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Remembered Today:

What WW1 books are you reading?


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Nothing............. :o

My books off Tom Morgan and another book 'Tommy' have been taken off and wrapped up for xmas.

Blimey at this rate I will be up at 0200 25/12 to start reading them. :ph34r:

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Was halfway through Birdsong then picked up Pat Barkers "Regeneration" for 50p in WHSmiths a couple of weeks ago.

Could not put it down. Captivated by Rivers' "conversations" with Sassoon, Graves and Prior.

Went out and bought the other two books in the trilogy.

Started reading The Eye in the Door a few nights ago - firstly amused, (by Billy Prior's stroll with the girl he had met) . Not so amused at the graphic description of his encounter with Charles Manning. (I did not think there was any need to go into this so graphically).

But Rivers comes across as a long suffering individual himself and so appears to be more "human" than what I had thought Psychiatrists were in those days. Will persevere.

By the way I have seen mentioned several references to Graves' GTAT.

I think I read in a "Dictionary of English Literature" book that he was the son on AJ or AP Graves who had (himself) written a book (I think it was called) ..... "To return to all that" (apparently one year before he died in 1931) - is this so, and has anyone read this - or is it just a coincidence and they are not related?

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Conscripts by Ilana R. Bet-El.

Makes the point that conscripts saw themselves differently to volunteers, TF, KA and regulars.

Heavy going and repetative but worth the read if you have the time.

Wish they's included the letters from the soldiers they quote from - would have been a much more enjoyable read - it seems to be a thesis or three, or a series of dissertations more than a book.

I agree. Interesting bits but they are like oases in the desert.

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Currentlly reading MacCrae's Battalion by Jack Alexander, about the 16th Royal Scots. This is emminently readable, and shows a clear depth of research that fully justifies the length of time it took Alexander to write the book. While my interest in football at its greatest can only be described as 'tepid', I am nevertheless finding this an interesting book, in particular the background to the raising of the battalion, which gives a good insight into public attitudes at the start of the war.

Cas

I agree, this is an excellent book. What struck me was the different attitudes in WW1 and WW2 about sport. In WW2 it was actively encouraged to show business as usual but in 1914 there were campaigns to have spectator sport abolished.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just finished reading 'Not Forgotten' by Neil Oliver. Recommended. A non specialist view on the nature of rememberance and what it is exactly we are remembering.

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I am currently reading Dunn's The War the Infantry Knew, which I suspect is going to take me a while, although I like the way he merges all those first hand accounts. I have also just started Peter Hart's book The Somme, which came out last year. This is proving to be very readable so far, and I will probably write a fuller review of it when I have finished.

Cas

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Steven Broomfield
Reading Gallipoli - L.A. Carlyon.

An interesting and well written book.

Dave

That's on my 'to read' pile, so I'd be interested to see what you think when you've finished.

Personally, I've just had a break and read "The Lady Vanishes" by Raymond Chandler, now I'm on to "Undertones of War" by Edmund Blunden, which I read 20 years ago but felt I ought to read again.

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  • 2 months later...

Richard Holmes - The Little Field Marshal

This is my first introduction into a study of the personalities of WWI and I have learned alot and it has caused me to want to know more.

I've also learned a lot about the Boer War and thanks to Arm a good deal about Curragh too.

Andy

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"Splendid Isolation ?" by John Charmley. Describes how Britain got sidetracked from its "stay out of Europe" line... basically he blaims Foreign Minister Grey for losing the plot amidst his juggling Russia, France and Germany in his peculiar balance-of-power theory... that Grey and his Liberals wrecked the traditional system the old Conservatives had followed, and actually contributed to wrecking rather than stabilising any balance of power.

Implication is that he mishandled Britain's reaction to the emergence of Germany as a European superpower.

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Lusitania, by Colin Simpson.

Not strictly a Great War book, but the tale of a ship that featured heavily in events. There appear to be many things I didn't know about ships of the time, one being many of them were built with the idea of using them as armed cruisers in time of war (which they felt was coming), by means of quick conversion. It turns out the Lusitania and her sister ship were actually built to Admiralty specification (with, it must be said some detriment to safety) in an agreement still secret at the time of the books writing.

