Fighting the Great War at Sea, Strategy, Tactics and Technology

B2183

In reviewing books, there is sometimes a touch of despair. The cost of production, including the royalties to photographers and photo libraries frequently constrains authors and publishers. This new book is an example of an author and publisher who have refused to compromise and consequently produced a book which is outstanding in a field of good books. The downside is that there will be potential readers who would struggle to justify the cover price, even though it is an aggressive price for a book of this quality and a testament to the management of production in driving down costs without reducing the book’s quality. The publisher does run some amazing promotions and this is a book that must feature in those programs, opening it to a wider readership. The publisher has also been developing an extensive range of eBooks, into which this must eventually be added. However, those readers who can stretch to the cover price will be richly rewarded.

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A Shipyard At War, Unseen Photographs from John Brown’s Clydebank 1914-1918

B2182

For a book of this quality and level of unique illustration, it is already at an aggressive price, although it may be beyond the pocket of many who would love to read it. Fortunately Pen & Sword is famous for its special offers and there are still lending libraries that will stock copies. For anyone with an interest in the sea, ships, shipbuilding and WWI, this is a book that must not be missed. Outstanding!!!

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Liaison 1914, a Narrative of the Great Retreat

B2181

This is a substantial work, fluently written and well-supported by maps and very strong photo plate section. The foreword by Winston Churchill, who became a life long friend of the author, sets the context of the work. This is one book of WWI that no enthusiast can afford to be without, also a firm foundation for historians.

There are so many lessons in this book that it should become essential reading for school children in Britain and France. It also provides a foundation for understanding the land war through to victory in 1918. To highly commend this work is barely adequate to its value.

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A French Soldier’s War Diary 1914-1918

B2180

Very little has been published in the English language about the French experiences in the Great War. This is a great shame because the BEF and the French divisions fought closely together and it was their co-operation that avoided early defeat and won eventual victory. This book is an account by a French officer that was first published in French in 1971. A flowing translation has brought this fascinating story to English language readers.

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1914, They Were There!, Memories of the Great War 1914-1918 by Those Who Experienced It

B2179

With so many books being released as part of the centenary celebrations, and with most of them achieving a high standard, it can be very difficult for a reader to select to suit his or her tastes and interests. This book stands out because it has a fine selection of images and sharp text that presents a series of snapshots across the full range of the war in Europe. It is ideal for those readers who know little of the Great War because it is a great introduction. It is also valuable book for the enthusiast and the knowledgable because its scope covers all of the aspects of the Great War that might have been missed.

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A Story of the Great War, Before Action, William Noel Hodgson and the 9th Devons

B2178

The author has established a formidable catalogue of books and contributions to radio and television, with a special interest in the Great War. In this new book, she draws on the writings and unpublished letters of Hodgson, who has been best remembered for his poetry. This has enabled a recreation of a volunteer battalion and its commitment to violent battle at Loos, where Hodgson won the Military Cross. This is a moving story and encapsulates life in the BEF on the Western Front.

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From The Somme To Victory, The British Army’s Experience on the Western Front 1916-1918

B2177

So much has been written about the futility of trench warfare during WWI it is easy to believe that nothing new can be said. This book proves that fresh insights can be applied of the War to End All Wars. The author has produced a thought-provoking study of the British Army during the second half of the War. Crisply written, and supported by maps and a good selection of images in the photo plate section, this collection of essays provides a perceptive and original study of what may be the only war to be fought on land to such scale and intensity. Highly recommended.

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Despatches from the Front, The Royal Navy and the War At Sea, 1914-1919

B2176

This series of books provides primary source material in the form of correspondence home and official documents sent back by commanders. This book is ably introduced and compiled, providing a very interesting set of views of the war at sea. There is a strong photo plate section that features extended captions and will appeal to many readers who may not take WWI naval history as a first choice. Historians, enthusiasts and naval professions will value the logical and clear layout.

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Byng of Vimy, General and Governor General

B2175

The author has written what must be regarded as the definitive biography of an effective soldier and Governor General who was highly regarded by those who served with him but who was also controversial and not regarded with as much favour by the Establishment. Those interested in WWI generally, and the land battle of the Western Front in particular, will greatly enjoy this biography, but it will also appeal to those with interests in politics, the Empire, Canada and statehood. The writing style is engaging and the illustrations add greatly to the book’s interest.

The reader will not only enjoy the book and its excellent supporting illustrations, but gain fresh insights into all of the places, people, conditions and politics touched beneficially by Byng. A Great Read!!

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