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E-Books (mostly), from ProQuest and Others
The Great War by
Publication Date: 2013-05-09
World War I altered the landscape of the modern world in every conceivable arena. Millions died; empires collapsed; new ideologies and political movements arose; poison gas, warplanes, tanks, submarines, and other technologies appeared. "Total war" emerged as a grim, mature reality.In The Great War, Peter Hart provides a masterful combat history of this global conflict. Focusing on the decisive engagements, Hart explores the immense challenges faced by the commanders on all sides. He surveys the belligerent nations, analyzing their strengths, weaknesses, and strategicimperatives. Russia, for example, was obsessed with securing an exit from the Black Sea, while France - having lost to Prussia in 1871, before Germany united - constructed a network of defensive alliances, even as it held a grudge over the loss of Alsace-Lorraine.Hart offers deft portraits of the commanders, the prewar plans, and the unexpected obstacles and setbacks that upended the initial operations. He concentrates on the Western and Eastern fronts, but also pays attention to important peripheral events, such as the war at sea, the fighting inMesopotamia and Palestine, and the Italian front. In the Great War, for the first time, warfare ceased to consist of armies hunting for each other across the landscape and meeting in brief, decisive battles; now continuous lines stretched from the Channel to the Alps, from the Alps to the Adriatic.Hart also examines the changing weapons and tactics, from pioneering British tanks to Germany's devastating infiltration techniques. In the final analysis, Hart argues that France provided the bulwark of the forces and determination that defeated the Central Powers, but Britain tipped the balance,with the crucial help of American intervention.Coming just in time for the centennial of 1914, The Great War provides the definitive one-volume account of the twentieth century's defining event.
The Purpose of the First World War by
Publication Date: 2015-06-26
Nearly fourteen million people died during the First World War. But why, and for what reason? Already many contemporaries saw the Great War as a "pointless carnage" (Pope Benedict XV, 1917). Was there a point, at least in the eyes of the political and military decision makers? How did they justify the losses, and why did they not try to end the war earlier? In this volume twelve international specialists analyses and compares the hopes and expectations of the political and military leaders of the main belligerent countries and of their respective societies. It shows that the war aims adopted during the First World War were not, for the most part, the cause of the conflict, but a reaction to it, an attempt to give the tragedy a purpose - even if the consequence was to oblige the belligerents to go on fighting until victory. The volume tries to explain why - and for what - the contemporaries thought that they had to fight the Great War.
Dance of the Furies by
Publication Date: 2011-08-01
Looking beyond diplomats and generals, Neiberg shows that neither nationalist passions nor desires for revenge took Europe to war in 1914. Dance of the Furies gives voice to a generation who suddenly found themselves compelled to participate in a ghastly, protracted orgy of violence they never imagined would come to pass.
Fire and Movement by
Publication Date: 2014-11-03
The dramatic opening weeks of the Great War passed into legend long before the conflict ended. The British Expeditionary Force fought a mesmerizing campaign, outnumbered and outflanked but courageous and skillful, holding the line against impossible odds, sacrificing themselves to stop thelast great German offensive of 1914. A remarkable story of high hopes and crushing disappointment, the campaign contains moments of sheer horror and nerve-shattering excitement; pathos and comic relief; occasional cowardice and much selfless courage - all culminating in the climax of the FirstBattle of Ypres.And yet, as Peter Hart shows in this gripping and revisionary look at the war's first year, for too long the British part in the 1914 campaigns has been veiled in layers of self-congratulatory myth: a tale of poor unprepared Britain, reliant on the peerless class of her regular soldiers to bolsterthe rabble of the unreliable French Army and defeat the teeming hordes of German troops. But the reality of those early months is in fact far more complex - and ultimately, Hart argues, far more powerful than the standard triumphalist narrative.Fire and Movement places the British role in 1914 into a proper historical context, incorporating the personal experiences of the men who were present on the front lines. The British regulars were indeed skillful soldiers, but as Hart reveals, they also lacked practice in many of the requireddisciplines of modern warfare, and the inexperience of officers led to severe mistakes. Hart also provides a more accurate portrait of the German Army they faced - not the caricature of hordes of automatons, but the reality of a well-trained and superlatively equipped force that outfought the BEF inthe early battles - and allows readers to come to a full appreciation of the role of the French Army, without whom the Marne never would have been won.Ultimately Fire and Movement shows the story of the 1914 campaigns to be an epic tale, and one which needs no embellishment. Through the voices and recollections of the soldiers who were there, Hart strips away the myth to offer a clear-eyed account of the remarkable early days of the GreatWar.
