Soldiers’ Songs and Slang of the Great War

Soldiers’ Songs and Slang of the Great WarSoldiers’ Songs and Slang of the Great War by Martin Pegler
ISBN: 9781472804150
Published by Osprey Publishing on August 20th 2014
Genres: History, Military, General, World War I, Europe, Great Britain, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Social History
Pages: 408

Featured Review

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.

Anne Merritt

The Regulars: The American Army, 1898-1941

The Regulars: The American Army, 1898-1941The Regulars: The American Army, 1898-1941 by Edward M. Coffman
ISBN: 0674012992
Published by Belknap Press on April 30th 2004
Genres: Technology & Engineering, United States
Pages: 519

Len's Summary: The long awaited second volume of "Mac" Coffman's monumental study of the United States Army. Volume one entitled:

The British Army 1914-1918

The British Army 1914-1918The British Army 1914-1918 by Andrew Rawson
ISBN: 9780750956147
Published by The History Press on July 7th 2014
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 384

Len's Summary: How the British Army grew from a small colonial constabulary in 1914 to a force of nearly four million men in 1918.

German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations

German Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and OperationsGerman Battlecruisers of World War One: Their Design, Construction and Operations by Gary Staff, Marsden Samuel
ISBN: 1591141915
Published by Naval Institute Press on December 15th 2014
Genres: Germany, Military, Naval, Technology & Engineering
Pages: 320

Len's Summary: Rare book in English detailing a major Imperial German ship type.

Invasion 1914: The Schelieffen Plan to the Battle of the Marne: Before the trenches – the first battles of World War I

Invasion 1914: The Schelieffen Plan to the Battle of the Marne: Before the trenches – the first battles of World War IInvasion 1914: The Schelieffen Plan to the Battle of the Marne: Before the trenches - the first battles of World War I by Ian Senior
ISBN: 9781472803351
Published by Osprey Publishing on August 20th 2014
Genres: Germany, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Military
Pages: 456

Len's Summary: A narrative history. Both Holger Herwig band Michael Neiberg have written better analyses of the First Marne battle.

Blighty’s Railways: Britian’s Railways in the First World War

Blighty’s Railways: Britian’s Railways in the First World WarBlighty's Railways: Britian's Railways in the First World War by Alexander J. Murray
ISBN: 9781445638577
Published by Amberley Publishing on June 19th 2014
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Technology & Engineering, Transportation
Pages: 160

Len's Summary: One of a handful of recent works on British wartime rail. Recall that the Director General of Military Railways in the BEF 1915-16 was Sir Eric Geddies, a railway executive given an honorary commission as a Major General.

Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World War

Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World WarLeadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World War by G. D. Sheffield
ISBN: 9780312226404
Published by Palgrave Macmillan on October 6th 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Military, World War I, Social Science, General, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 270

Len's Summary: Kitchener’s army in the field.

Seeking Victory on the Western Front: The British Army and Chemical Warfare in World War I

Seeking Victory on the Western Front: The British Army and Chemical Warfare in World War ISeeking Victory on the Western Front: The British Army and Chemical Warfare in World War I by Albert Palazzo
ISBN: 9780803237254
Published by University of Nebraska Press on March 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 239

Len's Summary: Takes a revisionist view of the effectiveness of chemical warfare on the Western Front.

The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War

The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World WarThe Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War by Richard C. Hall
ISBN: 9780415229470
Published by Routledge on 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Eastern, Military, Other, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 176

Len's Summary: Written mainly from Bulgarian sources, but still a valuable history if not a definitive operational or tactical recounting of these conflicts that still haunt us today.

The Devil’s Chariots: The Origins and Secret Battles of Tanks in the First World War

The Devil’s Chariots: The Origins and Secret Battles of Tanks in the First World WarThe Devil's Chariots: The Origins and Secret Battles of Tanks in the First World War by John Glanfield
ISBN: 0750927062
Published by Sutton Publishing on December 31st 2001
Genres: Military, Technology & Engineering, World War I
Pages: 336

Irish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and Morale

Irish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and MoraleIrish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and Morale by Timothy Bowman
ISBN: 9780719062858
Published by Manchester University Press on February 6th 2006
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Military, World War I, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 256

The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300-2050

The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300-2050The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300-2050 by MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray
ISBN: 9780521800792
Published by Cambridge University Press on August 27th 2001
Genres: History, Revolutionary, World, Renaissance, General, Political Science, Political Freedom, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 203

Len's Summary: Chapters by Brigadier Jonathan Bailey on Western Front battlefields and the genesis of modern warfare, and Dr. Holger Herwig on the battle fleet revolution of 1885-1914. Recommended by WFA and TGWS member Bob Denison.

