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Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/7/2021 4:41:36 PM   
stockwellpete

 

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I have a couple of ideas for new threads that I will post this week. The first one is so we can share references to books and films we have read or seen.

My first choice is Peter Hart, whose one volume history "The Great War 1914-18" I am reading at the moment. I live in south London, UK about half an hour's walk away from the Imperial War Museum where Peter Hart is a historian who specialises in oral histories/testimonies of participants in various modern conflicts. He has written a number of books on WW1, including "Fire and Movement" about the BEF in 1914, "Gallipoli", "The Somme" and "The Battle of Jutland".

He also has this series on You Tube which has both WW1 and WW2 material . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU-rE6vxyyc&list=PLEfQzT0X8RHKwvXdRqy3a2FVzbSuRZYQg&index=1
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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/7/2021 4:47:49 PM   
stockwellpete

 

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My second choice is Professor David Stevenson of the London School of Economics (LSE) whose fabulous one volume history "!914-1918" is probably best one volume history of WW1 in recent times.

Here is a short lecture he gave on WW1 5 or 6 years ago . . .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMEFg_-26Ms&t=684s

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 4:59:30 AM   
OldCrowBalthazor


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I have two that I am re-reading:

*'A Box of Sand' - The Italo-Ottoman War 1911-1912 subtitled The First Land, Sea and Air War by Charles Stephenson.

Not WW1...but damn close. The Italians were quite resourceful and innovative with the latest in technological advances...but as has occurred through out history, beset by a crafty opponent that changed their tactics from conventional to irregular methods to defend their land. I believe the Italian V corps that comes in our game here with better experience upon deployment then the rest is modeled because of this war. Excellent sources and bibliography comes with this title.


*'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' by T.E. Lawrence

Fascinating first hand account of The Arab Revolt, including geopolitical scullduggery, Arab factionalism, the Hejaz campaign, and vivid accounts and descriptions of the weirdly multifaceted landscapes of this part of the world. All written in a wonderful Oxfordian style...even better when listened to on audio book. (Its available on Audible). A personal favorite and I own a second edition copy of this wonderful tome. Many of the newer versions have all the paintings and illustrations of the principal characters both famous and obscure that the older versions have within the pages of this book. There are scores of them.

< Message edited by OldCrowBalthazor -- 2/8/2021 5:00:00 AM >

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 5:20:34 AM   
shri

 

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I don't have online links, but the only person to have covered the eastern front in details is Norman Stone and even he didn't cover the Ottoman fronts properly.

Still the best read.

Robert Massie's Dreadnought is another book i liked. Not directly into the war, but somewhere around it.

The best all round book - sleepwalkers.

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 5:49:07 AM   
mdsmall

 

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Massie's "Dreadnought" is a terrific read: it deals with the personal and political rivalries between Germany and Britain that led to Germany deciding to compete with Britain in building a modern battleship fleet and how that rivalry helped to bring Europe to the brink of war.

I think it is hard to beat Barbara Tuchman. I have already mentioned her first book on The Zimmerman Telegram. The Guns of August is a classic - in particular her account of how General Foch turned back the Germans at the Marne. Her book of essays on Europe before the war, The Proud Tower, is essential reading, especially her chapter on the public temperament of Wilhelmine Germany "Neroism is in the Air". If you read that you get a sense of the nervous energy that drove Imperial Germany into war in 1914.

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 10:35:33 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: shri
The best all round book - sleepwalkers.


Yes, I haven't read this one yet but it is highly regarded . . .

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2013/jul/19/sleepwalkers-christopher-clark-review

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 10:39:37 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: shri

I don't have online links, but the only person to have covered the eastern front in details is Norman Stone and even he didn't cover the Ottoman fronts properly.

Still the best read.



Here is the Norman Stone book . . .

https://resolutereader.blogspot.com/2012/08/norman-stone-eastern-front-1914-1917.html

< Message edited by stockwellpete -- 2/8/2021 10:58:26 AM >

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 10:40:44 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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I watched a 3 part documentary on Saturday evening on the BBC i-player. It was presented by the archaeological historian Peter Barton and it was called "Both Sides of the Wire" about the Somme. He has been into the German archives and has quite a new perspective on our understanding of that great battle. The programme was made 4 or 5 years ago. Highly recommended and it is available to buy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Barton_(historian)

The link for those of us in the UK is . . .