Publication Date: 2014-02-03
At seven o'clock in the morning on February 21, 1916, the ground in northern France began to shake. For the next ten hours, twelve hundred German guns showered shells on a salient in French lines. The massive weight of explosives collapsed dugouts, obliterated trenches, severed communicationwires, and drove men mad. As the barrage lifted, German troops moved forward, darting from shell crater to shell crater. The battle of Verdun had begun.In Verdun, historian Paul Jankowski provides the definitive account of the iconic battle of World War I. A leading expert on the French past, Jankowski combines the best of traditional military history - its emphasis on leaders, plans, technology, and the contingency of combat - with the newersocial and cultural approach, stressing the soldier's experience, the institutional structures of the military, and the impact of war on national memory. Unusually, this book draws on deep research in French and German archives; this mastery of sources in both languages gives Verdun unprecedentedauthority and scope. In many ways, Jankowski writes, the battle represents a conundrum.It has an almost unique status among the battles of the Great War; and yet, he argues, it was not decisive, sparked no political changes, and was not even the bloodiest episode of the conflict. It is said that Verdun made France, he writes; but the question should be, What did France make of Verdun?Over time, it proved to be the last great victory of French arms, standing on their own. And, for France and Germany, the battle would symbolize the terror of industrialized warfare, "a technocratic Moloch devouring its children," where no advance or retreat was possible, yet national resourcespoured in ceaselessly, perpetuating slaughter indefinitely.
The Somme by
Call Number: In the long history of the British Army, the Battle of the Somme was its bloodiest encounter. Between July 1 and mid-November 1916, 432,000 of its soldiers became casualties--about 3,600 for every day of battle. German casualties were far fewer despite British superiority in the air and in lethal artillery. What went wrong for the British, and who was responsible? Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson have examined the entire public archive on the Battle of the Somme to reconstruct the day-by-day course of the war. The result is the most precise and authentic account of the campaign on record and a book that challenges almost every received view of the battle. The colossal rate of infantry casualties in fact resulted from inadequate fire support; responsibility for tactical mistakes actually belonged to the High Command and the civilian War Committee. Field-Marshall Haig, the records show, was repeatedly deficient in strategy, tactics, command, and organization. Hundreds of thousands of soldiers died for a cause that lacked both a coherent military plan and responsible political leadership.
Publication Date: 2008-10-01
Publication Date: 2005-07-30
Nearly ninety years ago, on 31st July 1917, the small Belgian village of Passchendaele became the focus for one of the most gruelling, bloody and bizarre battles of World War 1. By 6th November, when Passchendaele village and the ridge were captured, over half a million British, French, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Germans had become casualties. Philip Warner, the noted historian of twentieth-century warfare and the author of over fifty books on military history, many published by Pen and Sword, has skilfully brought together all the elements of this horrific campaign - the historical background, personal accounts, strategies and tactics, the personalities and the political manoeuvres. He investigates the issues which had a crucial effect on the course of the battle, including the mutinous state of the French army, the bombardment which destroyed the drainage system, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig's determination to continue operations despite the appalling weather and ground conditions, and the stormy relationship between Haig and Lloyd George. However, it is the determined fighting ability and the bravery of the allied soldiers, rather than the tactical plans of the commanders, that dominate this detailed and totally absorbing account of the harrowing four-month campaign called the Battle of Passchendaele. Passchendaele is a masterly and timely analysis of one of the most important battles in history.
Beneath Flanders Fields by
Publication Date: 2005-07-07
Below the battlefields of the Western Front, fifty thousand tunnellers, sewer workers, and miners were engaged in mine warfare in the Ypres Salient--a secret struggle beneath No Man's Land that combined daring engineering, technology, and science with calculated assassination. Few on the surface knew of the barbaric and claustraphobic work of the tunnellers, who not only suffered from mine explosions but regularly encountered hazardous gas and waterlogged ground. The result of over twenty-five years of research, Beneath Flanders Fields reveals how this intense underground battle was fought and won. The authors give the first full account of mine warfare in World War I through the words of the tunnellers themselves as well as plans, drawings, and previously unpublished archive photographs, many in colour. Beneath Flanders Fields also shows how military mining evolved. The tunnellers constructed hundreds of deep dugouts that housed tens of thousands of troops. Often electrically lit and ventilated, these tunnels incorporated headquarters, cookhouses, soup kitchens, hospitals, drying rooms, and workshops. A few dugouts survive today, a final physical legacy of the Great War, and are seen for the first time in photographs in Beneath Flanders Fields.
