Selected Books, Articles and Reference Material

These materials have been recommended as useful by the members of the World War I Military History discussion List. They are ordered according to theatre of war, type of activity and occasionally by battle. Most have brief annotations. While by no means all are still in print, the majority may be located through a local public or university library, or borrowed through interlibrary loan services.

General Haig and Combat in Europe

Winter, Dennis Haig's Command There is a very good review of Haig's Command by Correlli Barnett, in the Times Literary Supplement, April 19th, 1991. Barnett is highly critical and there followed over the next couple of weeks a sharp exchange of letters with Winter.

Barnett's critisms of Winter as a researcher are too long to reproduce here, but his comments were supported by John Hussey (Letter TLS, 10th May) and Dr.Jeffrey Grey of the University of New South Wales, in a letter to the TLS, August 9th 1991. Dr. Grey's comments are particularly interesting, since Winter made so many great claims for his use of Australian sources;

" Much of Winter's claim to authority and originality lay in his alleged use of archival materials held in Australia, and on this your readers may find further comment useful.

A check of the documents cited in the Heyes papers, collected for C.E.W.Bean in London in the 1920s, and in the correspondence between Bean and the British Official Historian, Sir James Edmonds, not only fails to substantiate Winter's claims but reinforces still further Barnett's criticisms of his capacity as a reasearcher.

Space does not permit a full listing, but such a catalogue would include the misidentification of documents, misquotation of documents, the running together of passages from different documents without identification in any form that the material is from different soures, and misdating of material.

The most serious shortcomings are to be found in his handling of the Bean-Edmonds correspondence. Here Winter misdates a letter by seventeen years in order to support his conspiracy case against Edmonds, and his 'quotations' from the correspondence must be viewed with considerable distrust. To give but one example, on page 31 he cites Edmonds to the effect that 'before 1914 the army was very feudal in its status and...great personages still exercised the higher patronage.' What Edmonds actually wrote to Bean, in June 1929, was: 'I can't help feeling that you think the BEF of 1914 was still the fuedal army it was in 1899 before the South African War...Efficiency, not birth, alone counted!' A reading of the correspondence in toto undermines still further the complexion which Winter chooses to place on Edmonds endeavours..."

Forester, C.S. The General Published originally in 1936 it was initially reviewed by H.G.Wells who said "I think that this is the most penetrating and subtle study of a Regular army officer that I have ever read." The narrative follows the progress of the main character from subaltern to general through the Boer war and on into the 1914-1918 conflict. In my opinion, it should be obligatory reading for anyone with an interest in the attitudes and values of "the officer class" during the period in question.

Travers, Tim The Killing Ground. If your goal is to find a critique of Haig, then the best is undoubtedly Tim Travers' The Killing Ground. While De Groot and Winter are relatively easy to refute (and Terraine and others for that matter), Travers' criticisms are very difficult to counter (largely because they're pretty accurate).

Prior and Wilson's Command on the Western Front. You might also try and dig out which, while it is a look at Rawlinson, offers quite a lot about Haig too (it's also one of the best of the new school of thought on WWI).

Terraine, The Educated Soldier. Travers still regards Terraine's The Educated Soldier as the best biography we have of Haig ( there is a footnote to that effect in The Killing Ground), although Terraine himself maintains that it isn't a biography but a study of Haig as a soldier. As for refuting Travers, well there have been some interesting works recently that have called some of his conclusions into question. Travers has largely embraced the ideas of Michael Geyer, as expressed in his chapter "German Strategy in the Age of Machine Warfare, 1914-1945" in:

Paret, Peter (ed) Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age. Travers' thesis (basically) is that Ludendorff grasped the "true" conception of modern war as shaped by technology, substituting machines for men, shaping tactics around the new weapon systems in contrast to the Allied (and particularly British) insistence that success in war was essentially a question of manpower and moral qualities.

