series decades ago and picked out the interesting ones, then realised that they were all interesting and went back a week later, to find that someone had bought the rest and turned up the same time as me, hoping to snaffle the rest; we were both to be disappointed.

User avatar
tramonte
Member
Posts: 78
Joined: 13 Oct 2015 10:05
Location: Finland

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by tramonte » 10 Feb 2016 04:39

I'd recommend Christopher Clark's book "The Sleepwalkers".
"Military history is nothing but a tissue of fictions and legends, only a form of literary invention; reality counts for very little in such affair."

- Gaston de Pawlowski, Dans les rides du front

User avatar
Attrition
Member
Posts: 3647
Joined: 29 Oct 2008 22:53
Location: England

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Attrition » 03 Mar 2016 19:24

https://www.abmc.gov/news-events/news/w ... tY9gfkrLIU

pdf of American Armies and Battlefields in Europe: A History, Guide and Reference Book

https://www.abmc.gov/sites/default/file ... e_Book.pdf

USS ALASKA
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Apr 2008 01:34

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by USS ALASKA » 15 Mar 2016 18:57

OpanaPointer wrote:"Dreadnought"
"Castles of Steel"
If you enjoyed the complimentary volumes of 'Dreadnought' and 'Castles of Steel' then may I suggest 'The Mediterranean Naval Situation, 1908-1914' and 'The Naval War in the Mediterranean, 1914-1918' by Paul G. Halpern. These 2 volumes do for the Mediterranean what Massie does for the North Sea. Actually, any book by Halpern is winner.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 3697
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by OpanaPointer » 16 Mar 2016 00:39

My wife is going to hate you.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

USS ALASKA
Member
Posts: 49
Joined: 10 Apr 2008 01:34

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by USS ALASKA » 16 Mar 2016 13:42

OpanaPointer wrote:My wife is going to hate you.
Believe it or not, that isn't the first time I've been told that...interesting. However, one benefit to you is that if her ire is focused on me, you're in the clear! ;-)

One note of caution, while Massie makes for very enjoyable reading, Halpern is more 'scholarly' - some would say 'drier'. They are harder reads than 'Dreadnought' and 'Castles of Steel' but the information provided is incredible. Much like Massie, they are not exclusively focused on naval issues but rather use them to explain the overarching situation and challenges to get to the 'How the hell did we end up here on Aug 1914' endstate.

Cheers,
USS ALASKA

OpanaPointer
Member
Posts: 3697
Joined: 16 May 2010 14:12
Location: United States of America

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by OpanaPointer » 16 Mar 2016 14:53

Not to worry, I have my Masters in History from Purdue, so I'm used to slogging.
Come visit our sites:
hyperwarHyperwar
World War II Resources

Bellum se ipsum alet, mostly Doritos.

michael mills
Member
Posts: 8807
Joined: 11 Mar 2002 12:42
Location: Sydney, Australia

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by michael mills » 18 Mar 2016 23:05

Some very informative books that I have read recently:

Samuel R Williamson: "The Politics of Grand Strategy: Britain and France Prepare for War, 1904-1914"

David French: "British Strategy and War Aims, 1914-16"

Dominic Lieven: "Russia and the Origins of the First World War"

David Stevenson: "French War Aims Against Germany, 1914-1919"

Military History Symposium (Canada): "War Aims and Strategic Policy in the Great War, 1914-1918" (papers)

User avatar
The Ibis
Member
Posts: 336
Joined: 27 Dec 2015 01:06
Location: The interwebs

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by The Ibis » 16 Jan 2017 17:14

Mark Grotelueschen's The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I has been the gold standard on the American Expeditionary Force since its publication in 2006. Subsequent works by Richard Faulkner and David Woodward have also been necessary correctives to the longstanding myths about the AEF. There have also been several books about the Meuse Argonne Offensive, including a recent Palgrave book, A Companion to the Meuse-Argonne Campaig, edited by Ed Lengel, which is excellent. There is also some garbage, but I won't go into those here.

Anyway, Lengel released a new volume entitled The School of Hard Knocks: Combat Leadership in the American Expeditionary Forces, which is a fantastic volume covering the initial American engagements up through the Aisne-Marne Campaign and then concluding with a chilling discussion of the Battle of Fismes and Fismette, where the 32nd and 28th Division engaged in an extremely difficult campaign which included significant streetfighting -- unusual for WWI (BTW, Lengel probably offers the best description of Fismes and Fismette in 80 years). The book also highlights Franco-American cooperation (or lack thereof), and the constant American effort to steer blame for their own failings onto the French. There is a great line in the book discussing the conclusion of the Aisne Marne Campaign, noting that "the Americans were courageous and had much to learn," while "the French were courageous and had much to teach." The French were willing to teach. Institutionally, the Americans did not want to learn their lessons (though lower level commanders and units did so).