Publication Date: 2011-01-01
One of the most famous battles in history, the WWI Gallipoli campaign began as a bold move by the British to capture Constantinople, but this definitive new history explains that from the initial landings--which ended with so much blood in the sea it could be seen from airplanes overhead--to the desperate attacks of early summer and the battle of attrition that followed, it was a tragic folly destined to fail from the start.Gallipoli forced the young Winston Churchill from office, established Turkey's iconic founder Mustafa Kemal (better known as "Ataturk"), and marked Australia's emergence as a nation in its own right. Drawing on unpublished eyewitness accounts by individuals from all ranks--not only from Britain, Australia and New Zealand, but from Turkey and France as well--Peter Hart weaves first-hand stories into a vivid narrative of the battle and its aftermath. Hart, a historian with the Imperial War Museum and a battlefield tour guide at Gallipoli, provides a vivid, boots-on-the-ground account that brilliantly evokes the confusion of war, the horrors of combat, and the grim courage of the soldiers. He provides an astute, unflinching assessment of the leaders as well. He shows that the British invasion was doomed from the start, but he places particular blame on General Sir Ian Hamilton, whose misplaced optimism, over-complicated plans, and unwillingness to recognize the gravity of the situation essentially turned likely failure into complete disaster.Capturing the sheer drama and bravery of the ferocious fighting, the chivalry demonstrated by individuals on both sides amid merciless wholesale slaughter, and the futility of the cause for which ordinary men fought with extraordinary courage and endurance--Gallipoli is a riveting account of a battle that continues to fascinate us close to a hundred years after the event.
Hundred Days by
Publication Date: 2014-01-28
In the late summer of 1918, after four long years of senseless, stagnant fighting, the Western Front erupted. The bitter four-month struggle that ensued#151;known as the Hundred Days Campaign#151;saw some of the bloodiest and most ferocious combat of the Great War, as the Allies grimly worked to break the stalemate in the west and end the conflict that had decimated Europe. In Hundred Days, acclaimed military historian Nick Lloyd leads readers into the endgame of World War I, showing how the timely arrival of American men and materiel#151;as well as the bravery of French, British, and Commonwealth soldiers#151;helped to turn the tide on the Western Front. Many of these battle-hardened troops had endured years of terror in the trenches, clinging to their resolve through poison-gas attacks and fruitless assaults across no man’s land. Finally, in July 1918, they and their American allies did the impossible: they returned movement to the western theater. Using surprise attacks, innovative artillery tactics, and swarms of tanks and aircraft, they pushed the Germans out of their trenches and forced them back to their final bastion: the Hindenburg Line, a formidable network of dugouts, barbed wire, and pillboxes. After a massive assault, the Allies broke through, racing toward the Rhine and forcing Kaiser Wilhelm II to sue for peace. An epic tale ranging from the ravaged fields of Flanders to the revolutionary streets of Berlin, Hundred Days recalls the bravery and sacrifice that finally silenced the guns of Europe.
Finding Common Ground by
Publication Date: 2010-12-07
Representing the best of cutting-edge scholarship in First World War studies, this anthology demonstrates the possibity of finding common ground in how cultural, social, and military historians study the war. Essays focus on the decisions of commanders, inter-allied negotiations, trench culture, prisoners of war, the sailors' war, key developments along the Eastern Front, and how colonial troops experienced the war. Other essays consider the impact of the war on civilians under occupation, the creation of humanitarian relief missions, as well as how the memory of the war affected postwar pacifist movements and the problems faced by wounded veterans. Together these essays underscore how conversations among historians across international and cross-disciplinary boundaries result in dynamic and original scholarship that enhances our understanding of this global conflict. Contributers are Gear id Barry, Roger Chickering, Tim Cook, Santanu Das, Brian Feltman, Julia Eichenberg, Elizabeth Greenhalgh, Jeffrey Grey, Mark Grotelueschen, Jesse Kauffman, Branden Little, Heather Perry, Laura Rowe and David T. Zabecki.
