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.
The author is oral historian at the Imperial War Museum in London and has access to large archives of original testimonies…. describing and enlivening the final battles of 1918.
The author does admit that his “emphasis as a British historian is on the British Army with an appreciative reflection on the massive contributions of victory made by the French, American and Belgian forces.”
Politics and personalities involved in the cease-fire agreements were complex and often cantankerous…. [and left] “an unpleasant taste in the mouth when one considers that men were being maimed and dying in huge numbers with every day that passed.”
Ironically, it didn’t take long before the business of “battlefield tourism” began to flourish…. [while veterans now] “had to fight to retain their self-respect in a society that did not seem to care one iota for their welfare.”
This is a rich and comprehensive book, one I can certainly recommend.
Neiberg takes a bottom-up approach toward understanding why America finally associated itself with the Entente in the fight against Germany. His major thesis is that Americans were way ahead of the government, and especially President Woodrow Wilson, in understanding that we had to be part of the war “to save civilization” and suppress Germany’s aggressive ambitions.
Memoirs, newspaper columns, magazine articles, private and public letters, and the speeches of Preparedness advocates show us the organic change taking place from 1914 to 1917 in our so-called isolationist population, and how the pressure from ordinary people, and his own advisers, dragged Wilson to a place he did not want to go. The chapter titled “Awaiting the Overt Act” is especially suspenseful, even if you know what’s coming next.
Neiberg’s refreshing viewpoint emphasizing the idealism, thoughtfulness, and good sense of the American public is certainly persuasive. Once again, his natural writing style makes this book an enjoyable as well as informative endeavor that I can recommend without hesitation.
Len's Summary: Key sections from Strachan's history To War revised and reprinted as individual essays on the gold standard, financial mobilization, budgets of the belligerents, taxation, domestic and foreign borrowing. First in a series of individual paperbacks be excerpted from Strachan's award-winning trilogy on The Great War still in progress. The author is a member of the panel which selects the winner of WFA's Annual Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Book Award.
Len's Summary: This volume begins with the Spanish-American War and Philippine Insurrection and covers the major reforms instituted by War Secretary Elihu Root that created the modern general staff system and helped prepare the Army for World War One. Of particular interest to Western Front Association members is Coffman's analysis of the colonial Army's experience in the Philippines and later on the Western Front, as well as the postwar army.
Len's Summary: A non- partisan account of the genocide and the impact of Ottoman relations with German, the Entente and America. Published to coincide with the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the massacre of Armenians, April 24, 1915, a newly relevant date given the impending negotiations for Turkish entry in the European Union.
Len's Summary: The story of a passionate Irish unionist who was one of England's most influential soldiers before and during WWI. Wilson was BEF liaison to the French Army and Western Front corps commander before replacing Sir William Robertson as Chief of the Imperial General Staff in February 1918. He was assassinated by the IRA in 1922.
Len's Summary: Looks at all genres of WWI writing, including propaganda and poetry, and assesses their impact on post-war popular imagination. // Looks at all genres of WWI writing, including propaganda and poetry, and its impact on post-war popular imagination. Literary history.
Len's Summary: Looks beyond Europe and the Western Front to examine why this was a truly global conflagration leading to the dissolution of empires. It starts with the Italio-Ottoman war over Libya, and ends with the Greco-Turkish War, the Treaty of Lausanne and declaration of the Turkish Republic.
Len's Summary: One of several new one-volume monographs surveying the war on all fronts. For non-specialists. Another recent and richly illustrated one volume treatment by the same title has been produced by Hugh Strachan from Viking Penguin (2004), also in paperback.
Len's Summary: America turns over unprecedented power to the Federal Government creating a new American state and a new citizen. One of a series of recent social and political histories reexamining the American home front society and politics in WWI. The author is Associate Professor of History at MIT.
Len's Summary: Draws on the writings of Hitler’s fellow soldiers of the List Regiment to offer a different view that that presented in Mein Kampf; challenges common wisdom that WWI was a seminal catastrophe for Gemany. See also: Corporal Hitler and the Great War.
Len's Summary: From the Ottoman Balkans and the 1878 Treaty of Berlin through the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and beyond; a primer in Balkan politics. This arrived just in time for the centenary of the Balkan Wars.
Len's Summary: A politico-military history delving into an important, but often ignored aspect of the Anglo-German naval race that preoccupied the Admiralty throughout the Edwardian period. A good companion to Planning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World War by Nicholas Lambert (Harvard, 2012).
Len's Summary: In the days before public opinion surveys no statistical estimates of popular opinion were possible. This study attempts to approximate such a survey using diaries, journals, letters and newspaper accounts over the first five months of conflict. -- A wide variety of responses, not all positive, drawn from personal correspondence, diaries and the popular press.
Len's Summary: Based on interviews with leading participants in the uprising of February 1917 that toppled the House of Romanov. The author teaches at Notre Dame. -- Draws on new material available from interviews with participants.
Len's Summary: Another look at the crucial weeks leading to war in 1914. // pages, ISBN 978 0 1996 6538 9, £22, $34.95. Step-by-step account of Europe’s slouch into war; a history of missed opportunities.
Covid-19 has made life very interesting in 2020. The WW1HA normally participates in the National WW1 Museum and Memorial’s annual symposium in late October / early November, but it appears that event is not taking place in-person or on-line this year. Therefore, the Association pivoted by hosting its first ever Meet and Greet event via Zoom on 27 Sept. We had almost 40 participants share their interest in WW1.
The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter has started to host their monthly meetings via Zoom, and the WW1 Historical Association—Eastern Chapter has also been hosting various Zoom events.
At the time of this writing World War One Illustrated #13 has just gone to the printers and members should be receiving their copies shortly.
My first two-year term as President is almost at an end. We have been successful in getting our publications back on track and in improving the regularity of our social media posts on Facebook. We still have work to do updating our website. Patience please.
Our membership year runs from 11 November to 10 November. Please renew your membership now, if you are a current member. Please join us, if you are not yet a member. We remain fascinated with the study of WW1 because of its enormous impact on the 20th and 21st centuries, and because it has impacted many of our families.