Cecil and Liddle, (eds) Facing Armageddon, Leo Cooper, 1996, give us Hew Strachan on "The Morale of the German Army, 1917-18" which challenges this idea of success on three grounds;

i.) It doesn't explain Germany's military failure, and implies that the reasons for Germany's defeat must be sought away from the battlefield

ii.) It misreads the development of tactics in Germany. Many of the developments associated with Ludendorff's arrival at OHL in 1916 actually date from 1915. Strachan gives the examples of the short bombardment at Gorlice-Tarnow in May 1915 and the use of "infilitration" tactics at Verdun in 1916. These were "bottom-up" responses to cicumstances, and Strachan says (interestingly in the light of recent discussion on the list) that Falkenhayn should get as much credit for listening to his juniors as Ludendorff. Ludendorff himself thru' most of 1915 was still pursuing operational solutions that were "Schlieffenesque and even Napoleonic in their grandeur."

Nor, Strachan suggests, did Ludendorff or the Germany Army really shape their tactics around technological innovation; " seems bizarre to see Germany as the home of machine warfare when the most obvious technological innovation in land fighting during the war, the tank, was embraced with enthusiasm by Britain and France but not by Germany." he comments.

iii.) Strachan also points out that Germany was not alone in substituting technology for men. It was the Allied application of industry to warfare in 1916 that led the Germans to coin the term "Materialschlacht." In many areas the Allies were outpacing the Germans in their emphasis on technology, this is clear in the case of the tank, the development of artillery superiority, and Petain's reorganisation of heavy artillery to give it flexibilty and strategic mobility. We can also see parallel tactical developments both sides of No Man's Land, ( the issuing of automatic weapons and the development of "infilitration" tactics). The dichotomy between the Allied and German conceptions of warfare post-1916 is not, perhaps, as great as Travers has argued. Its worth noting how much emphasis Ludendorff continued to place on morale, very much within a traditional conception of warfare, and evidenced in his programme of "patriotic instruction" for front line soldiers, which suggests that "morale," not technology, remained his primary consideration.

For further constructive comment on Traver's thesis, particularly his notion that a realistic potential for mechanised warfare existed in 1918 but the opportunity was missed, I would recommend ;

J.P.Harris, "Men, Ideas and Tanks" (Manchester University Press, 1995). Harris argues (convincingly, imho) that "the notion of a lost opportunity for the BEF to have waged war in a more "mechanical" way during the Hundred Days is a counter-factual illusion. Tanks were still characterised by low mobility and severe ergonomic problems. Their acute vulnerability, especially to artillery, is clearly demonstrated by the Tank Corps' very high casualty rate for this period of the war."

The various chapters in Paddy Griffith's British Fighting Methods of the First World War" Frank Cass, Oregon, 1996, which includes work by Harris, Peter Simkins, Gary Sheffield and Griffith himself, would also be very useful.

And finally, for a comprehensive survey of the literature on Haig, (up to Winter's Haig's Command,)

Simpson, Keith Simpson, "The Reputation of Sir Douglas Haig" in Brian Bond, The First World War and British Military History", an incredibly useful book, and well worth tracking down.

Gudmundsson, Bruce, Stormtroop Tactics, postdates The Killing Ground. The former seems to me to be the work that exposed the pre-1916 developments in German tactics. This meant that Lupfer and Wynne, I think, would have been the main sources for German doctrine. I'm not sure where Travers' thinking is now on this point.

Hoobler, Dorothy and Thomas. The Trenches: Fighting on the Western Front in World War I. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1978.

Ellis, John . Eye Deep in Hell: Trench Warfare in World War One

Cavalry combat and Cavalry tactics - Eastern Front, Russian Civil War or Russo-Polish War.

"A discussion with some friends has come up debating how effective or ineffective cavalry was in the face of firepower (be it carbine, rifle, machine gun or artillery.) What one usually reads is how cavalrymen were shot off of their saddles with ease, eliminating the cavalry as a viable threat, especially on the Western Front. Was it really firepower or was it barb wire & trenches that halted the mobility of the cavalry?

"Additionally, the discussion has come to cavalry of the Eastern Front/Russian Civil War and as to whether the opposing cavalry forces primarily fought sabre-contre-sabre or whether the cavalry dismounted to fight on foot.

Stephen Badsey, "Cavalry and the Development of Breakthrough Doctrine" in Paddy Griffith's British Fighting Methods in the Great War, (Frank Cass, Oregan, 1996), ISBN: 0 7146 3495 6.