With Our Backs to the Wall by
Publication Date: 2011-12-12
Why did World War I end with a whimper--an arrangement between two weary opponents to suspend hostilities? Why did the Allies reject the option of advancing into Germany and taking Berlin? Most histories of the Great War focus on the avoidability of its beginning. This book focuses on Germany's inconclusive defeat and its ominous ramifications.
The Russian Origins of the First World War by
Publication Date: 2011-11-30
In a major reinterpretation, Sean McMeekin rejects the standard notion of the war's beginning as either a Germano-Austrian pre-emptive strike or a miscalculation. The key to the outbreak of violence, he argues, lies in St. Petersburg. Russian statesmen unleashed the war through policy decisions based on imperial ambitions in the Near East.
World War I by
Publication Date: 2003-12-01
The Almanac volume of this library contains 12 chapters covering major topics, including the roots of the war, causes of U.S. involvement, and the Espionage Act and Sedition Act. Biographies profiles 30 major players, including Woodrow Wilson, Kaiser Wilhelm II, John Pershing and Henri-Philippe Petain. Primary Sources presents 33 full or excerpted materials, including diaries, speeches, letters, journals and memoirs. Other features include maps, photos, a chronology, sidebars, an index, "Words to Know" sections and more.
The Great War and Modern Memory by
Publication Date: 2013-06-12
Winner of both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and named by the Modern Library one of the twentieth century's 100 Best Non-Fiction Books, Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory was universally acclaimed on publication in 1970. Today, Fussell's landmark study remains as original and gripping as ever: a literate, literary, and unapologetic account of the Great War, the war that changed a generation, ushered in the modern era, and revolutionized how we see the world. This brilliant work illuminates the trauma and tragedy of modern warfare in fresh, revelatory ways. Exploring the work of Siegfried Sassoon, Robert Graves, Edmund Blunden, David Jones, Isaac Rosenberg, and Wilfred Owen, Fussell supplies contexts, both actual and literary, for those writers who--with conspicuous imaginative and artistic meaning--most effectively memorialized World War I as an historical experience. Dispensing with literary theory and elevated rhetoric, Fussell grounds literary texts in the mud and trenches of World War I and shows how these poems, diaries, novels, and letters reflected the massive changes--in every area, including language itself--brought about by the cataclysm of the Great War. For generations of readers, this work has represented and embodied a model of accessible scholarship, huge ambition, hard-minded research, and haunting detail. Restored and updated, this new edition includes an introduction by historian Jay Winter that takes into account the legacy and literary career of Paul Fussell, who died in May 2012.
Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy by
Call Number: Request this book via PASCAL Delivers 99000102344
Publication Date: 2004
The standard account of World War I says that the war happened because politicians lost control of events, and that once the war began, it quickly became an unstoppable machine. But in this major new work, historian David Stevenson shows that politicians deliberately took risks that led to war in July 1914, and that battle by bloody battle, their decision remained to continue the fighting. Cataclysm presents the disturbing reality that the course of the war was the result of conscious choices--including the continued acceptance of astronomical casualties.Rather than the standard Germany-vs.-England account, Cataclysm is a truly international history, drawing on previously undisclosed records from the Italian, Russian, Japanese, and Ottoman governments. From the complex network of secret treaties and alliances that eventually drew all of Europe into the war, to the way that World War I reconfigured how societies mourn and memorialize wartime dead, Cataclysm is a major revision of World War I history.
