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Remembered Today:

What WW1 books are you reading?


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The Great War, by Les Carlyon. Highly recommended to those who want a comprehensive history of Australians on the Western Front. Weighing in at nearly 900 pages, its definitely 'reading with an entrenching tool', but its one of the best popularlist books ive read. With over 30 years as a journalist, Carlyon has a knack for narrative, and doesnt baffle the reader with complex military jargon or higher policy.

The Blood Tub, by Johnathon Walker. Another highly recommended read. IM a bit biased with this one because my great grandfather was captured at Bullecourt, and this seems to be the only book on the battle. Nonetheless, it teases out the bitter relationship between British command and Australian operations on the Western Front, and is a rippingly good read.

A.

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Robert Dunlop

I totally agree with the recommendation on 'The Blood Tub'. An excellent read, but very well researched.

Robert

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I have just finished " Tunnelers" by Capt. W. Grant Grieve. Just what it says , a well written account of the deeds of the tunneling companies in F&F and Gallipoli. Highly recommended.

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Michelle Young

Just finished Cheerful Sacrifice by Jon Nicholls, will start A Passionate prodigality today.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great thread, to help with books to read.

Am just reading "Forgotten Voices".

One that has had a great impact on me was "Gallipoli Mission". Hard to find, but have a copy in my local library. It describes Charles Bean's return in 1919 to the 1915 battlefields. He has to work out the Gallipoli War Graves plan and talks to the Turks to document their experiences. In many places (like the Nek), the scene was untouched, and he has to piece together what happened, where and exactly who was involved.

Worth reading

Cheers

Shirley

ps have got my daughter chasing "the Diary of an Old Contemtible" but "History of the East Lancashire Regiment" is the cost of my fare to UK! Will have to photocopy bits in a museum (is that allowed?) :)

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Michelle Young

Currently reading Forgotten Lunatics of the Great War. Passionate Prodigality went down the leg side, I got sidetracked by Rising From The Ashes by Graham Thorpe. :huh:

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One that has had a great impact on me was "Gallipoli Mission". Hard to find, but have a copy in my local library. It describes Charles Bean's return in 1919 to the 1915 battlefields. He has to work out the Gallipoli War Graves plan and talks to the Turks to document their experiences. In many places (like the Nek), the scene was untouched, and he has to piece together what happened, where and exactly who was involved.

Shirley

I agree with you on "Gallipoli Mission" a fascinating account of Bean trying to piece together what actually happened at ANZAC I took a copy (borrowed from the local library and long over due when returned) with me when I went there. You can now download a copy from the AWM site.

Ive just finished Beans Gallipoli Diary which is a great read.

Tim

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My Great Grandfather won the DCM at Loos, so I've just started "Most Unfavourable Ground" - The Battle of Loos 1915 by Niall Cherry to find out more regarding this battle.

Lyndon.

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  • 1 month later...

After a bit of digression, I have finally finished martin Middlebrook's 'First day on The Somme' - an excellent read in my opinion.

Roxy

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susanhemmings

Just returned to WW1 theme - Reading Pep the brave English Bull Terrier. (Clarence Hawkes) Supposedly heart-warming story of an EBT who follows his American Surgeon master to France and manages to get help when he (the master) is dying in Argonne Forest.

Half way through. Written from a dogs point of view.

Still on our way to France on the boat...... Story so far has been a bit far fetched, but I like it simply because of the theme...

Going on to read something more serious after. "London Gunners come to town" (book about RGA in Hertfordshire)...

Susan.

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Am currently ploughing through Les Carlyon's the Great War (so much info to try and absorb), and found Malcolm Brown, the Imperial War Museum Book of 1918 Year of Victory in the local supermarket, so they will keep me going!

Cheers

Shirley

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After a bit of digression, I have finally finished martin Middlebrook's 'First day on The Somme' - an excellent read in my opinion.

Roxy

Funnily enough I just started"The First Day on The Somme".

