Armies of the Great War: The British Army and the First World War

Armies of the Great War: The British Army and the First World WarThe British Army and the First World War by Ian F.W. Beckett, Timothy Bowman, Mark Connelly
ISBN: 052118374X
Published by Cambridge University Press on May 30, 2017
Genres: Reference
Pages: 482

This volume was a collaborative effort of three professors at the University of Kent. Unlike the other volumes of this series reviewed in this issue, this one has no statistical tables; unfortunate since there are anecdotal numbers presented throughout the narrative.

It assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the British Army between 1914 and 1918, and discusses debates about the adequacy of British generalship and the so-called “learning curve” in the development of combat operations. Their conclusion is that despite limitations of initiative and innovation among the British high command, the British Army succeeded in developing effective combined arms warfare necessary for achieving victory in 1918.

The Western Front receives the lion’s share of attention with British Army operations “throughout the rest of the world” relegated to 26 pages. The index has “BEF, See British Expeditionary Force” but there is no such listing which means any pages where the BEF’s changing organization, such as the increase in machine-guns per battalion and decrease in battalions per division are lost (or nonexistent).

Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI

The Home Front 1914-1918: How Britain Survived the Great War

The Home Front 1914-1918: How Britain Survived the Great WarThe Home Front 1914-1918: How Britain Survived the Great War by Ian F.W. Beckett
ISBN: 9781472908896
Published by A&C Black on December 31st 2013
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Social History
Pages: 224

Len's Summary: The author suggests Britain survived by working hard and keeping a stiff upper lip.

The Great War: 1914-1918 (2nd Edition)

The Great War: 1914-1918 (2nd Edition)The Great War: 1914-1918 (2nd Edition) ISBN: 9781405812528
Published by Pearson/Longman on 2007
Genres: History, Military, General, World War I
Pages: 813

Len's Summary: A survey history that covers the war thematically rather than chronologically and has a social, economic and political emphasis.

1917: Beyond the Western Front

1917: Beyond the Western Front1917: Beyond the Western Front by Ian F.W. Beckett
ISBN: 9004171398
Published by Brill Academic Publishers on January 31st 2009
Genres: History, General, Europe, Military, World War I
Pages: 182

Len's Summary: Essays examining the burgeoning costs of war in this significant year of conflict marked by the exit of Russia and the entry of America. Like all Brill publications, this one is too expensive; get it from the library.

Haig’s Generals

Haig’s GeneralsHaig’s Generals by Ian F.W. Beckett, Steven J. Corvi
ISBN: 1844158926
Published by Pen & Sword Books on April 1st 2009
Genres: Great Britain, Military, World War I
Pages: 217

Len's Summary: A study of BEF army commanders with contributions from John Bourne, Gary Sheffield, Peter Simkins and Steven J. Corvi among others.