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education - 8/10/2007 3:21:10 AM   
leftydad

 

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I, for one, bought the game. Then I bought THE FIRST WORLD WAR: THE COMPLETE 4 DVD SET. Now the book, THE GUNS OF AUGUST.

So, it’s turning into quite the education.

Anybody recommend any other reading/viewing to supplement enjoyment of this great game?


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RE: education - 8/10/2007 3:40:29 AM   
Hanal

 

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I have to admit, that I always found the Tuchman book a bit dry...Martin Gilbert's The First World War is a good read and he injects a human element to has narrative....I do not know if it is still easy to find but the old CBS series, WWI with Robert Ryan as a narrarator is an excellent documentary too...

< Message edited by J P Falcon -- 8/10/2007 3:42:09 AM >

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 3:45:41 AM   
AZKGungHo


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My favorite book on how the first world war started is:
Dreadnought (Paperback)
by Robert K. Massie


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RE: education - 8/10/2007 3:48:45 AM   
SMK-at-work

 

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http://www.military.com/Resources/HistorySubmittedFileView?file=History_Maps.htm - West point maps - check out the WW1 section!

They're also available at http://www.firstworldwar.com/index.htm - an excellent site on the war that combines all sorts of sources

I have also just ordered a couple of 1920's era works on the Russian economy of WW1 - fairly cheap at a total US$80-ish

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 3:53:10 AM   
flintlock

 

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That's a great WWI documentary series, I own it myself. Insofar as books are concerned, last year I read Ferguson's The Pity of War, which I really enjoyed. As a nice casual reference source, I have Willmott's World War I (it's a DK book).

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 5:09:36 AM   
SteveD64

 

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I own two Atlases of WWI, Arthur Banks Military Atlas of WWI and The Routledge Atlas of the 1st World War (Martin Gilbert).  The later has very boring maps but tons of facts (ie number of water tanks India produced during the war).  Also has the British plans for the 1915 seaborne invasion of Germany which I will spring upon unwary Guns of August players.  They don't have narratives of the war but both are good for dry facts.  Both were cheap.

< Message edited by CLEVELAND -- 8/10/2007 5:10:10 AM >

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 7:20:32 AM   
sol_invictus


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I picked up a DVD series titled" Trench", at BestBuy many months ago and it is really nice. I actually enjoy it more than the Strachan DVDs. I also enjoyed "The First World War" by John Keegan, "The Defeat of Imperial Germany" by Rod Paschall, and "Stormtroop Tactics" by Bruce Gudmundsson.

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 7:47:38 AM   
Alan_Bernardo

 

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The World Undone is good, and so is Keegan's book.  Tuchman is always a good read; and for a short book, Taylor's illustrated account of WWWI is interesting.

I don't watch movies, generally, and always prefer a book.

Alan

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 8:38:59 AM   
Andreus

 

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The sad truth is that no one has already written a global history of the first world war. What we have got until now are some excellent histories of the "western front" with a general overview of the others.

Perhaps this may sound too harsh to my english-speaking friends but being italian I am always struck by the amount of pure nonsense written about the alpine front. This always makes me wonder how much of the part regarding the balkans and russia is accurate and sound. I guess almost nothing.(In this regard Martin Gilbert's The First World War is probably the worst of the bunch)


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RE: education - 8/10/2007 8:45:35 AM   
modrow

 

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An interesting view is presented in Niall Ferguson's "The pity of war". It's not that much of a description of the combat action, but illustrates a lot of background info from economy to sociology and the like.

Hartwig

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 10:12:17 AM   
Heartland

 

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I was flipping through The Somme by Peter Hart at a bookstore the other day, and it looked excellent. Quite a massive tome that seemed well-written and with detailed and clear maps.

After a bit of further reading of reviews and comments, I have decided to pick it up. Apparently Hart works at the audio department at the Imperial War Museum, and has trawled through the archives for a lot of unrealeased stories and eyewitness reports by veterans of the event. Should be an interesting read.

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 10:18:41 AM   
hjaco

 

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See my comment on another thread by SMK-at-work about Hew Strachan's The First World War books - it taught me a lot of what was going on "behind the curtain".

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 1:41:29 PM   
Aurelian

 

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http://www.amazon.com/Cataclysm-First-World-Political-Tragedy/dp/0465081851

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 3:29:42 PM   
themattcurtis

 

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My idea was to find what looked like a well-regarded single volume treatment of the war, and then follow that up with 1 book covering each specific campaign in more detail.

So I got A World Undone.

Gallipoli by Alan Moorehead

The Osprey book on the WWI Med. Theater.

Castles of Steel by Massie goes into naval aspect of WWI

And the woman bought me a large, glossy covered paper back which, while it doesn't go into depth on anything, offers a TON of neat images and factoids. I'll post the title later. But one of the things that truck me during my first peak was a photo of the helmets worn by tank crews. They looked like something out of the middle ages (metal plates and bug-eyed goggles) that were used to protect them from the metal slivers caused by armor penetration.

I just snapped up Tannenberg 1914 for $9. And there's that old 1930s treatment of the Marne campaign that's on my wish list.