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b07lst9b/the-somme-1916-from-both-sides-of-the-wire




< Message edited by stockwellpete -- 2/8/2021 10:57:06 AM >

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 10:44:13 AM   
BillRunacre

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: shri

I don't have online links, but the only person to have covered the eastern front in details is Norman Stone and even he didn't cover the Ottoman fronts properly.

Still the best read.



Fortunately that is no longer the case, as Prit Buttar has written about four volumes covering the war on the Eastern Front. Of course, Stone's book does have the advantage of being a lot quicker to read!

Additionally, Nick Cornish's The Russian Army and the First World War is pretty good.



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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 11:45:56 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

Fortunately that is no longer the case, as Prit Buttar has written about four volumes covering the war on the Eastern Front. Of course, Stone's book does have the advantage of being a lot quicker to read!



Would you recommend these ones, Bill?

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/8/2021 12:45:46 PM   
shri

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre


quote:

ORIGINAL: shri

I don't have online links, but the only person to have covered the eastern front in details is Norman Stone and even he didn't cover the Ottoman fronts properly.

Still the best read.



Fortunately that is no longer the case, as Prit Buttar has written about four volumes covering the war on the Eastern Front. Of course, Stone's book does have the advantage of being a lot quicker to read!

Additionally, Nick Cornish's The Russian Army and the First World War is pretty good.




My bad, haven't read him.

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/9/2021 12:14:38 AM   
Edorf

 

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In my opinion the best single volume book on WW1 is “A World Undone” by G.J. Meyer.

https://www.amazon.com/World-Undone-Story-Great-1914/dp/0553382403/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=A+world+undone&qid=1612832171&sr=8-1

What sets this out from other books on the topic is that it is a balanced account of the war and not Anglo-centric in the approach.

Another good book, covering the events leading to the war, is “The Sleepwalkers” by Christopher Clark

https://www.amazon.com/Sleepwalkers-How-Europe-Went-1914/dp/0061146668/ref=pd_sbs_5?pd_rd_w=1FYKT&pf_rd_p=c52600a3-624a-4791-b4c4-3b112e19fbbc&pf_rd_r=2AGGMETT5XMWC26T0Z5M&pd_rd_r=c1b0295b-eabc-42bc-af81-13150d66392f&pd_rd_wg=cB542&pd_rd_i=0061146668&psc=1

A military atlas of WW1

https://www.amazon.com/Military-Atlas-First-World-War/dp/0850527910/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Atlas+ww1&qid=1612832950&s=books&sr=1-1









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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/9/2021 1:30:11 AM   
Platoonist


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It's a bit long in the tooth, but I still have my venerable American Heritage History of World War One by Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall.

]

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/10/2021 8:44:02 AM   
stockwellpete

 

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Here is a bit more detail of the writer that Bill mentioned, Prit Buttar. I think I might give him a try at some point . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prit_Buttar

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/11/2021 3:26:24 AM   
Dazo


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I'll go first on movies with those I remember(ed):

All quiet on the western front (1930)
Incredible for a 1930 movie, being only one decade removed from the war add something you can't really describe. Amazing machine gun sequence/view.
Even if you don't like that kind of oldie, It's basically the measuring stick for all other ones on WWI. Great ending.

Wooden crosses / Les croix de bois (1932)
The french side of the measuring stick.

Paths of Glory (1957)
Kubrick's classic on french side with a great Kirk Douglas.

La grande guerra (1959)
Not that good but not many movies on the italian side...

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
You should know this one but just in case... Peter O'Toole in the main role.

Doctor Zhivago (1965)
As for Colonel Redl, not actually a WWI movie since it's about the russian civil war but still a great "side" show.

The Blue Max / Le crépuscule des aigles (1966)
Aerial combat on german side with George Peppard in one of his best roles.
Still prefer it to all the recent stuff like Flyboys (2006) or Red Baron (2008).

