World War I Books (Full Version)

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warspite1 -> World War I Books (11/25/2012 3:59:36 AM)

This game has really given me a yearning to read up on WWI. Does anyone know any good books? Requirements:

- To start off I am looking for a quality one volume overview of the conflict from 1914-1918
- I do not want anything that focuses on first hand accounts, rather I want an overview of the conflict (like Beevor's The Second World War) to get me started; I can drill down into detail once I know the general timelines etc.

I saw The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark a couple of days after buying this game and on impulse I bought it. It has very mixed reviews on Amazon - ranging from 1-5 stars. The main comment from the 1-star providers is that the author has a German bias. Anyone read the book and/or come across this author before?




Titanwarrior89 -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:01:43 AM)

The Guns of August is a excellent one.




igor7111 -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:14:26 AM)


Top Three:

A World Undone: http://www.amazon.com/World-Undone-Story-Great-1914/dp/0553382403/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353816529&sr=1-1&keywords=world+war+1


The First World War: http://www.amazon.com/First-World-War-Oxford-Paperback/dp/0199261911/ref=sr_1_58?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353816753&sr=1-58&keywords=world+war+1

Catacllysm: http://www.amazon.com/Cataclysm-First-World-Political-Tragedy/dp/0465081851/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353816841&sr=1-1&keywords=world+war+1+cataclysm


This game has really given me a yearning to read up on WWI. Does anyone know any good books? Requirements:

- To start off I am looking for a quality one volume overview of the conflict from 1914-1918
- I do not want anything that focuses on first hand accounts, rather I want an overview of the conflict (like Beevor's The Second World War) to get me started; I can drill down into detail once I know the general timelines etc.

I saw The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark a couple of days after buying this game and on impulse I bought it. It has very mixed reviews on Amazon - ranging from 1-5 stars. The main comment from the 1-star providers is that the author has a German bias. Anyone read the book and/or come across this author before?
[/quote]




Johnnie -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:46:31 AM)

The Guns of August, by Barbara Tuchman (1962) is one of my favorite books period, and a Pulitzer Prize winner. It takes you from the beginning of the war through the Battle of the Marne. And it only deals with the Western Front, the flight of the Goeben and Tannenburg, but it sets the mood perfectly. Read it first and then go to a general one volume history of the entire war. I'm reading it again for the fourth or fifth time. That is how good it is.




Jestre -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:54:01 AM)

As mentioned above " A World Undone" is my absolute favorite one volume account of WWI. Extremely readable and totally unbiased. Many WWI books demonstrate a strong Anglo bias, Guns of August in particular. Another of my favorites is John Mosier's
"The Myth of the Great War" an extremely iconoclastic look at the war in the west, very provocative.





hadberz -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 5:17:50 AM)

I recommend "A World Undone". Very good book.




Agent S -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 6:50:50 AM)

This one.
The Great War by Les Carlyon [Review]
Gallipoli, by the Same Author [Review]
Fully agree with Guns of August.




VPaulus -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 1:35:53 PM)

"Dreadnought" and "Castles of Steel " both from "Robert K. Massie"are quite entertaining and deal with the naval warfare pre-WW1 and during the war.
"The "Lions of July" by William Jannen JR. it's masterful book about the last months of peace, portraying quite well the route to war and its diplomatic corridors. A must have.
"The Price of Glory" by Alistair Horne, is "the" classic book about Verdun... it will haunt you for the rest of your days. The same with "The First Day of the Somme" by Martin Middlebrook.
"Passchendaele" by Nigel Steele and Peter Hart is a great book about the third battle of Ypres.
"The Great War in Africa" by Byron Farwell... I suggest this book if you want to move away from the European theatre.
"Death's Men" by Dennis Winter is a good account of trench warfare.
"Bloody April" and "Aces Falling" by Peter Hart portray well the air war.




wodin -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 3:03:44 PM)

I have about 300+ books on WW1..these are some of my top picks. Hint try and stay away from books written in the sixties..the recent books on the subject are some of the best, because the Myths are shattered and put into correct perspective..no lions led by donkeys rubbish. Bloody Victory is a great new read for instance on the Somme.


All of Jack Sheldons German Army series. Six so far..Somme, Yrpes, Vimy, Passchendeale, Cambrai and Western front 1915. This series is amazing a must own for all military history nuts..especially so for WW1 fanatics.

