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PrivatePrice

Strategic overview of the Western Front book.

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PrivatePrice

Dear Forum Pals,

 

I whilst I have a basic working knowledge of the army and an understanding of soldiers recruitment, training and deployment and have researched quite a few for friends and family I feel I lack an overview of the war. Therefore, I really appreciate any suggestions for a book which provides a strategic overview of the battles of the Western Front. As a friend of mine put it "The Second World War is easy to understand. The allies got over the channel, turned left and raced for Berlin, only to be beaten by the Russians." Simplistic but true, where as trying to understand what happened on the Western Front I think is a lot more nuanced. So if you do have any ideas please can you reply. 

 

Many thanks,

Private Price.      

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sassenach

I'd suggest "The Western Front" by Professor Richard Holmes.

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nigelcave

I would suggest that you start with a good overview of the whole war period, all fronts; it is difficult to understand decision-making on the Western Front at the strategic level without at least an appreciation of what was going on elsewhere (including at sea), in addition to the domestic considerations of the various belligerents. There are a number of accessible 'whole war' histories out there - e.g. by John Bourne, John Terraine, CRMF Crutwell (old, but very good despite that). I am sure that others can add to these.

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Maureene
33 minutes ago, nigelcave said:

 There are a number of accessible 'whole war' histories out there - e.g. by ... CRMF Crutwell (old, but very good despite that). 

Available online

A History of the Great War 1914-1918 by CRMF Cruttwell 1934 2nd Edition, with additions and corrections, 1940/(1936) Index Archive.org.

The Role Of British Strategy In The Great War by CRMF Cruttwell 1936 Archive.org

 

Also available online 

Real War 1914-1918 by B H Liddell Hart 1930 Archive.org. An enlarged edition was published as: A History of the World War, 1914-1918, 1934. Reprinted as History of the First World War by B. H. Liddell Hart 1972 Archive.org Lending Library.

 

More  online books linked from the FIBIS Fibiwiki pages Western Front https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Western_Front and First World War https://wiki.fibis.org/w/First_World_War

Cheers

Maureen

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PrivatePrice

Dear Maureene, Nigel and Sassenach, 

 

Many thanks for the advice on which books to have a look at. I will start with Richard Holmes book as I have ready many of his others and found them to be very informative. Next will be Liddell Hart followed by Cruttwell. I think they should get me up to speed. I have also read some books on the Eastern Front by Prit Buttar which I found really informative and plan to read the rest of his books. 

 

regards,

PrivatePrice

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Crunchy

I'd be very careful of Liddell-Hart. He is polemic in presenting information and The Real War is hardly a balanced account. It was written to decry the generalship of the war rather than present the facts. A good entertaining read but not convincing in his comments or analysis. 

 

I agree with Nigel and Maureen regarding Crutwell.  Start with his The Role of British  Strategy in the Great War.  A short, small book (97 pages) and easy read that provides a good overview. You might also read Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War by Robert A Doughty - excellent

 

Regards

Chris

Edited by Crunchy

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hazelclark

Than you all for those links. 

H.C

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