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The First World War: The War To End All Wars [Paperback]

Geoffrey Jukes


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Book Description

Sept. 25 2003 Essential Histories Specials (Book 2)
Raging for over four years across the tortured landscapes of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the First World War changed the face of warfare forever. Characterized by slow, costly advances and fierce attrition, the great battles of the Somme, Verdun and Ypres incurred human loss on a scale never previously imagined. This book, with a foreword by Professor Hew Strachan, covers the fighting on all fronts, from Flanders to Tannenberg and from Italy to Palestine. A series of moving extracts from personal letters, diaries and journals bring to life the experiences of soldiers and civilians caught up in the war.

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Review

Essential Histories are remarkably effective in presenting military events in the wider contexts of the new military history.

About the Author

After leaving Oxford, Geoffrey Jukes spent 14 years in the UK Ministry of Defence, and Foreign and Colonial Office. He has also worked on the staff of the Australian National University. Peter Simkins was Senior Historian at the Imperial War Museum until his retirement in 1999, when he was awarded the MBE for his services to the Museum. He is Honorary Professor in Modern History at the University of Birmingham, a Vice-President of the Western Front Association and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Michael Hickey retired from his position as Colonel GS Ministry of Defence in 1981, after serving in Korea, East Africa, Suez and Aden. In 2000 he was awarded the Westminster medal for Military Literature.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
The route which led the major powers of Europe to war in 1914 was long and tortuous, with many complex and interwoven factors eventually combining to drive them into a protracted and cataclysmic struggle. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for what is given, but very incomplete March 10 2010
By James Pernikoff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I like Osprey's Essential Histories series, but this one is far too incomplete to get a high recommendation. It is well-researched, well-written and well-illustrated, to be sure. And it gives some good background into how the war came to happen, and what happened after the armistice and why these actions led, indirectly, to another conflagration some twenty years later.

As for the war itself, it does a pretty thorough job on the ground war in the three main theaters described in the component volumes: Western, Eastern and Mediterranean. But that's about as far as it goes.

The naval war is only glossed over; how a book like this can avoid subjects like the SMS Emden, the Lusitania, and the Battle of Jutland is puzzling. The air war fares even worse, with just a quick essay on how it changed warfare, but no details. The American effort in the last year of the war is also inadequately covered.

Also, there is no mention of the African, Asian and Pacific actions, which, while not significant, still were important enough to get some description.

The book is a compilation of four earlier volumes. Clearly, there should have been a fifth.....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A 4 star introduction to the war for the novice May 7 2011
By Yoda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a compilation of 3 previously published books by Osprey covering World War One. One is on the Western Front, the Second on the Eastern and the third on the Mediterranean and Middle East plus a brief introduction to the War by Professor Hew Strachan. The book provides a very good introduction to the military aspects of each front albeit the introduction is not in-depth and really not of much use to anyone with more than a novice's degree of knowledge. It provides no new or unique insights to the war. However, for its intended audience it does a good job at comparing and contrasting the leaders involved, the armies (from troops to mid and higher ranked officers), equipment, tactics and strategies involved as well as providing a good history of the war progressed on these fronts. There are also short 2-3 page chapters on a few individuals that do an excellent job at showing the war from their perspective. In addition, the book is richly illustrated with contemporary photographs and maps of critical battles. Key battles are discussed as well as key factors affecting the war but there are still many gaps in that non-key battles are barely mentioned. Additional weaknesses include a lack of serious discussion regarding the naval struggle in the Atlantic, diplomatic and political issues.

For those seeking a more in-depth on the subject this author recommends Hew Strachen's history of the First as well as John Keegan's history. These are two much more serious books for those with more time and interest in the subject.
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