The Other side of the Wire Vol 1 by Ralph Whitehead (Only 750 published and all signed..still some left at Amazon. Well worth the money..I've never come across so well researched and detailed book as this one (even has loads of photos of individual soldiers who are quoted or mentioned in the book)..a stunning achievement..Vol2 will be out soon and a must buy for me).

Liaison 1914 by Edward Speers (He is interviewed in the BBC Great War series from the sixties)

Brief History of the Royal Flying Corps by Ralph Barker

War the Infantry Knew by Capt Dunn

Tommy by Richard Holmes

Battlefields of the First world War by Peter Barton

Douglas Haig: War Diaries and Letters 1914-1918 by Gary Sheffield

The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army by Gary Sheffield

Beneath Flanders Field by Peter Barton

Bloody Victory William Philpott

With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 by David Stevenson

Under Fire by Henri Barbusse

Frenchman in Khaki by paul maze

Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger

Price of Glory Alistair Horne

Playing the Game by Christopher Moore-Bick

Old soldiers never die by Frank Richardson (Another one interviewed in the Great war series from the sixties)

The Somme by Peter Hart and Nigel Steel

Somme Mud by E P F Lynch

Brothers in War by Micheal Walsh

War Diary Of The Master Of Belhaven 1914-1918 by Hon Ralph G. A. Hamilton

War Letters to a Wife by Rowland Feilding

50th battalion in No Mans Land by Wheeler


To name a few..




VPaulus -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 3:21:32 PM)

I've never read any of the Jack Sheldon book, Woodin. Tell me do you think he has any bias for any of the sides?




wodin -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 3:28:00 PM)

VPaulus..it's all from the German side..heavily researched through regimental histories etc in the German archives (Jack Sheldon was a Military Attachee to the German Army for many years)..it's a running narration of first hand accounts with maps intersped by jack Sheldon giving a detailed run down of the battle at the exact same time as the accounts..amazing work..

The Other Side of the wire is another great book. If you want to know what it was like and about the men involved in the battle (all frontline ranks) from the German side you must read these. Actually everyone should own this series.

I will say though you can't go wrong with Sheldons work...I make sure I buy the next one as soon as it comes out..

his latest below..check the reader reviews..they sum it all up.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/German-Army-Western-Front-1915/dp/1848844662/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353857455&sr=1-1

In this book Mr Sheldon makes a very interesting proposition. That due to the victories on the eastern front at the time more divisions were sent that way...yet if those divisions had been given to Falkenhayn (he had asked for them) instead he had a massive chance to crush the at the time very weak BEF and may have even brought the war to an end...

A review quote below..

"After providing us with a series of books dealing with the experiences of German soldiers on different sectors of the front, Jack Sheldon has presented a triumphant synthesis here.

The year 1915 was portentous ; as Sheldon emphasises, it did not determine the outcome of the war, but it certainly defined the way it was fought.

The Germans, too, had their " Westerners" and their " Easterners", and it's especially interesting to read, in the introduction, how Falkenhayn advocated a determined ofensive in the West, with a fragile and unprepared BEF being the preferred victim. Sheldon does not generally indulge in " might have beens", but in this case he makes a convincing suggestion that, by turning away from Falkenhayn's vision, Germany missed a momentous chance.

If you seek disciplined narrative, backed up by anecdotes, with vignettes ranging from the horrific to the humorous, then you will enjoy this. You will above all be informed. Every chapter is backed up by a superb array of notes, which enhance the authority of the writing. There is great poignance without a hint of sensationalism.

We are exremely fortunate to have the efforts of Jack Sheldon available to us in the approach to the centennial year of that monstous war. We need that scholarly, authoratitive rendition of the " view from the other side of the hill."

The Winter Battle in Champagne, Neuve Chapelle, Arras, Aubers, Festubert, the Gas Attack at Ypres, the dreadful warfare in the Argonne, the mighty autumn offensives by the French in Artois and Champagne, supported by the British at Loos...these are all dealt with in that special Sheldonian style which is truly a landmark in the historiography of the Great War.

Phil Andrade, Life Member, Western Front Association"




VPaulus -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 3:40:21 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

VPaulus..it's all from the German side..

