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Tips for recommended reading?


BobDM
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I am trying to update my knowledge of the British battles of the First World War by reading some good quality, (i.e well researched), books .

There is plenty out there about the Somme, Gallipoli, Passchendaele and the defeat of the Germans after the Kaiserschlacht but I would like to find some detailed accounts of the other battles like the Aisne, Loos, Cambrai etc.

Although I have listed battles on the Western Front I would like to read more about the other theatres of war involving British troops.

Any tips would be gratefully received!

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Hi BobDM,

Best advice I can give you is to type these battle names into the Amazon site and see what books come up under the topic. Then put the book title in the search facility on the forum, you will find many threads/reviews either about the particular book, or the battle or war year. Many WW1 titles have been written by GWF members and there is some excellent stuff out there.

Personally I started with Lyn MacDonald and Malcolm Brown, moved onto Gary Sheffield, John Terriane and Peter Hart and it rolled from there ... (in triple figures so far)

Chris Baker does some exceptional reviews and Blackmaria is the person you want for memoirs if they interest you ...

Some very knowledgable people on this forum and they will soon direct you to what takes your interest

All the best

Jim

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Loos, Cambrai

Any tips would be gratefully received!

Loos, two: Most Unfortunate Ground (Niall Cherry), or (IIRC) Loos by ??? Lloyd. Of the two, I prefer the latter, but they are different books: Cherry's is more of a battle history while Lloyd is more on the strategy too.

For Cambrai I can't beat Bryn Hammond's book on the battle.

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Loos, two: Most Unfortunate Ground (Niall Cherry), or (IIRC) Loos by ??? Lloyd. Of the two, I prefer the latter, but they are different books: Cherry's is more of a battle history while Lloyd is more on the strategy too.

For Cambrai I can't beat Bryn Hammond's book on the battle.

I would agree on both counts although I prefer Niall Cherry's book to Nicholas Lloyd's.

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You don't mention them but the events of 1914 are a little understudied but make for good reading:

Riding The Retreat: Mons to the Marne 1914 Revisited by Richard Holmes

Ypres: The First Battle 1914 by Ian Beckett

The German Army at Ypres 1914 by Jack Sheldon

Adam

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And if you're buying the books - don't forget to start by clicking on the 'support by Amazon and AbeBooks' link by the 'donate' button ;-)

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Thanks very much for the tips. Have added all these to my reading list. Thanks Adam Prime for pointing out I didn't mention Mons and 1st Ypres. I know about John Terraine's book on Mons and 1st Ypres as well as Beckett's new work but that's all I do have so far. Sheldon is a new one on me.

Any more tips?

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Charles Messenger's The Day We Won The War - Amiens 1918

David Ascoli The Mons Star - BEF 1914

Peter Hart's The Somme and 1918 A Very British Victory

Jonathan Nicholls Cheerful Sacrifice - Arras 1917

Chris Baker's The Battle for Flanders -Lys 1918

I'm afraid I'm very much a 'Westerner' but I'm sure forum members that are more 'Easteners' will be able to give you heads up about best titles for Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, Salonika, etc

All the best

Jim

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The best tip is to read at least two books on any "battle". Four or Five even better.

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"Under the Devil's Eye: the British military experience in Macedonia, 1915-1918" (previously published as

"Under the Devil's Eye: the Britain's forgotten army at Salonika, 1915-1918") by Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody is the most recent and best single-volume work on that campaign.

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For the Turkish side of the ledger, try works by Edward Erickson. Start with 'Ordered to Die' and work from there. Erickson bases himself on Turkish sources and provides a nice analysis of military engagements from 'the other side of the hill'.

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I recommend "Arras: The Spring 1917 Offensive in Panoramas Including Vimy Ridge and Bullecourt" by Peter Barton (with research by Jeremy Banning).

Lots of detailed maps, photos and panoramas, plus the text is full of "I was there" testimony taken from war diaries, private diaries of soldiers and other sources on both sides.

Really interesting and informative.

Kind regards

Ian

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Thanks for the suggestions which have been really helpful. All titles now added to the reading list which will give me something to do in the winter months.

Any thoughts about books on the British involvement in the Italian campaign and the Middle East would be most welcome.

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I've had to ask for advice today too BobDM, re: Gallipoli titles, and you should find the thread easily on today's forum entries with regards that campaign. (I would try and link it for you, but I'm about as computer savvy as a house brick, sorry)

Cheers Jim

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