Griffith, Paddy, Battle Tactics of the Western Front Yale University Press

The End of Chivalry, The Last Great Cavalry battles, 1914-18.

Wrangel, Alexis, The Diary of a World War I Cavalry Officer.

BG Sir Archibald Murray, KCVO, CB, CMG, DSO. A History of the British Cavalry 1816-1919, The Marquess of Anglesey. Volumes 5,6,7

US Cavalry School, Fort Riley, KS, Cavalry Combat, 1937

Hansen, Arlen, Gentleman Volunteers Arcade Press, NYC 1996. Not only a good story but good photos.

Littauer, Vladimir, Russian Hussar A Story of the Imperial Cavalry, 1911-1920 is of interest. ISBN 0-942597-53-2. First printing, 1965 by J.A.Allen and Company, Ltd, 1 Lower Grosvenor Place, Buckingham Palace Road, London, SW1W OEL, England, with a second printing in 1993 is from: White Mane Publishing Company, Inc., P.O. Box 152, Shippensburg, PA 17257 USA

Showalter, Dennis, Tannenberg-Clash of Empires contains everything you ever wanted to know about the 1914 campaign in East Prussia, including valuable looks inside the German army (a little light on the Russian army).

If you are interested in the overall performance of cavalry during WWI you might also look at the campaigns in Palestine and Mesopotamia, and the role of Jouinot-Gambetta's tough Spahis and Chasseurs d'Afrique in Franchet d'Esperey's final offensive in Salonika.

The Christmas Truce

You can read a small piece about it in Eye Deep in Hell by John Ellis, ISBN 0-8018-3947-5. I have not read the following two books, but I have been told it is covered there as well.

Brown, Malcolm and Shirley SeatonThe Christmas Truce: The Western Front December 1914, ISBN 0-685-25084-9

Ashworth, Tony, Trench Warfare: Live and Let Live by Tony Ashworth

Anthea Hall, The Daily Telegraph, London, UK, Dec 22, 1996.

Last Veteran of Christmas Truce Recalls Brief Peace in Trenches
London -- Christmas this year will have an added poignancy for Bertie Felstead

Felstead, 102, is the last living witness of the First World War Christmas truce on the Western Front, when he and his brothers-in-arms emerged from the icy trenches to greet the Germans in no-man'sland on December 25, 1914.

Men who had been firing at each other for months stopped the slaughter for a few hours before their officers ordered then to resume fighting.

Speaking from the nursing home where he now lives, Felstead, then a 21 year old private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, said: "We were only one hundred yards or so apart [from the Gemans] when Christmas morining came."

The respite from hostilities near the village of Laventie in Northern France had begun on Christmas Eve, he said. A German began singing the Welsh hymn, 'All Through The Night'. then more voices joined in and the British troops responded with 'Good King Wenceslas'.

"The next morning, all the soldiers were shouting to each other - "Hello Tommy" and "Hello Fritz". The Germans came out of their trenches and walked over to us. Nobody decided for us, we just climbed over our parapets an went over to the Germans."

"We weren't afraid. Nobody would shoot at us when we were all mixed up together."

He remembers how "german" they looked with their strange spiked helmets. "They could speak only a few words of English, but the word pased around that we agreed we would not fight that day," he said.

"We met, swapped fags [cigarettes], and had a good smoke together. We exchanged grretings, and shook hands. Of course, we realized we were in the most extraordinary position, wishing each other Happy Christmas - and shooting each other the next day. But the truce did not last long."

Later, Private Harold Diffey, now dead, was to recall: "After 30 minutes, a major appeared, yelling, "You came out to fight the Huns, not to make friends with them!". So our lads reluctantly returned to the trenches, followed by a salvo from our artillery which ended the episode".

Soon after the truce, Felstead was wounded and sent to hospital in Ireland to recuperate. He has never been to Germany, but believes that there should be greater friendship now between European countries.

"There wouldn't have been a war if it had been left to the public. We didn't want to fight, but we were defending England at the time..."

