A remarkable work of scholarship; Brooks went back to the original reports submitted by the British commanders—Jellicoe, Beatty, and all their subordinates, as well as communications logs, gunnery logs, and other supplemental materials. The result is a detailed examination of the battle that strips away a hundred years of claims and counter-claims and provides a detailed, minute-by-minute account of the battle. Along the way Brooks offers many fresh insights into the actions of the British naval leadership. One warning: This is not a book for casual reading—to extract its full value the reader must pay close attention!
A reassessment of Churchill’s role in the conception, planning and execution of the Dardanelles fiasco, as well as an examination of the subsequent inquiry and the long-standing controversy over the operation. Bell previously wrote Churchill and Sea Power, and is an expert on the great man’s relationship with the Royal Navy. His account draws on a mass of archival material, and provides a more nuanced view of the people and politics that contributed to the decision-making process.
Soldiers’ Song and Slang of the Great War is an update and enlargement of a book first published in 1931. The current book includes phrases that were deemed inappropriate in earlier editions. The slang is both mystifying and well known. For example, a “goo wallah” is the sanitary man. Other items such as a “flapper’s delight” for a young officer are self-explanatory even now.
The songs lack any musical notations and only the lyrics are printed. Many use melodies set to well-known tunes—those by Gilbert and Sullivan seem to be popular as are folk melodies from the British countryside. The lyrics are commentaries on life at the front, the memories of home, and patriotic themes. By war’s end parodies are widespread. Songs from America and France are included, even “Adieu la Vie” (Chanson of Craonne) which was banned in France until 1974. The English translation is buried in the appendix, but is worth finding. The song is an indictment by the soldiers in the field of their treatment by the French army and government.
The Home Front in the Great War covers the British home front and the Hull area in detail. There is a chronological section at the beginning that provides an overview of events back in “Blighty,” followed by short essays on the efforts by groups from the Royals to the YMCA to support of the war effort. The report on the Boy Scouts is especially laudatory.
Both books use a good variety of images and are entertaining to read. Unfortunately, neither book has an index, making it almost impossible to use them for reference purposes.
Len's Summary: Examines how the BEF learned from early mistakes to fight effectively through to victory in 1918; the development of modern combined arms doctrine that broke the trench stalemate and has dominated all wars thereafter.
Len's Summary: Also published as The Year of Lost Illusions. Part of a series of Imperial War Museum books on the Great War, many of them written by distinguished British historian and IWM staff member Malcolm Brown. These are all available online from Amazon.co.uk. // Draws on dairies and other personal materials the archives of the Imperial War Museum to delve into the minds of British soldiers serving in The Great War. A pastiche with no particular theme.
Len's Summary: Assesses Lloyd George's attempt to shape the history of the war (and the record of his own participation) concentrating on the alleged incompetence and Western Front fixation of Britain's military leaders.
Len's Summary: The evolution of the British Army from a colonial constabulary to a field force of some two million men on the Western Front; the development of command, administration. technology, tactics, and medical services. // New research produces a sparkling study of how Kitchener built the victorious BEF. Favorably reviewed in The Journal of Military History, January 2006
Len's Summary: A social history of the British Tommy drawing on official records and soldiers' correspondence. From the series Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare edited by Jay Winter and Paul Kennedy.
Len's Summary: Advertised as offering previously unpublished material some of it -- not surprisingly -- unflattering to Asquith and Lloyd George. Sheffield and Bourne are both authors of several earlier histories of The Great War.
Len's Summary: Story of an unsuccessful British attack that finished off many of the few remaining "Old Contemptibles"and provided lessons for future BEF commander Douglas Haig. Corrigan is the author of Sepoys in the Trenches about the experience of the British Indian Army Corps on the Western Front in 1914-1915, also from Spellmont.
Len's Summary: Written by a historian at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. He begins his survey with a look at the pre-war period of Anglo-German naval rivalry finding that German espionage before and during the conflict produced few tangible results and practically nothing on the British Expeditionary Force.
Len's Summary: Being published in the UK by Tempus under the title Forgotten Soldiers of the First World War. Dr. Woodward teaches modern European and Russian History at Marshall University and has written several other monographs on WWI. He spoke at our WFA seminar at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at Dayton in 1997, and is a member of the panel awarding the Annual WFA-Phi Alpha Theta Undergraduate Essay Prize.
Len's Summary: The experiences of a handful of the hundreds of thousands of underage men and women who served in British forces during WWI written by a veteran historian and author of previous memorializing BEF veterans.
Len's Summary: A review of the campaigns, character and composition of the British Army, really a colonial constabulary, during the century from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to the outbreak of The Great War with emphasis on reforms, evolving technology and doctrine . Contributors include: Holger Herwig, Hew Strachan and Edward M. Spiers.
Ambassador Shurtleff, a retired American Foreign Service officer who served as President of The World War One Historical Association and as a past President of The Western Front Association – U S Branch, passed away on January 22, 2014. This searchable version of Len’s Bookshelf has been created and will be maintained in his honor.