On 22 August 1914 - on a battlefield 100 kilometers wide stretching from Luxembourg to the River Meuse - two French and two German armies clashed in a series of encounters known collectively as the Battle of the Ardennes. On that day, 27,000 young French soldiers died - the bloodiest day in the military history of France (most of them in the Ardennes) - and yet it is almost unknown to English-speaking readers. There has never been an operational study of the Battle of the Ardennes in any language: at best, a single chapter in a history of greater scope; at least a monograph of an individual tactical encounter within the overall battle. This book fills a glaring gap in the study of the opening phase of the First World War - the Battles of the Frontiers - and provides fresh insight into both French and German plans for the prosecution of what was supposed to be a short war. At the center of this book lies a mystery: in a key encounter battle, one French Army corps led by a future Minister of War - General Pierre Roques - outnumbered its immediate opposition by nearly six to one and yet dismally failed to capitalize on that superiority. The question is how, and why. Intriguingly, there is a six-hour gap in the war diaries of all General Roques' units; it smacks of a cover-up. By a thorough investigation of German sources, and through the discovery of three vital messages buried in the French archives, it is now possible to piece together what happened during those missing hours and show how Roques threw away an opportunity to break the German line and advance unopposed deep into the hinterland beyond. The chimera of a clean break and exploitation that was to haunt the Allied High Command for the next four years in the trenches of the Western Front, was a brief and tantalizing opportunity for General Roques. The final part of this book seeks to answer the question 'why?' The history of both French and German prewar preparation reveals the political, economic and cultural differences that shaped the two opposing national armies. Those differences, in turn, predicated the behavior of General Roques and his men, as well as that of his German opponent. With a clear understanding of those differences, the reader may now understand how the French lost their best opportunity not only to stymie the Schlieffen Plan, but to change the course of the rest of the war. The author's text is supported by a separate map book containing c 50 newly commissioned color maps.
The Battle of the Ardennes 22 August 1914
Author: Simon J. House
Publisher: Wolverhampton Military Studies
Category: Ardennes (France)
Like the Battle of Verdun, the Battle of the Frontiers has often been ignored by military historians, who assumed that the French lost the first battles of World War I because they launched suicidal bayonet charges against German machine guns. Therefore, for nearly a century, these battles have been considered uninteresting, but in reality, these were some of the most important, hard-fought, and instructive battles of World War I. This study makes use of neglected French and German books and articles, as well as German regimental histories, and includes personal accounts by participants such as Manfred von Richthofen and the young Erwin Rommel.
Author: Terence Zuber
Publisher: The History Press
The first paperback edition of the classic work
Clash of Empires, 1914
Author: Dennis Showalter
Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.
Category: Tannenberg, Battle of, Stębark, Poland, 1914
Ten million soldiers died during the First World War. But why, and for what reason? The Great War is widely seen as a “pointless carnage” (Pope Benedict XV). Was there a point, at least in the eyes of the political and military decision makers? International specialists analyse the hopes and expectations of the political and military leaders and try to explain why the contemporaries thought that they had to fight the Great War.
War Aims and Military Strategies
Author: Holger Afflerbach
Publisher: Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG
In October 1917, an invasion force of some 25,000 German soldiers, accompanied by a flotilla of 10 dreadnoughts, 350 other vessels, a half-dozen zeppelins, and 80 aircraft, attacked the Baltic islands of Dago, Osel, and Moon at the head of the Gulf of Riga. It proved to be the most successful amphibious operation of World War I. The three islands fell, the Gulf was opened to German warships and was now a threat to Russian naval bases in the Gulf of Finland, and 20,000 Russians were captured. The invasion proved to be the last major operation in the East. Although the invasion had achieved its objectives and placed the Germans in an excellent position for the resumption of warfare in the spring, within three weeks of the operation, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia (November 7, 1917) and Albion faded into obscurity as the war in the East came to a slow end.