Christmas Day, 1916
"Then, spotlessly clean and free from lice, I crawled into my new and even more sumptuous bed and but a few moments later, as it seemed, opened my eyes on a scene of Christmas gaiety. A Merry Christmas indeed. Never had the words a truer ring. Holly and mistletoe and paper decorations were strung gaily across the ward. "A Merry Christmas." Words of welcome and good cheer passed from bed to bed. We were not strangers.

After breakfast the beds were remade and the ward tidied in readiness for the doctor's visit. The sister looked at my feet and said it was only a question of time. One thing I noticed at once, an absence that had the impact of a shock: there was no bad language here and I trembled lest I should forget myself and die of shame.

The doctor arrived with due ceremony, and the nurses and convalescent men in their blue uniforms came to attention. This was the most important moment of the day. I was the second bed on the left-hand side of the door. He knew the man in the first bed well, a serious case of an arm smashed by an explosive bullet, and one of special interest to the medical man. A brief conversation and the doctor approached my bed. I felt nervous. Judgement was about to be pronounced - and the whole ward watched with concern. Under the gaze of the doctor, sisters and nurses I felt like an impostor and wondered what sort of punishment I deserved. My feet came under the professional eye; the sister murmured something in a low voice and handed the doctor the chart board from the wall at the head of my bed. He scrawled something very much like a "B" across the corner of the chart and passed on to the man in the next bed. Its occupant was very ill - a bad case of trench fever. After a brief but obviously serious conversation with the sister the doctor took the man's chart and again scrawled an unmistakeable "B."

My heart was beating fast. Did this mean.....? A stranger in blue strolled up and commented, "You're both going to Blighty." An impossible joy took possession of me. This was how it must feel to be reprieved. What a Christmas present! There were no words to describe such an emotion. I wanted to shout, to laugh, to sing. Instead I closed my eyes and laid back in an ecstasy that knew no bounds. At that moment I remembered the sergeant who had acted so unkindly in placing me on working party, and realised that due to his action my disability had become so aggravated as to send me home."

Norman Gladden - The Somme 1916.

Russia and the Interventions

Farewell To The Don by Brig. H.N.H. Williamson

The March Of the Seventy-Thousand by Henry Baerlein

The Czechoslovak Legion In Russia, 1914-1920 by John F.N. Bradley

America's Siberian Adventure by Gen. W. S. Graves

The White Armies Of Russia by G. Stewart

The Struggle For The Transcaucasia (1917-1921) by Firuz Kazemzadeh

The White Army by Gen. A. I. Denikin, Introduction by Alan Wood

The Grinding Mill by Prince A. Lobanov-Rostovsky

Last Train Over Rostov Bridge by Captain M. Aten

The Fate of Admiral Kolchak

White Against Red: The Life Of General Anton Denikin by Dimitry V. Lehovich

The Red Army edited by Liddell-Hart includes a chapter by Maxime Weygand on the Red Army in the Russo-Polish War with some material on Budenny's First Cavalry Army.

The White Generals by Luddock

General Wrangel: Russia's White Crusader by A. Wrangel (his son)

Sovietskaya Kavaleria by Soshnikov et al. In Russian.

Memoirs of a British Agent,, Robert H. Bruce Lockhart, Putnam, London and New York, 1932

Retreat From Glory, Robert H. Bruce Lockhart, Putnam, London and New York, 1938 The Diggers who signed on for more: Australia's part in the Russian Wars of Intervention, 1918-1919, Bruce Muirden, Wakefield Press, 1990

The Spy Who Disappeared: Diary of a Secret Mission to Russian Central Asia in 1918,, Reginald Teague-Jones (alias Ronald Sinclair), London, Victor Gollancz, Ltd., 1990

On Budenny -- a chapter (about 9 pages) on him by Viktor Anfilov in the book Stalin's Generals, edited by Harold Shukman, Grove Press, NY (1993.) This book does have brief biographies for 27 generals.