The Casualty Issue in American Military Practice: The Impact of World War I

The Casualty Issue in American Military Practice: The Impact of World War IThe Casualty Issue in American Military Practice: The Impact of World War I by Evan Andrew Huelfer
ISBN: 9780275977603
Published by Greenwood Publishing Group on October 30th 2003
Genres: Military Science, Technology & Engineering, United States
Pages: 244

Len's Summary: Tracing continuing aversion to battle casualties back to 1917-1918.

Battleship Texas

Battleship TexasBattleship Texas by Hugh Power
ISBN: 0890965196
Published by Texas A&M University Press on 2007
Genres: General, Military, Military Science, Naval, Technology & Engineering, World War I
Pages: 166

Len's Summary: Reissue of the definitive guide to the last surviving Great War dreadnought, veteran of the Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow on display outside Houston and soon to undergo major preservation work.

Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted into Modernity

Jews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted into ModernityJews in the Russian Army, 1827-1917: Drafted into Modernity by Yohanan Petrovsky-Shtern
ISBN: 0521515734
Published by Cambridge University Press on October 1st 2008
Genres: History, General, Europe, Eastern, Military, Social Science, Jewish Studies, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 326

Len's Summary: The military experience of one and a half million Jews, communal responses to conscription, efforts at conversion, alleged draft evasion and Jewish military performance.

After the Trenches: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1918-1939

After the Trenches: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1918-1939After the Trenches: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1918-1939 by William O. Odom
ISBN: 9781603440813
Published by Texas A&M University Press on June 17th 2008
Genres: History, Military, Strategy, World War I, World War II, United States, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 282

Len's Summary: A distinguished army veteran and military historian examines the evolution of army doctrine between the two world wars.

Somme Mud: War Experiences of an Infantryman in France, 1914-1919

Somme Mud: War Experiences of an Infantryman in France, 1914-1919Somme Mud: War Experiences of an Infantryman in France, 1914-1919 by Edward P.F. Lynch, Will Davies
ISBN: 1741668948
Published by Random House Australia on April 1st 2008
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, General, History, Military, World War I, World, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 368

Len's Summary: Memoir of a British veteran first published in 2006. // War memoir of an Australian written in 1921 and only now published.

An Officer’s Manual of the Western Front, 1914-1918

An Officer’s Manual of the Western Front, 1914-1918An Officer's Manual of the Western Front, 1914-1918 by Stephen Bull
ISBN: 9781844860722
Published by Conway on September 1st 2009
Genres: History, Military, General, World War I, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 160

Len's Summary: A compendium of 30 whole manuals and shorter extracts.

Scorched Earth: The Germans on the Somme 1914-18

Scorched Earth: The Germans on the Somme 1914-18Scorched Earth: The Germans on the Somme 1914-18 by Gerhard Hirschfeld, Gerd Krumeich
ISBN: 1844159736
Published by Pen & Sword Books on July 1st 2009
Genres: History, Europe, Germany, Military, World War I, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 217

Len's Summary: A detailed examination of German warfare.

American Military Vehicles of World War I: An Illustrated History of Armored Cars, Staff Cars, Motorcycles, Ambulances, Trucks, Tractors and Tanks

American Military Vehicles of World War I: An Illustrated History of Armored Cars, Staff Cars, Motorcycles, Ambulances, Trucks, Tractors and TanksAmerican Military Vehicles of World War I: An Illustrated History of Armored Cars, Staff Cars, Motorcycles, Ambulances, Trucks, Tractors and Tanks by Albert Mroz
ISBN: 0786439602
Published by McFarland & Company on August 24th 2009
Genres: History, General, Military, World War I, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Transportation, Automotive
Pages: 316

Len's Summary: Useful reference work.