The German Conquest of the Baltic Islands
Author: Michael B. Barrett
Publisher: Indiana University Press
The Third Battle of Ypres was officially terminated by Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig with the opening of the Battle of Cambrai on 20 November 1917. Nevertheless, a comparatively unknown set-piece attack - the only large-scale night operation carried out on the Flanders front during the campaign - was launched twelve days later on 2 December. This volume is a necessary corrective to previously published campaign narratives of what has become popularly known as ''Passchendaele''. It examines the course of events from the mid-November decision to sanction further offensive activity in the vicinity of Passchendaele village to the barren operational outcome that forced British GHQ to halt the attack within ten hours of Zero. A litany of unfortunate decisions and circumstances contributed to the profitless result. At the tactical level, a novel hybrid set-piece attack scheme was undermined by a fatal combination of snow-covered terrain and bright moonlight. At the operational level, the highly unsatisfactory local situation in the immediate aftermath of Third Ypres'' post-strategic phase (26 October-10 November) appeared to offer no other alternative to attacking from the confines of an extremely vulnerable salient. Perhaps the most tragic aspect of the affair occurred at the political and strategic level, where Haig''s earnest advocacy for resumption of the Flanders offensive in spring 1918 was maintained despite obvious signs that the initiative had now passed to the enemy and the crisis of the war was fast approaching. "A Moonlight Massacre" provides an important contribution and reinterpretation of the discussion surrounding Passchendaele, based firmly on an extensive array of sources, many unpublished, and supported by illustrations and maps.REVIEWS "This meticulously researched account of the last, forgotten, phase of the Third Battle of Ypres, utilizing German as well as British sources, provides a detailed insight into why First World War battles were launched, how they were organized at every level and why they so often disappointed the hopes of their planners." Dr John Bourne, Vice President Western Front Association "In this work Michael LoCicero reveals the tragic story of the long forgotten night action that was the final act of the Third Battle of Ypres, 1917. Combining meticulous research with vivid prose, LoCicero explores operations at the highest level without ever losing sight of how this affected the officers and men in the front line. Gripping, thought-provoking and admirably measured, this superb book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the British Army of the First World War." Dr Spencer Jones, University of Wolverhampton"In this fine book, Michael LoCicero has painstakingly reconstructed a hitherto forgotten episode of First World War history. Thanks to him, we are able to look at the Passchendaele campaign through new eyes." Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies, University of Wolverhampton"A scholarly and highly detailed new operational study of a little-known action which was a postscript to the Third Battle of Ypres. With this book, Michael LoCicero has shed much fresh light on the BEF''s command, planning and tactics in late 1917." Peter Simkins, Hon. Professor of Western Front Studies, University of Wolverhampton" ... a mightily impressive book. It sets a standard for anyone wishing to describe and analyse a military operation ..." Long Long Trail website"...an excellent example of the possibilities opened by fastidious use of a wide spectrum of sources ... Where this work is atypical is that it manages to bea rare thing - a genuinely operational study ... Perhaps the greatest success of this book, notwithstanding its deft mastery of narrative and sources both well-known and obscure is that the author always maintains balance ... It demands - and deserves - your close attention. At the risk of sounding evangelical or repetitive, again Helion bring the best modern research to market at an accessible price and beautifully produced. Wholeheartedly recommended." Newsletter of the Society of Friends of the National Army Museum
The Night Operation on the Passchendaele Ridge, 2 December 1917 : the Forgotten Last Act of the Third Battle of Ypres
Author: Michael LoCicero
Publisher: Helion & Company Limited
Our vision of the soldier of the Great War is often clouded by sentimentality. 'Glum Heroes' is a portrayal of how the soldiers of 1914-1918 coped with their experiences. Using their own words, the book considers coping from both the standpoint of psychological theory that has stood the test of time, but more importantly, in the context of the cultural norms of those born into the Victorian era. The external coping resources available to soldiers encompassed family and friends. The first was a resource limited by distance, and the central role of correspondence in sustaining contact is explored. The second is often misunderstood. The nature of the comradeship enjoyed on active service mirrored that of the workplace of the early 20th century. The use of modern notions of friendship distorts our understanding of how within its limitations such comradeship was supportive. The two kingpins of the internal resources that facilitated coping on active service include the code of manliness and the stoic emphasis on endurance and management of emotion. The role of these is greatly diminished in the modern world. Similarly, spirituality wove its way into soldiers' coping in ways unfamiliar in the present day. Fear and courage are examined in the light of these coping mechanisms, as is the experience of loss and death on the battlefield. Stripped of sentimentality and viewed without the distorting prism of 21st century preoccupations, the coping mechanisms of Great War soldiers, although very different from our own, were robust and largely effective.