Just finished "Ypres 1914 The First Battle" by Ian F. W. Beckett.

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trenchtrotter

Just finished..."The Hell They called High Wood". Second time Ive read it. Very good and can recommend it. Really shows how intense the fighting in that small area was.

TT

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Right now I'm reading Maple Leaves in Flanders sent to me by the author's grandson, Peter Gibson. The author was General Currie's personal physician at Vimy and until the end of the war I think, Lt.Col. G.H.R.Gibson. D.S.O. He writes with the pen name of Herbert Rae and it's a slightly fictionalized memoir. So far very funny and full of great detail. Funny so far because they're still training on the Salisbury Plain. Copyright 1917

Bonfire

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" the long , long road, " Sebastian Barry, a novel about the R.D.F's in the Great War.

" Redan Ridge" battlefield europe series.

"beaumont hamel " """ "" ""

next, "the topograghy of armaggedon"

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Andrew Hesketh

Robert Rhodes James: 'Gallipoli'.

To be closely followed by the book of the same campaign (Gallipoli 1915) by Tim Travers - by way of comparison.

[i'm still trying to find a book that really gets to grips with the Suvla part of the campaign - any recommendations gratefully received]

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  • 1 month later...
Busternyc10014

I am currently reading Lyn Macdonald's 1915 - The Death of Innocence.

This is my first posting - have been lurking, reading and learning from all of you for some time now. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. Less thanks for the many books I now feel compelled to buy - I will be very poor for a long time.

If anyone readys this - any good recommendations for books that focus on 1914 and 1915?

Thank you.

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If anyone readys this - any good recommendations for books that focus on 1914 and 1915?

Thank you.

Hi Buster. If you do a search in this thread you will find there have been numerous recommendations for these years, one thread ran not long ago. 1914 in particular, has shelves of books and 1915 which used to be poor, has had several in the last couple of years.

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Robert Dunlop

'Au 3ème Bureau du troisième GQG' by Laure. Published in 1921, this is a very interesting account of the Operations Bureau of the French GHQ from July 1917 to the end of the war. It was written by a French Staff Officer who joined GQG when Pétain took over. Of special interest is the information about Pétain's approach to restoring the attacking capabilities of the French Army.

Robert

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Right now I am reading... Germany, Propaganda and Total War 1914-1918 by David Welch...I have found it to be great so far.

Lynz :lol:

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I have just finished Alexander Barrie's " War Underground". Very easy to read but needs to be checked for factual content. I'd recommend it as an introduction to the Tunnelers' War but probably not quote it as a source.

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Tom,

Really? Every Engineer historian (not just WW1 ones - including a former staff member at Chatham) I know has raved about this book as a beacon of research. I'd be very interested to hear your misgivings over it, truly.

Phil

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It is written in a very journalistic style. I found it very easy to date the book to the sixties without looking at the publishers' details. Allow me to quote the description of the start of the war.

" The retreat went on for more than a 100 miles until in early September the Allies suddenly stood their ground for the width of France a few miles north of Paris. The German armies had split and spread as they advanced, had outrun much of their food supply, and lost some troops taken for use on the Russian front. Tired, hungry and aware of weakness, they stopped; and then retired about 30 miles to the banks of the east-west River Aisne. "

I would not like to use this as a basis for discussing the 1st Battle of the Marne.

John Norton-Griffiths could do no wrong. The book is a eulogy to him. Even when he was an obnoxious git, it wasn't his fault, it was just his way. I would still recommend the book for a good read but I think you need to read some others as an antidote.

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per ardua per mare per terram

The Wonder Book Of Aircraft For Boys And Girls, Edited By Harry Golding, Ward, Lock& Co., Limited, London, Melbourne and Toronto, 1919.

Not as simplistic as one might think (I've always been led to believe that books for children of that era were very condescending), an interesting immediately post war take on events. 200 contemporary illustrations and some Heath Robinsons too!

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