US 110′ Subchasers In Action

US 110′ Subchasers In ActionUS 110' Subchasers In Action by T. Garth Connelly
ISBN: 0897475879
Published by Squadron/Signal Publications on 2009
Genres: Military, Naval, Technology & Engineering, United States, World War I
Pages: 64

Len's Summary: The evolution of an American type (the so-called Splinter Fleet) of anti-submarine vessels from 1916 through World War Two.

Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage

Camoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and CamouflageCamoupedia: A Compendium of Research on Art, Architecture and Camouflage by Roy R. Behrens, Marvin Bell
ISBN: 0971324468
Published by Bobolink Books on January 1st 2009
Genres: Art, Illustrated, Military, Military Science, Technology & Engineering
Pages: 463

Len's Summary: A delightful look at the development of camouflage themes in war and peace with particular reference to WWI. You will be surprised at the number famous artists and designers (like Edison) involved in war camouflage work. The author teaches graphic design at the University of Northern Iowa.

Tracing the Rifle Volunteers: A Guide for Military & Family Historians

Tracing the Rifle Volunteers: A Guide for Military & Family HistoriansTracing the Rifle Volunteers: A Guide for Military & Family Historians by Ray Westlake
ISBN: 9781848842113
Published by Pen & Sword Books on May 2010
Genres: History, Military, Other, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, World War I
Pages: 273

Len's Summary: A resource book for WWI specialist from a veteran British historian.

Horsemen in No Man’s Land: British Cavalry and Trench Warfare, 1914-1918

Horsemen in No Man’s Land: British Cavalry and Trench Warfare, 1914-1918Horsemen in No Man’s Land: British Cavalry and Trench Warfare, 1914-1918 by David Kenyon
ISBN: 9781848843646
Published by Pen & Sword Military on December 2011
Genres: History, Military, World War I, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 293

Len's Summary: Challenges conventional wisdom on the value of cavalry on the Western Front.

Shooting the Front: Allied Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War

Shooting the Front: Allied Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World WarShooting the Front: Allied Aerial Reconnaissance in the First World War by Terrence J. Finnegan
ISBN: 9780752460529
Published by Spellmount on September 1st 2011
Genres: History, Military, Aviation, Photography, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 408

Len's Summary: First published by NDIS Press in 2006, this is the second revised edition of a unique analysis of the development and tactical employment of aerial reconnaissance and photographic interpretation on the Western Front, the principal use of airpower in that conflict. // The author spoke at the WFA 2006 Annual National Seminar.

Scraping the Barrel: The Military Use of Sub-Standard Manpower

Scraping the Barrel: The Military Use of Sub-Standard ManpowerScraping the Barrel: The Military Use of Sub-Standard Manpower by Sanders Marble
ISBN: 9780823239788
Published by Fordham University Press on August 14th 2012
Genres: History, Military, United States, Other, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Essays
Pages: 354

Len's Summary: Essays from Dennis Showalter, Steven Short, and Peter Simkins among others.

Riders of the Apocalypse: German Cavalry and Modern Warfare, 1870-1945

Riders of the Apocalypse: German Cavalry and Modern Warfare, 1870-1945Riders of the Apocalypse: German Cavalry and Modern Warfare, 1870-1945 by D. R. Dorondo
ISBN: 9781612510866
Published by Naval Institute Press on May 15th 2012
Genres: History, Military, General, World War II, Other, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 312

Len's Summary: A history of the German cavalry from the Franco-Prussian War to the end of World War Two.

The Battle for Syria, 1918-1920

The Battle for Syria, 1918-1920The Battle for Syria, 1918-1920 by John D. Grainger
ISBN: 9781843838036
Published by Boydell Press on January 1st 2013
Genres: History, Middle East, General, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 261

Len's Summary: Detailed narrative of the desert war and the post-war peace conferences; a timely reminder of how the clash of French and British imperial ambitions with Arab nationalism shaped modern Syria.

Browning .30 Caliber Machine Guns

Browning .30 Caliber Machine GunsBrowning .30 Caliber Machine Guns by Gordon L. Rottman
ISBN: 9781780969213
Published by Osprey Publishing on February 20th 2014
Genres: Technology & Engineering, Military Science, History, Military, United States, World War II, General, Weapons, Antiques & Collectibles
Pages: 80

Len's Summary: The water-cooled Browning .30 caliber came into service in 1917 and remained in service for 50 years.