Prisoners of War

Middlebrook, Martin, First Day On The Somme

Middlebrook, Martin, Battlefields of the Somme,

Allinson, Sidney, The Bantams: The Untold Story Of World War I

Hiscock, Eric, The Bells Of Hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling

Morton, Desmond, Silent Battle: Canadian Prisoners Of War In Germany 1914-1918

British Fighting Methods is a 1996 publication, which Griffith edited and contributed to, alongside several others. There are useful chapters on not just the cavalry, but British Artillery tactics, the RAMC, the infantry, the rise of armour and the performance of British Divisions in the "100 Days." It is published both in the U.K. and the States by Frank Cass, based, in America, in Oregon. I think they also published Martin Samuels Command or Control... a few years back.

Military Law & Executions - UK

In addition to the works noted below, the following books either address this topic directly or include substantial references: Boyack, N., Behind the Lines, Allen & Unwin:Wellington, 1989

Babington, A., The Devil to Pay, Pen & Sword:Barnsley, 1991

Sellars, L.,For God's Sake Shoot Straight, Pen & Sword, Barnsley:1995

The question of how many executions were carried out by the British Army during World War One seems a simple enough issue to address but the figures need to be treated with care.

The statistics were originally embodied in the Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire during the Great War 1914-1920 (War Office: 1922). Between 4 August 1914 and 31 March 1920 a total of 3 officers and 346 men were executed. Of these, 322 were court-martialled and executed in France and Belgium, 5 in East Africa; 4 in Mesopotamia; 3 in Gallipoli; 3 in Salonica; 2 in Egypt; 1 in Italy; 1 in Palestine and 1 in Serbia.(p.648). This source also revealed that the most common offence for which these men paid with their lives was desertion (266), followed by murder (37); cowardice (18); quitting their posts (7); striking/violence (6), disobedience (5); mutiny (3); sleeping on post (2) and casting away arms (2). (ibid.) Of these, 291 were Imperial troops; 5 were serving with colonial forces; overseas contingents provided 31, with 10 Chinese and 4 "Coloured" Native labourers and the remainder came from overseas contingents - embracing "camp followers, Native labourers and Chinese coolies, subject to the Army Act". (ibid.) In all, they amounted to 11.23% of a total of 3,080 death sentences passed by General or Field General Courts-Martial. (ibid., p. 649)

Referring to the 324 soldiers who were executed, it was noted:

"91 were under suspended sentences. Of the 91 men 40 had previously been sentenced to death, in 38 cases for desertion, in 1 case for quitting post, and in 1 case for disobedience. One soldier had been sentenced to death on two previous occasions for desertion, and in 9 cases the accused were under two suspended sentences."(ibid.)

Additionally, a memorandum compiled by the Adjutant-General in May 1942 provided a brief chronicle of changes which had occurred in capital sentencing policy commented:

"Out of 115,005 cases of desertion from 4-8.14 to 11-11-18, the number tried by Courts-Martial was 31,367, and the number of executions was 266 or .85%. Out of over 10,000 trials for sleeping at their posts, only two men were shot. There were, in addition, executions as follows:-

18 for Cowardice
7 for Quitting Posts
6 for Striking or Violence
5 for Disobedience

That is a total of 304 executions out of over 200,000 charges." (PRO, Kew: WO32/15773).

All concerned were executed overseas; no soldiers faced the firing squad in Britain.

A number of other factors have to be taken into account when reviewing these figures, for they do not tell the whole story. For example, although only a tiny number of men were recorded as having their death sentences put into effect, overseas trials by General and Field General Courts Martial (District Courts-Martial could only try other ranks and could not award the death penalty) had very high conviction rates:

General Courts-Martial
Officers (2347) 74.39%
Other Ranks (213) 79.77%

Field General Courts-Martial
Officers (309) 75.92%
Other Ranks (133,818) 86.90% (Statistics, ibid., p.644)

In other words, though there was a comparatively low statistical probability of being executed, the chances of being acquitted were decidedly slim if you were a soldier. Even when lesser sentences were awarded, the prison sentences meted out to officers paled into near-insignificance compared with the years of imprisonment with hard labour and penal servitude imposed on the ranks and file. These outcomes raise issues associated with the exercise of class justice dispensed by legally ill-trained officer-only courts trying soldiers compelled to defend themselves but what skews the whole statistical picture is what is omitted. For example, it is possible to more than double the death figures by including the summary shootings and executions carried out by the British Army on the mutineers of the 5th Light Infantry in February 1915. (see: R.W.E. Harper & H. Miller, Singapore Mutiny, OUP, Singapore:1984)