Black and white in color / La victoire en chantant (1976)
Two military outposts at the border of neighbouring colonies in west Africa, one french and one german, face the declaration of war in 1914, what will they do ?

All quiet on the western front (1979)
I like both movies in their own ways, some flaws here but still haunting moments and no hero stuff at all.

Colonel Redl (1985)
Not actually a WWI movie since it ends just before the war but still interesting as it's a rare foray on the AH side.

Blackadder goes forth (1989)
Not a movie (sitcom) but a satirical view of the british front in Flanders. Nice to alleviate the mood if you like that kind of humor.

Le pantalon (1996)
When a french soldier receives trousers of the wrong color when enlisting... War absurdity in a nutshell.

Captain Conan / Capitaine Conan (1996)
Another outlier since it's about the bulgarian and romanian fronts on french side at the end of the war.

Merry Christmas / Joyeux Noël (2005)
French movie about the famous 1914 Christmas truce.

More recent and known movies centered on UK/US settings: Warhorse (2011), Beneath hill 60 (2010), Passchendaele (2008), Gallipolli (2005), The lost battalion (2001).

If you're adventurous, you can even try some turkish movies like Gallipoli end of the road / Çanakkale: Yolun Sonu (2013) to see the OE side ^^ .

< Message edited by Dazo -- 2/11/2021 3:50:42 AM >

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/11/2021 3:38:18 AM   
Platoonist


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Excellent list Dazo. I'd certainly add the British war film 1917 from last year to that list

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/11/2021 5:02:32 PM   
Bavre

 

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quote:


Blackadder goes forth (1989)
Not a movie (sitcom) but a satirical view of the british front in Flanders. Nice to alleviate the mood if you like that kind of humor.


Oh I vividely remember that one!

Staffer: This is a map of the territory we conquered in our latest big attack.
General: What scale is this?
Staffer: It's 1:1 Sir.
General: So how much did we conquer?
Staffer: About 1,5 square meters, Sir.
General: Then all our brave men have not died in vain!

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/12/2021 4:05:26 AM   
shri

 

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quote:

Blackadder goes forth (1989)
Not a movie (sitcom) but a satirical view of the british front in Flanders. Nice to alleviate the mood if you like that kind of humor.


Archie Duke was Hungry and ate an Ostrich!!

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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/12/2021 12:17:10 PM   
BillRunacre

 

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Has anyone seen The Rifleman? It's a modern film set on the Eastern Front:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btz9S2hi3zw

Sarajevo is worth a watch for the events there prior to the war.

There's also Battalion which is about the 1st Russian Women's Battalion of Death and overall it was pretty good, worth a watch:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4187590/

ANZACs was a brilliant series from the 1980s starring Paul Hogan, and it is available on DVD. I re-watched it last year and just wish there were a British, French, German etc equivalent too...


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RE: Historians of the Great War . . . - 2/20/2021 8:50:25 PM   
Dazo


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Platoonist

Excellent list Dazo. I'd certainly add the British war film 1917 from last year to that list


Nice one, Platoonist, except maybe the whole plane thing that was a bit over the top .

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bavre
Oh I vividely remember that one!

Staffer: This is a map of the territory we conquered in our latest big attack.
General: What scale is this?
Staffer: It's 1:1 Sir.
General: So how much did we conquer?
Staffer: About 1,5 square meters, Sir.
General: Then all our brave men have not died in vain!


quote:

ORIGINAL: shri
Archie Duke was Hungry and ate an Ostrich!!


So many good lines, a well written show for sure !

"A war hasn't be fought this badly since Olaf the Hairy, High Chief of all the Vikings, ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside."


quote:

ORIGINAL: BillRunacre

Has anyone seen The Rifleman? It's a modern film set on the Eastern Front:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btz9S2hi3zw

Sarajevo is worth a watch for the events there prior to the war.

There's also Battalion which is about the 1st Russian Women's Battalion of Death and overall it was pretty good, worth a watch:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4187590/

ANZACs was a brilliant series from the 1980s starring Paul Hogan, and it is available on DVD. I re-watched it last year and just wish there were a British, French, German etc equivalent too...



Thanks for the references, Bill.

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