Hardship, Fear and Death - Resilience and Coping in the British Army on the Western Front 1914-1919
Author: Peter Hodgkinson
Winner of the 2015 Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Book Prize Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914 is the first history of the Great War to address in-depth the crucial events of 1914 as they played out on the Balkan Front. James Lyon demonstrates how blame for the war's outbreak can be placed squarely on Austria-Hungary's expansionist plans and internal political tensions, Serbian nationalism, South Slav aspirations, the unresolved Eastern Question, and a political assassination sponsored by renegade elements within Serbia's security services. In doing so, he portrays the background and events of the Sarajevo Assassination and the subsequent military campaigns and diplomacy on the Balkan Front during 1914. The book details the first battle of the First World War, the first Allied victory and the massive military humiliations Austria-Hungary suffered at the hands of tiny Serbia, while discussing the oversized strategic role Serbia played for the Allies during 1914. Lyon challenges existing historiography that contends the Habsburg Army was ill-prepared for war and shows that the Dual Monarchy was in fact superior in manpower and technology to the Serbian Army, thus laying blame on Austria-Hungary's military leadership rather than on its state of readiness. Based on archival sources from Belgrade, Sarajevo and Vienna and using never-before-seen material to discuss secret negotiations between Turkey and Belgrade to carve up Albania, Serbia's desertion epidemic, its near-surrender to Austria-Hungary in November 1914, and how Serbia became the first belligerent to openly proclaim its war aims, Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914 enriches our understanding of the outbreak of the war and Serbia's role in modern Europe. It is of great importance to students and scholars of the history of the First World War as well as military, diplomatic and modern European history.
The Outbreak of the Great War
Author: James Lyon
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
This is a major new history of the British army during the Great War written by three leading military historians. Ian Beckett, Timothy Bowman and Mark Connelly survey operations on the Western Front and throughout the rest of the world as well as the army's social history, pre-war and wartime planning and strategy, the maintenance of discipline and morale and the lasting legacy of the First World War on the army's development. They assess the strengths and weaknesses of the army between 1914 and 1918, engaging with key debates around the adequacy of British generalship and whether or not there was a significant 'learning curve' in terms of the development of operational art during the course of the war. Their findings show how, despite limitations of initiative and innovation amongst the high command, the British army did succeed in developing the effective combined arms warfare necessary for victory in 1918.
Author: Ian Beckett,Timothy Bowman,Mark Connelly
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
As the oldest of the Highland Regiments, The Black Watch has an enviable roster of Battle Honors and a mystique born of repeated service on behalf of King, Queen and country. On the strength of her acclaimed biography of Field Marshal Earl Wavell, the regimental trustees commissioned Victoria Schofield to write this, the first volume of her magisterial history of The Black Watch, and have fully cooperated with her as she traces the story of the Regiment from its early 18th-century beginnings through to the eve of the South African War at the end of the 19th-century. Originating as companies of highland men raised to keep a watch over the Highlands of Scotland, they were formed into a regiment in 1739. Its soldiers would go on to fight with extraordinary bravery and elan in almost every major engagement fought by the British Army during this period, from the American War of Independence, the Peninsular Wars, Waterloo, the Crimea, Indian Mutiny to Egypt and the Sudan. Drawing on diaries, letters and memoirs, Victoria Schofield skillfully weaves the multiple strands of this story into an epic narrative of a valiant body of officers and men over one-and-a-half centuries. In her sure hands, the story of The Black Watch is no arid recitation of campaigns, dates and battle honors, but is instead a rich and compelling record of the soldier's experience under fire and on campaign. It is also a celebration of the deeds of a regiment that has played a unique role in British history and a vivid insight into the lives of the many remarkable figures who have marched and fought so proudly under its Colors. It is supported by more than 170 pages of appendices, bibliography, maps, and notes, as well as a brilliant array of illustrations' Military History Monthly.
Author: Victoria Schofield
During the Allied victory celebrations there were few who chose to raise a glass to the staff. The high cost of casualties endured by the British army tarnished the reputation of the military planners, which has yet to recover. This book examines the work and development of the staff of the British army during the First World War and its critical role in the military leadership team. Their effectiveness was germane to the outcome of events in the front line but not enough consideration has been paid to this level of command and control, which has largely been overshadowed by the debate over generalship. This has painted an incomplete picture of the command function. Characterised as arrogant, remote and out of touch with the realities of the front line, the staff have been held responsible for the mismanagement of the war effort and profligate loss of lives in futile offensives. This book takes a different view. By using their letters and diaries it reveals fresh insights into their experience of the war. It shows that the staff made frequent visits to the front line and were no strangers to combat or hostile fire. Their work is also compared with their counterparts in the French and German armies, highlighting differences in practice and approach. In so doing, this study throws new light upon the characteristics, careers and working lives of these officers, investigating the ways in which they both embraced and resisted change. This offers evidence both for those who wish to exonerate the British command system on the basis of the learning process but also for those critical of its performance, thus advancing understanding of British military history in the First World War.