If one wants to read about the AEF's initial combat, this is the best place to start. For Americans who have a view of the AEF heading to Europe and saving the day (especially at Belleau Wood), be prepared to have your ideas disabused. Also be prepared to get angry at the incompetence of commanders who refused to learn lessons that their Allies were willing to teach and which they should have figured out on their own after initial encounters.
Last edited by The Ibis on 16 Jan 2017 18:53, edited 2 times in total.
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel

User avatar
The Ibis
Member
Posts: 336
Joined: 27 Dec 2015 01:06
Location: The interwebs

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by The Ibis » 16 Jan 2017 18:47

About to start rereading Bruce Lincoln's Passage Through Armageddon: The Russian War & Revolution. I've been doing quite a bit of specialist reading on the subject lately, and want to go back through this volume armed with what I've learned to see how it stands up. I was most impressed by Lincoln's books earlier.
"The secret of managing is to keep the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided." - Casey Stengel

cdubbs
Member
Posts: 16
Joined: 28 Sep 2011 16:10

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by cdubbs » 13 Feb 2017 15:32

In the interest of full disclosure, I am about to recommend a book that I wrote: "American Journalists in the Great War: Rewriting the Rules of Reporting." It just appeared from the University of Nebraska Press, and follows U.S. war correspondents from the opening days of the war through the Paris Peace Conference. You'll likely recognize some familiar names (Richard Harding Davis, for instance), but it's the other reporters that have the big stories. Granville Fortescue reporting on Gallipoli; Will Irvin telling Britain how well the BEF fought in Ypres; Stanley Washburn writing war policy for the Czar; cameraman Donald Thompson photographing the Russian Revolution, William Shepherd visiting the besieged city of Przemysl. It tells how the shifting landscape of censorship and news management shaped the story of the war as presented in American newspapers and magazines, and shows the lengths to which these reporters would go to get a scoop. I think it will appeal to both the general and the scholarly reader. Early reviewers have been kind.

User avatar
Dr Eisvogel
Member
Posts: 412
Joined: 24 Nov 2006 18:26
Location: Croatia

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Dr Eisvogel » 13 Feb 2017 18:11

Вишняков Я. В., На пути к Югославии: к вопросу о сербо-хорватских отношениях в сербском добровольческом корпусе (1916-1917 гг.)
Vishnyakov Ya. V., Towards Yugoslavia: on the Serbo-Croatian relations in the Serbian Volunteer Corps (1916-1917)

Published in:
Journal of N. I. Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Edition № 2-1 / 2014
ВЕСТНИК НИЖЕГОРОДСКОГО УНИВЕРСИТЕТА ИМ. Н.И. ЛОБАЧЕВСКОГО, Выпуск № 2-1 / 2014

Available for reading at: http://cyberleninka.ru/article/n/na-put ... 16-1917-gg

***

Johannes Held, Erzherzog Eugen von Österreich. Soldat – Ordensritter – Mäzen, Vienna, 2010 (PhD Dissertation)
http://othes.univie.ac.at/12261/1/2010- ... 804182.pdf

***

Excellent book rich in statistics:

Alon Rachamimov, POWs and the Great War, Captivity on the Eastern Front
https://books.google.hr/books?id=sTDQAg ... 16&f=false

User avatar
Attrition
Member
Posts: 3647
Joined: 29 Oct 2008 22:53
Location: England

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by Attrition » 30 Mar 2017 14:09

The Battle of the Somme Matthias Strohn (ed.) 2016

A collection of essays that promises to elucidate recent academic thinking. I began with chapter 4 by James Corum on the air war over the Somme and that phrase sums the essay. Corum can't write and I commiserate with anyone who has had to read his work for a course, I'd rather suck shite through a wire brush. Getting something positive from the chapter is going to be hard work but I'll find a way.

jetlag78
Member
Posts: 3
Joined: 08 Mar 2014 01:00

Re: Recommended reading on the First World War

Post by jetlag78 » 03 Apr 2017 21:43

Intelligence War in Latin America, 1914-1922, by Jamie Bisher, McFarland Publishing, 2016.

I regret that this book is priced for academic and institutional sales, but I believe that it is the only English-language book which thoroughly covers WWI in Latin America, which was largely a war between intelligence services...
- Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Intelligence-W ... mie+bisher
- Author's website: http://ww1latinamerica.weebly.com/

Return to “First World War”