The First World War by
Call Number: Request via PASCAL 99000102344
Publication Date: 1999-05-11
The First World War created the modern world. A conflict of unprecedented ferocity, it abruptly ended the relative peace and prosperity of the Victorian era, unleashing such demons of the twentieth century as mechanized warfare and mass death. It also helped to usher in the ideas that have shaped our times--modernism in the arts, new approaches to psychology and medicine, radical thoughts about economics and society--and in so doing shattered the faith in rationalism and liberalism that had prevailed in Europe since the Enlightenment. With The First World War, John Keegan, one of our most eminent military historians, fulfills a lifelong ambition to write the definitive account of the Great War for our generation. Probing the mystery of how a civilization at the height of its achievement could have propelled itself into such a ruinous conflict, Keegan takes us behind the scenes of the negotiations among Europe's crowned heads (all of them related to one another by blood) and ministers, and their doomed efforts to defuse the crisis. He reveals how, by an astonishing failure of diplomacy and communication, a bilateral dispute grew to engulf an entire continent. But the heart of Keegan's superb narrative is, of course, his analysis of the military conflict. With unequalled authority and insight, he recreates the nightmarish engagements whose names have become legend--Verdun, the Somme and Gallipoli among them--and sheds new light on the strategies and tactics employed, particularly the contributions of geography and technology. No less central to Keegan's account is the human aspect. He acquaints us with the thoughts of the intriguing personalities who oversaw the tragically unnecessary catastrophe--from heads of state like Russia's hapless tsar, Nicholas II, to renowned warmakers such as Haig, Hindenburg and Joffre. But Keegan reserves his most affecting personal sympathy for those whose individual efforts history has not recorded--"the anonymous millions, indistinguishably drab, undifferentially deprived of any scrap of the glories that by tradition made the life of the man-at-arms tolerable." By the end of the war, three great empires--the Austro-Hungarian, the Russian and the Ottoman--had collapsed. But as Keegan shows, the devastation ex-tended over the entirety of Europe, and still profoundly informs the politics and culture of the continent today. His brilliant, panoramic account of this vast and terrible conflict is destined to take its place among the classics of world history. With 24 pages of photographs, 2 endpaper maps, and 15 maps in text
Call Number: Project Muse Books
Publication Date: 2015-09-17
During the first two years of World War I, Germany struggled to overcome a crippling British blockade of its mercantile shipping lanes. With only sixteen dreadnought-class battleships compared to the renowned British Royal Navy's twenty-eight, the German High Seas Fleet stood little chance of winning a direct fight. The Germans staged raids in the North Sea and bombarded English coasts in an attempt to lure small British squadrons into open water where they could be destroyed by submarines and surface boats. After months of skirmishes, conflict erupted on May 31, 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark, in what would become the most formidable battle in the history of the Royal Navy. In Jutland, international scholars reassess the strategies and tactics employed by the combatants as well as the political and military consequences of their actions. Most previous English-language military analysis has focused on British admiral Sir John Jellicoe, who was widely criticized for excessive caution and for allowing German vice admiral Reinhard Scheer to escape; but the contributors to this volume engage the German perspective, evaluating Scheer's decisions and his skill in preserving his fleet and escaping Britain's superior force. Together, the contributors lucidly demonstrate how both sides suffered from leadership that failed to move beyond outdated strategies of limited war between navies and to embrace the total war approach that came to dominate the twentieth century. The contributors also examine the role of memory, comparing the way the battle has been portrayed in England and Germany. An authoritative collection of scholarship, Jutland serves as an essential reappraisal of this seminal event in twentieth-century naval history.
Crusader Nation by
Call Number: Request this item via PASCAl Delivers 99000102344
Publication Date: 2006-01-24
In this absorbing history of the first two decades of the twentieth century, David Traxel paints a vivid picture of a transformative period in the United States, when many remarkable individuals fought to decide which path the country would follow. Victorian restraint was being cast aside by men and women testing social conventions and sexual mores, dancing to dangerous “jazz” music, and expressing themselves through revolutionary forms of art. Traxel traces how these modern ideas were also related to a powerful progressive reform movement that hoped to end the social evils that had accompanied unrestrained industrialization, and he examines the impact of huge waves of European immigration on both the American economy and its social fabric. The struggles to end child labor, win votes for women, rid cities of corrupt political machines, improve public health and education, and prohibit alcohol brought forth a passionate response from millions of Americans who desired both a more efficient and a more compassionate society. Greenwich Village bohemians including Jack Reed, Eugene O’Neill, and Louise Bryant; politicians such as Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson; social reformers Margaret Sanger and “Mother” Jones; journalists William Allen White and Lincoln Steffens; and industrialist Henry Ford come alive in these pages. They were Democrats and Republicans, progressives and Socialists, as well as radicals such as the Industrial Workers of the World and anarchists such as Emma Goldman. Combining lively anecdote with historical scholarship, Traxel shows how American crusading continued through World War I, though now focused on “making the world safe for democracy.” But by the time the doughboys returned the public was tired of what had come to seem empty rhetoric and unattainable goals. By 1920 the Progressive Era was over, though its laws and effects have lived on. This portrait of early twentieth-century America reveals important qualities of our national character that endure to this day.
Podcasts: Hardcore History / Lectures on World War I from Dan Carlin