< Message edited by themattcurtis -- 8/10/2007 4:02:31 PM >

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 5:19:46 PM   
EUBanana


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1918 : The Last Act is a pretty good read about the Western Front in 1918, which saw some pretty momentous events, the Spring Offensive, Belleau Wood etc.

Theres a book by Holger H Herwig whose title I forget unfortunately which gives a very good account of the war from the point of view of the Central Powers.


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RE: education - 8/10/2007 6:27:24 PM   
SteveD64

 

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Yes the Herwig book is fantastic!  Has more info on Austria than any other book in English that I can think of.

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 6:59:16 PM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Andreus

Perhaps this may sound too harsh to my english-speaking friends but being italian I am always struck by the amount of pure nonsense written about the alpine front. This always makes me wonder how much of the part regarding the balkans and russia is accurate and sound. I guess almost nothing.(In this regard Martin Gilbert's The First World War is probably the worst of the bunch)



Part of the problem with those areas are that the native speakers didn't seem particularly interested in writing histories of either their country's role in the war or the front in which they were involved, especially right after the event. Some of it was because of disassociation w/ the war after it was over either because of its causes, how the country performed or whether it even existed. Russia lost, suffered a humiliating peace treaty, had a new government, was fighting a civil war and preparing to invade Poland. Can't imagine too many writers in that country concerned w/ researching the role of the Tsar's army or Russia's role in WWI. Italy felt it was shafted at Versailles and weren't too successful during the war in any event. Let's face it, how much fun would it be to write about the x number of battles of the Isonzo or Caporetto. They also didn't have an outstanding political or military figure (Diaz excepted) to write about. AH - ceased to exist and the countries that it was formerly composed of preferred to write about their own histories, either stressing their independent history (if they had one) or marginalizing the role of their involvement in the AH empire. Serbia ceased to exist, Bulgaria and Turkey lost. So you end up w/ very little original documentation of those fronts by those closest to it and no continuing scholastic tradition of debate on the subject. No scholastic debate, no controversy. No controversy, no writing. Nothing spurs writers like controversy . . . well, that and publishing to pay the mortgage or get tenure.

I also liked both of Massie's books.

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 7:46:16 PM   
diesel7013


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Both Massie books -

Dreadnaught and Castles of Steel - those are must reads regarding WWI - the personalities, the why and how - and I still can't read about the East Asia Squadrons escape from the Pacific only to die off the Falklands without getting choked up... 

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 8:35:30 PM   
Andreus

 

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to anarchyintheuk

In part I agree, this expecially true for Russia, a lot has been lost in the revolution and then covered up by the communist regime. The language barrier is another problem. I still hope one day to read a well reaseached history of the eastern front.

Regarding the italian-austrian front, thousands of books have been written in Italy from 1918 onwards. It's not uncommon for a bookstore to have a dedicated section with plenty about the Isonzo battles and the war in the Alps. I know at least five publishers specialized in this topic. Even the battle of Caporetto has been analyzed in the finest detail and not a few a these books are of astounding quality.

Here the problem seems one of language barrier or perhaps simply laziness. Perhaps the publishers believe that there's not market abroad for their books. I don't know.


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RE: education - 8/10/2007 9:23:37 PM   
themattcurtis

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: diesel7013

Both Massie books -

Dreadnaught and Castles of Steel - those are must reads regarding WWI - the personalities, the why and how - and I still can't read about the East Asia Squadrons escape from the Pacific only to die off the Falklands without getting choked up... 


Same reason Churchill credits the whole thing as one of the saddes episodes in the entire war.

90% of the men, German and British, who served in Craddock's and Spee's squadrons ended up dying within a month of each other.

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RE: education - 8/10/2007 9:25:41 PM   
VonKost

 

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Hello all,

I've been a ww1 wargames enthusiast for a few years now and have some recomendations for you all. These are only the book I have experiance with.

Overall Picture:

Strachan's First World War gives a great global picture of the war. Nice balance of facets. I own, but have not started his Call to Arms book.

FWW: http://www.amazon.com/First-World-War-Hew-Strachan/dp/0143035185/ref=pd_bbs_2/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186768991&sr=8-2

Strachan Interview: Author interview, if you create and account here there is a wealth of military history programs that can be downloaded or streamed http://www.pritzkermilitarylibrary.org/viewGenericVideoPage.do?id=80

Call to Arms: http://www.amazon.com/First-World-War-Oxford-Paperback/dp/0199261911/ref=pd_bbs_8/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186768991&sr=8-8

A Short History of World War 1 by James Stokesbury is a very good introduction to the war also. I got it on audiobook from the library and enjoyed it.

Stokesbury: http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-World-War-I/dp/0688001297/ref=sr_1_8/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186769465&sr=1-8

Martin Gilbert is ok, as well as keegan, but they both don't give enough detail to non-western front battles.

Gilbert: http://www.amazon.com/First-World-War-Complete-History/dp/0805076174/ref=pd_bbs_3/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186768991&sr=8-3

Keegan got off to a great start, but I fealt like he really skimped on detail after 1915 or so.