A Study of the Staff of the British Army on the Western Front, 1914-1918
Author: Dr Paul Harris
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
In the summer of 1915, the Central Powers launched an offensive on the Eastern Front that they hoped would decide the war. It did not, of course. In June 1916, an Allied army under the command of Aleksei A. Brusilov decimated the Central Powers' gains of 1915. Brusilov's success brought Romania into the war, extinguished the offensive ability of the Habsburg armies, and forced Austria-Hungary into military dependence on and political subservience to Germany. The results were astonishing in military terms, but the political consequences were perhaps even more significant. More than any other action, the Brusilov Offensive brought the Habsburg Empire to the brink of a separate peace, while creating conditions for revolution within the Russian Imperial Army. Timothy C. Dowling tells the story of this important but little-known battle in the military and political history of the Eastern Front.
Author: Timothy Dowling
Publisher: Indiana University Press
There have been two major studies in recent years that have explored the roles and responsibilities of British generals at different levels within the British Expeditionary Force's command structure. Dr Simon Innes-Robbins has written about the generals at predominantly GHQ and Army levels whilst Dr Andy Simpson has explored the development of the role of corps commanders during the Great War. For the first time Dr Trevor Harvey's study provides an analysis of command at the level of the infantry brigade. His study is based on a critical period during the Great War, the period from late in the Battle of the Somme to the end of the Battle of Arras in mid-May 1917. Dr Harvey's analysis is based on the service records of 116 brigadier-generals whose brigades played some part in the Battle of Arras. He explores their roles, responsibilities and backgrounds, both in theory and in practice, in the lead-up to and during the battle to explain and illustrate the range and limitations of their commands. Based on this analysis, Dr Harvey presents case studies of five brigadier-generals, their staff officers and their battalion commanders. Each brigadier-general has been selected from one of the five corps that participated in the Battle of Arras which provides an operational backdrop to the exploration of their roles. The brigadier-generals exhibit, in different combinations, their different operational experiences, their different career paths and their different personal characteristics. In undertaking his research, Dr Harvey has drawn on a wide variety sources, including diaries, letters and personal papers privately held by descendants of his chosen subjects. From the evidence drawn from the case studies, Dr Harvey identifies a series of threads about the responsibilities and actions which these brigade commanders share. He argues that the application of these threads enables the orthodox 'administration and training' interpretation of the role of brigadier-generals to be successfully challenged as both unnecessarily narrow and unduly limited. Dr Harvey's study has been praised by his examiners because 'it provides unique and original insights on British operations on the Western Front in 1916-17 which will be of great interest to scholars interested in British generalship during the First World War'. This ground-breaking study is a significant addition to the historiography of generalship during the Great War.
British Brigade Commanders at the Battle of Arras 1917
Author: Trevor Harvey
This book is a study of the importance and significance of community identity to a fighting unit in the First World War. In this case the unit in question is primarily 7th King's Regiment and more widely the 55th West Lancashire Division, 1914-18. The book is based upon the author's own PhD thesis "The 1/7th Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment and the Great War - the experience of a Territorial battalion and its Home Towns". It is an analysis of the relevance of the local communities to the battalion and its division and its combat effectiveness; the role played by the army in the local communities' involvement in the War; and the post-War ramifications of this relationship. In focusing on 1/7th Battalion Kings Liverpool Regiment, a Territorial battalion based in Bootle, Southport and the surrounding area of south west Lancashire, the thesis follows a typical Territorial unit and its home towns from recruitment and establishment to demobilisation and beyond. A wide range of primary sources have been examined including local newspapers, local Council records, official War Diaries of the various units, battle reports and private papers of several of the combatants in an extensive compilation of research. New perspectives are presented on several aspects of the First World War including the Lusitania riots; the battles of Festubert, 1915, and Givenchy, 1918; and the role of charities in post-War reconstruction work. It also raises general issues about the role of the Territorial Force and draws attention to several gaps in the social and military historiography of the War.The conclusion of the book is that local and community identity contributed significantly towards the 1/7th Kings' morale, organisation and hence battle effectiveness. This contribution initially stemmed from the local recruits themselves but was actively nurtured and encouraged by commanders at Battalion, Brigade and Divisional level throughout the War. It also establishes that by putting the local Battalion at the centre of its concerns, the rather disparate communities were able to organise, coalesce and maximise their War effort and support. Finally, it demonstrates in the post-War years, that, despite the fluctuations in this mutually important relationship, the local identification with the Battalion was maintained in memorialisation, remembrance and reconstruction.