Yes, but let's say that sometimes the DNA heritage is too strong. [;)]
I've seen some of them in ebook format. No more space in the shelves, I'm afraid.
So definitely I'm really interested.
Is there any title that stands out and you could recommend?




wodin -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 3:42:40 PM)

Hmm there all fantastic. Choose the one that you have an interest in..you can read them in any order..Ypres is superb..so is his recent book..maybe start them in order (not publication order though)..go with Ypres..then Western front 1915.

Or go by publication order and start with German Army on the Somme. It's the book i first read and once finished I knew I need to buy any more he may release..and release he did..I emailed him at the start of the year and he got back to me within the hour. More books are planned for the series.

Being German yourself you must read them...your heritage is in those books..brave men as they where on all sides..

your list is a good one..I have to say though every book I mention I highly recommend you can't go wrong with any of them. If you found Price of Glory and First day of the somme books good..then your in for some real treats..




Empire101 -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:00:22 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

..brave men as they where on all sides..




Well put wodin... +1


First World War by Martin Gilbert.

The Kaisers Battle by Martin Middlebrook.

Paths of Glory by Anthony Clayton.

The German Army at Passchendaele by Jack Sheldon.

The last one is a truly terrifying read, how anybody survived intact, be they British,French or German is almost beyond comprehension, and a testament to human endurance.






VPaulus -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:13:04 PM)

I'm not German, wodin. [;)]
I think I'll start with the Somme.
I've been interested in WW1 all through my life, so naturally my WW1 section is quite big, but nothing compare with yours... 300... you sir, are really a true WWI buff. [:)]
I was already thinking on buying the Haig diaries.




wodin -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:56:32 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Empire101


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

..brave men as they where on all sides..




Well put wodin... +1


First World War by Martin Gilbert.

The Kaisers Battle by Martin Middlebrook.

Paths of Glory by Anthony Clayton.

The German Army at Passchendaele by Jack Sheldon.

The last one is a truly terrifying read, how anybody survived intact, be they British,French or German is almost beyond comprehension, and a testament to human endurance.





Jack Sheldons work as I mentioned to VP are must buys..Empire you need to buy the others in the series.




wodin -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 4:57:34 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: VPaulus

I'm not German, wodin. [;)]
I think I'll start with the Somme.
I've been interested in WW1 all through my life, so naturally my WW1 section is quite big, but nothing compare with yours... 300... you sir, are really a true WWI buff. [:)]
I was already thinking on buying the Haig diaries.



Oh thought you where...silly me.

Anyway you can't go wrong with the Somme..it was the first in the series and a great one.
Yes I'm a WW1 nut..started about 15 years ago or more..a fair few of those are novels aswell..not all non fiction..lots of memoirs aswell..

Liaison 1914 by Edward Speer is a superb read..he was the British liaison officer to the French at the start of hostilities and this book is his sort of memoir of the first few weeks..amazing read..full of famous personalities of the time..gives a great impression of the difficulties between the French and the British.

Naval and Military press has a great WW1 selection..




VPaulus -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 5:23:04 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin


Liaison 1914 by Edward Speer is a superb read..he was the British liaison officer to the French at the start of hostilities and this book is his sort of memoir of the first few weeks..amazing read..full of famous personalities of the time..gives a great impression of the difficulties between the French and the British.

His interviews in BBC "The Great War" are among the best parts of the series. Fascinating stuff. [:)]




Bossy573 -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 5:59:00 PM)

The Guns of August is my favorite work of history bar none. The scholarship involved is dated now, but it is beautifully written and paced. A masterpiece. I re-read that book every couple of years just because I enjoy the quality of the writing that much. A more current, and very good treatment of the subject is: Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World by Holger Herwig.

Massie's 2 volume treatment of the naval rivalry and the naval war is spectacular as well. IMHO, the naval actions of WWI are overlooked and the parallels of the naval arms race to the nuclear arms race just jump off the pages after a while. Naval combat in WWI was an unexpectedly complex and detailed affair - which came as a surprise to this novice on the subject.




VPaulus -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 6:40:48 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: Bossy573

Massie's 2 volume treatment of the naval rivalry and the naval war is spectacular as well. IMHO, the naval actions of WWI are overlooked and the parallels of the naval arms race to the nuclear arms race just jump off the pages after a while.

On that matter you might find also interesting a book by David G. Herrmann "The Arming of Europe and the Making of the First World War". Here the focus is on land armies and not about the naval race.

"The Guns of August" it's a WW1 classic book in the way as Gibbons's "The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" is for the Roman period. It always be a must read if you're interested in the period.