2CM “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I

2CM “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I2CM “Big Bertha” and German Siege Artillery of World War I by Marc Romanych
ISBN: 9781780960173
Published by Osprey Publishing on January 20th 2014
Genres: History, General, Europe, Germany, Military, Weapons, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, World War I
Pages: 48

Len's Summary: Describes all German siege artillery from 28 to 42 centimeters and its role in WWI, particularly the destruction of the Liege and Namur forts in 1914.

Nieuport 11/16 Bébé vs Fokker Eindecker

Nieuport 11/16 Bébé vs Fokker EindeckerNieuport 11/16 Bébé vs Fokker Eindecker by Jon Guttman
ISBN: 9781782003533
Published by Osprey Publishing on April 20th 2014
Genres: History, General, Military, World War I, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Aviation
Pages: 80

Len's Summary: The design, development, statistics and combat records of two iconic pursuit aircraft.

Q Ship vs U-boat

Q Ship vs U-boatQ Ship vs U-boat by David Greentree
ISBN: 9781782002840
Published by Osprey Publishing on February 20th 2014
Genres: History, General, Military, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Naval, World War I, Biography & Autobiography
Pages: 80

Len's Summary: Q ships came in all sizes in merchant freighter and fishing types. All were well armed designed to lure and sink surfaced U-boats.

The Lewis Gun

The Lewis GunThe Lewis Gun by Neil Grant
ISBN: 9781782007913
Published by Osprey Publishing on March 20th 2014
Genres: Technology & Engineering, Military Science, History, Military, World War I, World War II, General, Weapons, Antiques & Collectibles
Pages: 80

Len's Summary: Invented by an American and adopted by the British, the Lewis was the best light machine gun of WWI.

The Challenge of Battle: The Real Story of the British Army in 1914

The Challenge of Battle: The Real Story of the British Army in 1914The Challenge of Battle: The Real Story of the British Army in 1914 by Adrian Gilbert
ISBN: 9781849088596
Published by Osprey Publishing on February 20th 2014
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Strategy, Technology & Engineering
Pages: 312

Len's Summary: Assesses the performance of the “Old Contemptables” in the opening battles.

Featured Review

Author Adrian Gilbert’s introduction notes that: “British histories of the 1914 campaign typically adopt the emotionally comforting paradigm of the plucky Briton giving the overbearing foreign bully a bloody nose.” Gilbert goes on to state “…my intention is to look afresh at the British Army during 1914….My aim is not by any means to belittle the army’s many achievements but to provide a more realistic assessment of the army set within a general narrative of the war in 1914.”

Gilbert’s book succeeds admirably, and not as a revisionist work but rather as a corrective supplement to the controversial Official History of the First World War multi-volume series published between 1922 and 1948. Although the 1914 volumes of the Official History were not subject to as much debate as later books in the series, Gilbert still found “significant instances of evasion and omission, and, on occasion, outright distortion” in the 1914 volumes of the Official History.

For example, Gilbert’s research contradicts the official version of the battle of Le Cateau (26 August) as a successful delaying action fought against great odds. The author explains that such misrepresentations are important because the Official History was “so influential in defining the outlook of subsequent histories of the war.” As an example, Gilbert quotes historian John Terraine who described Le Cateau as “one of the most remarkable British feats of arms of the whole war.” Challenge of Battle devotes five detailed chapters to the preliminary maneuvers and decisions to fight at Le Cateau, the battle itself, “Failures of Command,” and the continuing retreat of the BEF. Gilbert’s book clearly proves that Le Cateau was a British tactical defeat, but it remains to be seen whether his new work can overcome well-established myths.

Dana Lombardy, Publisher WWOI

Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914

Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914Collision of Empires: The War on the Eastern Front in 1914 by Prit Buttar
ISBN: 9781782006480
Published by Osprey Publishing on June 20th 2014
Genres: History, General, Europe, Eastern, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Military, World War I
Pages: 488

Len's Summary: A survey history of early Eastern Front battles, one of a growing list of new studies of there neglected campaigns.

British Infantryman vs. German Infantryman Somme, 1916

British Infantryman vs. German Infantryman Somme, 1916British Infantryman vs German Infantryman by Stephen Bull
ISBN: 9781782009146
Published by Osprey Publishing on January 20th 2014
Genres: History, General, Military, Other, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, World War I, Strategy, Biography & Autobiography
Pages: 80

Len's Summary: A study of British and German tactics.