Southport and Bootle's Battalion, the 7th King's Liverpool Regiment, in the First World War
Author: Adrian Gregson
Publisher: Wolverhampton Military Studies
Category: World War, 1914-1918
The German-Japanese War was a key, yet often neglected, episode in the opening phase of the First World War. It had profound implications for the future, particularly in respect of Japans acquisition of Germanys Micronesian islands. Japans naval perimeter was extended and threatened the United States naval strategy of projecting force westward. The campaign to relieve Germany of Tsingtau, the port and naval base in China, and its hinterland posed a grave threat to Chinese independence. The course of the Second World War in China and the Pacific cannot be explained without reference to these events. Charles Stephenson's account makes fascinating reading. The siege of Tsingtau by the Japanese, with token British participation, forms the core of his story. He draws on Japanese and German primary sources to describe the defences, the landings, the course of the siege, and eventual German surrender. His study will be absorbing reading for anyone interested in the campaigns of the First World War outside of Europe, in German colonial expansion and the rise to power of Japan.
The German-Japanese War 1914
Author: Charles Stephenson
Author: Boris Mollo,John Mollo
Encouraged by the success of an attack on Messines Ridge on 7 June 1917, Field Marshal Haig ordered that his generals should continue their preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres. Delayed due to a number of reasons, one of which was poor weather, the offensive began on 31 July 1917. Fought around the little Belgium village of Passchendaele, the battle would come to epitomise not just the futility of offensive tactics against well-prepared defences, but of the terrible conditions the men had to endure in the Flanders mud, the images of which are forever synonymous with the trench warfare of the First World War. Over the weeks and months that followed the fighting rumbled. The last stage of the struggle for Passchendaele took place on 6 November. In just three hours the village of Passchendaele was in the hands of the Allied troops. It had taken ninety-seven days since the opening attack on 31 July to get there. The end of the offensive came after a small action by the Canadians on 10 November to seize a section of tactically important ground. The losses, on both sides, ran in to the hundreds of thousands. According to Lloyd George, writing in 1938, 'Passchendaele was indeed one of the greatest disasters of the war ... No soldier of any intelligence now defends this senseless campaign'. In this highly illustrated publication, the author details 100 locations relating to the Battle of Passchendaele - from the headquarters where it was directed from through to sites of specific actions or where Victoria Crosses were won. In doing so, he links moving human stories with the very ground over which the visitor can tread today.
Author: Paul Kendall
Publisher: Frontline Books
This book will provide an entirely fresh way of looking at the Battle of the Somme 1916. It will not be a rehashed narrative history of the battle. Instead, drawing heavily on examples that can be illustrated through exploitation of the primary sources still available in abundance in the archives at Stuttgart and Munich and anecdotal accounts, it will explain how and why the German defense was designed and conducted as it was. There will be descriptions of the reasons for the dominance of the Great General Staff, the tensions between commanders and staff, the disagreements between the commanders of First and Second Army and the replacement of General von Falkenhayn with the duumvirate of Hindenburg and Ludendorff. Specific case studies will include the loss and recapture of Schwaben Redoubt on 1 July, the British assault on the Second Position of 14 July, the tank attack at Flers 15 September and the autumn battles for Sailly Saissisel and St Pierre Vaast Wood. This will ensure that there is plenty to interest the general reader as well as showing how the various levels of command from regiment to army group operated and responded to emergencies and crises. Space will be devoted to changes in command philosophy, the introduction of new weapons and equipment and the evolution of tactics to counter the massive Allied superiority in manpower and materiel.
German Challenges, Dilemmas and Solutions
Author: Jack Sheldon
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books
The field of British intelligence has always been shrouded in mystery, existing in the imagination as a shadowy world of secret agents. The highly acclaimed British Intelligence in the Second World War, originally published in five volumes, provided the first reliable and comprehensive account of intelligence at work.
Author: Francis Harry Hinsley
Publisher: Seven Hills Books
Category: Great Britain
Amsterdamse Bos, Bois de Boulogne, Epping Forest, Grunewald, Zoniënwoud; throughout history, cities in Europe and elsewhere have developed close relationships with nearby woodland areas. In some cases, cities have even developed – and in some cases are promoting – a distinct ‘forest identity’. This book introduces the rich heritage of these city forests as cultural landscapes, and shows that cities and forests can be mutually beneficial. Essential reading for students and researchers interested in urban sustainability and urban forestry, this book also has much wider appeal. For with city forests playing an increasingly important role in local government sustainability programs, it provides an important reference for those involved in urban planning and decision making, public affairs and administration, and even public health. From providers of livelihoods to healthy recreational environments, and from places of inspiration and learning to a source of conflict, the book presents examples of city forests from around the world. These cases clearly illustrate how the social and cultural development of towns and forests has often gone hand in hand. They also reveal how better understanding of city forests as distinct cultural and social phenomena can help to strengthen synergies both between cities and forests, and between urban society and nature.
The Cultural Landscape of Urban Woodland
Author: Cecil C. Konijnendijk
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Category: Technology & Engineering