World War 1 Resource

Discussion in 'General discussions' started by ZackF, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    I have a degree in history. However, my areas of concentration were the ancient and medieval eras. Today in Sunday school I made a serious gaffe about WWI. WWI knowledge is a weakness of mine. Any recommendations of a single volume treatment of the war?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  2. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Tuchman's a lefty, but the Guns of August might be a good start. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Guns_of_August

    If you want to star a bit earlier on the buildup and shifting alliances, Dreadnought might be useful.

    https://www.amazon.com/Dreadnought-Britain-Germany-Coming-Great/dp/0345375564

    If you are looking for play - by - play of the battles, you will need to probably divide it into smaller chunks. The good thing is that a lot of the British memoirs are now in the public domain and can be acquired for free. Of course, most of those are self-serving, but they can provide insight if you read competing accounts.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2018
  3. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Did you put Italy or Japan on the wrong side?
     
  4. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    I was hoping you’d weigh in and I’m grateful that you did. However, I am to embarrassed to say what it was.
     
  5. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    Not even a hint?
     
  6. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    All you need to know is that the Americans showed up late, but we would have won anyway.
     
  7. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Sophomore

  8. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Not a sure thing, at all. With the Germans able to move the troops previously engaged in the East to the Western Front, things were turning bad for the British and French empires. And the British and French wouldn't have been able to bolster the Italians for the fall, 1918 offensive against the Austrians. (The Italians had been doing pretty poorly on their own).

    Speaking of the western front, the French troops were willing to defend their trenches, but refusing to advance shortly before the Americans began to arrive in France (although it was a number of months before the Americans actually went into action on a large scale.)
     
  9. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Sophomore

    I was just kidding.

    I'm sure we all appreciate the American contribution (if grudgingly).
     
  10. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, given that the Allied victory gave us the Nazis, perhaps the takeaway is that the British empire should have minded their own business like they did in the Franco-Prussian war.

    It's a more open question whether British neutrality would have saved the world from Stalin.
     
  11. Ryan&Amber2013

    Ryan&Amber2013 Puritan Board Sophomore

    It amazes me how after the war Belgium didn't better fortify their border. At least during WW1 they were able to defend the land, but then years later during WW2 the Germans literally just stormed right through.
     
  12. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    That's what happens when you don't think history will repeat and an international committee will help.
     
  13. ZackF

    ZackF Puritan Board Senior

    Looks like Massie and then Tuchman would be a good idea. I like backstories.
     
  14. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    Several things at play regarding fortifications pre-WWII - they didn't want to provoke the Germans, they didn't want to spend the money, and they underestimated their enemy.

    They did have some fortifications - Eben-Emael was state of the art, and it fell in a day, which opened a huge hole in the defensive network.

    The Dyle line was built out with pillboxes and other barricades, but the fortifications were incomplete and more importantly, were not garrisoned.

    The bigger issue was that the French didn't extend the Maginot line northward.
     
  15. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Probably because airplanes were beginning to make the Maginot Line irrelevant.
     
  16. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Of course, if you want to get really deep in the weeds, there's Winston Churchill's 5-volume history of the war, The World Crisis.
     
  17. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    The Maginot line worked. The Germans went around the end and didn't attack the line frontally until about the time Paris fell. (Some minor attacks on outposts had been carried out earlier). The fortifications were also useful during the German offensive in January, 1945.
     
  18. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

  19. mgkortus

    mgkortus Puritan Board Freshman

    The Great War by Peter Hart is arguably the best book available.

    Guns of August by Tuchman is also a classic, worth reading.

    A third option would be Now It Can Be Told by Philip Gibbs, who was an official British reporter who witnessed the war firsthand. After the war was over he released this book, in which he recounts much of what happened that could not be published in the papers while the war was going on.

    If you want to listen to something, you will not find a better recounting than Dan Carlin, Blue Print for Armageddon.
     

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