Another good memoir is the one written by Robert Graves "Goodbye to All That". I rated it as a different kind of memoir. Robert Graves was a writer, and I think we notice that quality on the account. He's more known by his masterpiece "I, Claudius", but "Goodbye to All That" is quite good.




Bossy573 -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 7:34:36 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: VPaulus
On that matter you might find also interesting a book by David G. Herrmann "The Arming of Europe and the Making of the First World War". Here the focus is on land armies and not about the naval race.


Many thanks. Not available as a Nook Book so I guess I'll have to read it the old fashioned way. [:)]




wodin -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 8:34:37 PM)

VPaulus my two favourite memoirs are War the Infantry knew by Capt J C Dunn (was the MO of Graves Welch battalion). The Frank Richards memoir was also the Welch battalion.

My No2 is Under Fire by Henri Barbusse.




LarryP -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 8:45:35 PM)

quote:

ORIGINAL: wodin

I have about 300+ books on WW1..



Wow, if I have any WW1 questions, I'm coming to you Wodin! [&o]




VPaulus -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 9:51:51 PM)

Both, "Under Fire" and "Storm of Steel" are in my WWI backlog for a long time. I bought "Storm of Steel" a couple of years ago but it seems there's never enough time to read all the books I want. [:(]
But I've already decide that the next memoir will be from James McCudden "Flying Fury".

"The War the Infantry Knew", is also a classic, always listed in any WW1 bibliography.

What about one volume WW1 history... what do you all think it's best? I've seen some people mentioning "A World Undone". I still have in my backlog David Stevenson "1914-1918: The History of the First World War". The last I've read was Hew Strachan's "The First World War". I've enjoyed it although many people consider it too much light.




parusski -> RE: World War I Books (11/25/2012 11:22:12 PM)

I also recommend A World Undone

quote:

A World Undone: http://www.amazon.com/World-Undone-Story-Great-1914/dp/0553382403/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1353816529&sr=1-1&keywords=world+war+1






warspite1 -> RE: World War I Books (11/26/2012 8:50:15 PM)


quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1

This game has really given me a yearning to read up on WWI. Does anyone know any good books? Requirements:

- To start off I am looking for a quality one volume overview of the conflict from 1914-1918
- I do not want anything that focuses on first hand accounts, rather I want an overview of the conflict (like Beevor's The Second World War) to get me started; I can drill down into detail once I know the general timelines etc.

I saw The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark a couple of days after buying this game and on impulse I bought it. It has very mixed reviews on Amazon - ranging from 1-5 stars. The main comment from the 1-star providers is that the author has a German bias. Anyone read the book and/or come across this author before?
warspite1

So has no one read anything by Christopher Clark?




wodin -> RE: World War I Books (11/26/2012 9:56:36 PM)

To Conquer Hell: The Battle of Meuse-Argonne 1918 by E Lengel. It's a superb read that many of the American players would be interested in.

@VPaulus this is a great indepth overview..The Great War: 1914-1918 by Ian Beckett. A World Undone is a great starter book for an overall picture. I also recommend it.

@Warspite..I say as others have said A World Undone, not to heavy and a superb intro to the War. Also John Terraine released a WW1 book which would suit aswell.


Also so far Peter hart has written some superb books on WW1..he is releasing a new book in April which covers the whole war. SO keep an eye out for it.

Peter Harts new book next year.




Amaranthus -> RE: World War I Books (11/29/2012 1:02:58 PM)

I just finished reading "World War I - A Short History" by Norman Stone. It's a modern interpretation (published 2010) and an excellent, concise read (at 240 pages, you can get through it in about 3-4 hours at a leisurely pace). It's really a superb primer.




jwduquette1 -> RE: World War I Books (11/29/2012 3:51:05 PM)

I'll second (or is it third by now) reading "Castles of Steel" by "Robert K. Massie". Great book on the Naval aspects of WWI. Great drama.




johng5155 -> RE: World War I Books (11/30/2012 8:03:02 PM)

If you are interested in German war plans leading up to 1914, try "The Real German War Plan, 1904-14" by Terrance Zuber. He looks at the actual plans developed over the period. It is interesting that they changed every couple of years, based on the current political climate in Europe. "The Pity of War" by Niall Ferguson is an interesting analytical study of the war from a modern perspective.




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