Keegan: http://www.amazon.com/First-World-War-John-Keegan/dp/0375700455/ref=cm_lmf_tit_3_rsrsrs0/002-2422713-8234437

One other book bear mentioning, I bought a paper back called Mammouth Eyewitness to the First World War or something to that affect. While not cohesive history it can be quite entertaining when reading personal accounts of all aspects of the war.

Mammoth: http://www.amazon.com/Mammoth-Book-Eyewitness-World-War/dp/0786712880/ref=pd_ts_b_21/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books

The same goes for a book called A War in Words which is a compilation of letters and diaries, this one is really quite good and engrossing. I got this one in the UK and it may be titled different in the US. I can't seem to find it.

Norm Stone's Eastern Front book is still the best though written before the eastern archives were opened. hopefully someone will write a new standard East Front book in the near future.

Stone: http://www.amazon.com/Eastern-Front-1914-1917-Norman-Stone/dp/0140267255/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186769816&sr=8-1

Holger Herwigs book is also good on east and west front.

Herwig: http://www.amazon.com/First-World-War-Austria-Hungary-1914-1918/dp/0340573481/ref=sr_1_2/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186769490&sr=1-2

AEF:

John Eisenhower wrote an interesting book about the American army, it's personalities, involvment and development in the war called Yanks.

Eisenhower: http://www.amazon.com/Yanks-Epic-Story-American-World/dp/0743223853/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-2422713-8234437?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1186770190&sr=1-1

There are more, but these are the ones I can remember at the moment.

< Message edited by VonKost -- 8/10/2007 9:26:32 PM >

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RE: education - 8/11/2007 12:03:08 AM   
anarchyintheuk

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Andreus

Here the problem seems one of language barrier or perhaps simply laziness. Perhaps the publishers believe that there's not market abroad for their books. I don't know.



It's a shame. I don't think I've ever read a book exclusively devoted to that front. Except maybe Rommel's.

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RE: education - 8/11/2007 12:17:08 AM   
TheBlackhorse


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This is a GREAT topic!

Here are some suggestions if you become interested in reading some first person accounts. Some are common , some more obscure.

Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves. An incredible first person account, by the author of I Claudius. It details his experiences in the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

The Complete Memoirs of George Sherston by Siegfried Sassoon.  It details, his experiences in the Royal Welch Fusiliers.

Have you Forgotten Yet? by CP Blacker. Personal Account of his experiences in the Coldstream Guards

Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger. Rare German 1st Person Account.

Some Desperate Glory By Edwin Campion Vaughan. 

A Storm in Flanders By Winston Groom (known for writing Forest Gump).  Damn good history of the Ypres salinet. The guy can write.

Old Soldiers Never Die by Frank Richards. NCO from the Royal Welch Fusiliers, tells his story.  (Those Royal Welch Fusiliers produced some writers!)

That's all for now, and enough to get anyone started.  I have loads more if anyone is interested and can provide.

Cheers,

BH

< Message edited by Blackhorse06 -- 8/11/2007 3:02:37 PM >

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RE: education - 8/11/2007 6:51:38 AM   
Andreus

 

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Isonzo - The forgotten sacrifice of the Great War by John R. Schindler is about the italian front.

Amazon

True gripping narrative by mr.Schlinder but since he was the first to write about this front he concentratated on style and drama rather than history. While I understand his purpose I found a lot of debatable issues. Yet I recommend it to anyone interested.


< Message edited by Andreus -- 8/11/2007 11:01:18 AM >

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RE: education - 8/11/2007 2:28:32 PM   
Noakesy

 

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quote:

Goodbye To All That by Robert Graves. An incredible first person account, by the author of I Claudius. It details his experiences in the Royal Welch Fusiliers.


I was thinking of reading a WWI book and have that one on my shelf, so I'll go and start it right now (bought it, never read it). WWI books I have include:
- Tuchman's 'August 1914'
- Sir Douglas Haig's despatches from 1919 (including a box of maps which are very nicely produced)
- A set of WWI books from the 30s I think (that are so bias and twisted to be hilarious)
- Tommy by Richard Holmes
- Road to Verdun by Ian Ousby
Most of my books are WWII. A friend also bought me Boy Soldiers, but I've not had chance to read that yet.

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RE: education - 8/11/2007 3:08:19 PM   
TheBlackhorse


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Noakesy


I was thinking of reading a WWI book and have that one on my shelf, so I'll go and start it right now (bought it, never read it). WWI books I have include:
- Tuchman's 'August 1914'
- Sir Douglas Haig's despatches from 1919 (including a box of maps which are very nicely produced)
- A set of WWI books from the 30s I think (that are so bias and twisted to be hilarious)
- Tommy by Richard Holmes
- Road to Verdun by Ian Ousby
Most of my books are WWII. A friend also bought me Boy Soldiers, but I've not had chance to read that yet.


You won't regret it! I've read Goodbye three times now and it actually gets better with each reading. Graves has a knack for extremely dark humor, as you'll find out. He's a brilliant writer.

The other ones you have are quite nice, in particular Tommy. What are the "twisted" books called?

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