So far we have a picture of an opulent, luxury liner, with ready built in gun emplacements, possibly rumoured to contain treasure (gold and platinum), too tall for it's own good (as per spec) with life boats that could not be launched if the ship listed much. Throw in the German "medal" to commemorate her sinking not actually cast in Germany, but as a propaganda ruse by the some British businessman, and only two chapters in, I'm enjoying the book immensely...... :D

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Fred van Woerkom

CYRIL FALLS ; THE GREAT WAR.

wHAT A PITY THIS BOOKD DID NOT COME MY WAY EARLIER. IA AM ENJOYING EVERY PAGE OF IT.

ALL THE BEST,

FRED

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Currently reading War Diary of 2nd Wilts. Already read 1st and 1st/4th .

Now have 5th, 6th, 7th Battalions War Diaries to go.

Just finished 6th Bn War Diary, last one, 7th Bn next. Off to Salonika with them.

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armourersergeant

Just finishing up on 'Memories of Four Fronts' By Lt-General Sir William Marshall.

A good read, in a style, atleast to me, that does not seem to date. The words are not crouched in twenties style terms and prose. Thus it is refrrshing to read and not stuffy as many of these types of books can be.

It covers his WW1 duty WF, Gallipoli, Salonika and Mespot. Rising from a battalion commander in 1914 to an Army/ theatre commander of approx 500,000 ration strength in 1917 after Maude dies.

Marshall seems to be a good commander who very much adears to the bite and hold limited assualt approach rather than a breakthrough style.

regards

Arm

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Richard Holmes - The Little Field Marshal

This is my first introduction into a study of the personalities of WWI and I have learned alot and it has caused me to want to know more.

I've also learned a lot about the Boer War and thanks to Arm a good deal about Curragh too.

Andy

Just started reading this myself. It was an impulse buy as I suddenly realised I had nothing to read on my bus home!

Enjoying it so far, but I'm not too far into it.

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"Tank Tales" by Tank Major and Eric Wood, a first edition published in 1919 Gassell and Co. The book provides accounts of real life events but the authors have changed the names of those who took, or relocated the action elsewhere> for example Richard Wain VC action is transfered away from the Hidneburg Line to the Salient. Despite this,

Has anyone else read the book and if so, do they know anything of the authors?

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Just finished A Sappers Venture By V. F. Eberle. An excellent read, the first book i have read that deals with the Royal Engineers and the work they carried out.

Just Starting The Unreturning Army by Huntly Gordon

Ian.

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just about to start on 'With the Cameliers in Palestine' by John Robertson, the Naval & Military Press reprint of a 1919/1920? original.

Recently finished 'The Forgotten Soldier' by Guy Sajer, OK it's WW2 (about a half-French half-German serving on the Russian front with the Waffen SS) but it has got to be one of the best personal combat memoirs and I highly recommend it.

Neil.

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Auchonvillers

I am currently reading two books Field Guns In France 1915-1918 which is a war diary written by a battery Commander Lieut-col. Neil Fraser-Tytler DSO,TD He tells of his active service in the Battles of The Somme,Arras,Messines and Passchendaele with a howitzer battery. A very readable book. The second book i am reading is my well thumbed When The Barrage Lifts. Am waiting to see what the new one is like.

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Recently finished 'The Forgotten Soldier' by Guy Sajer, OK it's WW2 (about a half-French half-German serving on the Russian front with the Waffen SS) but it has got to be one of the best personal combat memoirs and I highly recommend it.

Neil.

Can't remember which forum I read it, (either WW2Talk or Feldgrau) but I believe Guy Sajer didn't exist the story is not 100% true. Anyone else heard this ?

I'll try and see if I confirm this.

Ok after reading this http://members.shaw.ca/grossdeutschland/sajer.htmI'll retract that statement.

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I am currently reading ....Field Guns In France 1915-1918.

You should also consider With the German Guns by Herbert Sulzbach. Honestly not a spectacular book, but it is an interesting read from the German artilleryman's perspective. One of the most interesting parts I found was to follow his enthusiasim for the German cause develop through the war and then (as expected) his spirit break after the death of von Richthofen and the failure of the Michael offensive. Definitely a good read.

Andy

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