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).
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.
We are changing the WW1HA’s newsletter’s publication schedule to monthly. Publishing “Here and There with the WW1HA” twice a year provides too few opportunities to interact effectively with the membership! So, we’re going to go with shorter, monthly publications via our Constant Contact mailing list. My goal is that each issue will contain a brief comment from the President / Officers, a quick summary of WW1-related news, and a focus on a member and his/her research in each issue. What else should it include? You tell me: email@example.com.
Membership was very low at the beginning of the year, so we have formed a Membership Committee. The first action taken was to contact 2020-22 members who had not renewed in 2023. That was the low-hanging fruit. The second action will be to increase year-end renewal reminders and touch points with the membership—also low-hanging fruit. The third action will be to explore ways to reach beyond our current customers.
On 11 March we held our first quarterly Fireside Chat—with 27 participants—using Zoom. Again, this provided interaction with our members. We will be doing these quarterly and will be announcing the next one shortly. The top two responses of how/why members got excited about WW1 were 1) family involvement in the war and 2) aviation. How do we use this information to grow membership?
A small group of us are actively posting in the World War One Historical Association’s Facebook Group. Join us there.
Ed Klekowski is itching to do a Summer (third) issue of World War One Illustrated. He is working on the first Summer issue as we speak.
I have not made major changes to the website yet, because of the above-mentioned initiatives. That said, I did modernize the Chapters/Events Page to reflect our current activities.
I hope these efforts breathe new life into the Association, and I want to encourage you to do your bit. If you have a good idea, tell me about it. Better yet, step up and be willing to take a more active role.