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Remembered Today:

First World War


Garron
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Has anyone read the 'First World War' by Martin Gilbert?

Family member gave it to me as a present and was just wondering was it a good read and what am I in for? its quite a large book some 500 and odd pages.

Gaz

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Haven't read it Garron. I have a WW1 atlas he did. Sir Martin is/was one of the historical heavyweights. Big Biog of Churchill and so on. Should be OK but I wouldn't expect any surprises which is why I never added it to my line of books with that title.

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Cheers Tom,

I will give the book a go and see what I think of it, got 2 Boer war books to read aswell, ones 600 pages long the other 300ish, lucky i got time off school eh? :lol:

Gaz

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There is another post on this somewhere. Reviews were very mixed. I was not impressed by what I read on Mametz Wood and would not buy the book. Gilbert is, of course, a superb biographer of Churchill etc. but I'll pass on this one.

Bernard

EDIT: Doh! I'm reading things too quickly. I read this post as referring to his Somme book (which I thought iffy) - the WW1 book is OK. Apologies. Bernard

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Gaz -I read this about a year ago and thought it was a fairly good general overview, nothing too tedious but then you won't get specific details of battles either. He sprinkled it with some personal accounts from soldiers letters etc that were interesting as well. I just ordered his Somme book based on my opinion of this one so I'd say read it, you're sure to get something from it.

Jane

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  • 4 years later...

I first read this years ago, possibly soon after it was published in 1994, well before I started to study the Western Front. I have just started it again and when seeing that it was mentioned on the forum back in 2007 thought it deserved another. It is a large book with lots of illustrations and maps which in my opinion does an admirable job of providing an over view of the whole war, putting the campaigns on the Western Front in perspective.

It's not for family historians nor for those who seek detail, but is an absolutly first class account of the whole war, both its origins and aftermath.

Old Tom

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A Curate's Egg ....good in parts.

Mistakes abound, but the skill in style and narrative sweep compensate.

Anoraks had better avoid it : the newcomer would be very well served by it.

Phil (PJA)

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Phil, you have a point! I even noted in the margin one or two I found when I first read it, and have noted more this time. Howver these are quite minor and, as you say, don't spoil the overall picture.

Old Tom

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