Similarly, executions of Bolshevik sympathisers and mutineers of the North Russian Expeditionary Force are ignored - yet they would add more than a dozen formally-conducted shootings and several times more summary episodes. The reasons for their exclusion appear to relate to the fact that the former were tried under the Indian Army Act and the latter were tried by White Army officers at the behest of the British (the Russian firing squads performed their duty with British soldiers aiming at their backs). Also ignored are the execution of civilians (including the leaders of the 1916 Irish Uprising, spies and a mass of men, including dozens of African, Egyptian and Chinese labourers, who were simply gunned down on the spot (e.g.: J. Putkowski, forthcoming; F.P. Crozier, The men I killed, Joseph, London:1937; M. Cooper, Richard Meinerzhagen, Mandarin, London:1989, p.80). Lt.Gen. Stanley Menezes (ex-Adjutant General, Indian Army) has told me that the data relating to Indian Army Summary General Courts-Martial was destroyed in the same WW2 bombing that also incinerated the London archive containing the majority of WW1 soldiers' records, much of the (British) Judge Advocate General's and Adjutant General's papers. Nevertheless, from patient research in other quarters, he's accumulating dozens of cases which were not included in the 1920 survey.

Further, Australian troops, who had a reputedly high crime rate, were not executed. Though liable to be executed for mutiny, desertion to the enemy or treachery, the 129 (including 119 deserters) sentenced to death during the war (117 in France) were not shot because the 1903 Australian Defence Act stipulated that the Governor General of Australia had to confirm the sentences passed by courts-martial - and for political reasons he never endorsed the sentences.(see: C. Pugsley, On the Fringe of Hell, Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland; 1991, pp. 131-5)

Aside from the enduring and lively debate about individual cases and the on-going campaign to secure a judicial review and posthumous pardons in the UK for the vast majority of executed men, two further issues associated with these executions endure. Firstly, why did confirming officers choose to confirm courts-martial sentences against some men and suspend, commute, quash, acquit or otherwise reduce others? Notionally, their decision relied on estimates of the accused's character, fighting qualities and the discipline and battle performance of their unit.

The British Prime Minister, John Major in correspondence with Labour Party MP, Andrew Mackinlay a couple or so years ago declared that the majority of death sentences were commuted on medical grounds - but has never produced evidence to support the statement. From my own research, medical opinion was rarely sought, other than to certify that the man was physically fit to be tried. Even when men had been physically or mentally exhausted, buried alive or traumatised by shellfire or trench warfare, grudging medical concessions that the accused had been mentally unsettled were ignored by both the courts and confirming officers (see: A. Babington, For the Sake of Example, Leo Cooper, London, 1983; J. Putkowski & J. Sykes, Shot At Dawn, Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley,1989)

Instead, informed by the need to intimidate troops "For the sake of example", confirming officers selected who was to be shot according to their military character. All too frequently, confirming officers' append comments, often only a dozen or so words, referring to a "worthless soldier". Exactly what they meant by the adjective "worthless" has never been defined by the Army Act, King's Regulations or the Manual of Military Law. How they gauged a soldier's potential from his flawed disciplinary record or (if unblemished) his commanding officer's estimate of the man's character remains no less of an imponderablity than the mystery of how any balanced evaluation could span the chasm which separated the officers from the enlisted men. The common denominator probably relies on the ethos imbued in the confirming (and for that matter, almost all) officers via the combination of education at a British public school and class prejudice.(see: P.Parker, The Old Lie - the Great War and the Public-School Ethos, Constable, London, 1987). Thus, shell-shock or nervousness under fire exposed a weak character, flawed by innate mental weaknesses associated with women, "lesser races" and the insane. Confirming officers acted in good faith - they had "worthless" men executed to improve the fighting stock of their combat units. They behaved rather like farmers culling a runt from a litter of pigs, thereby improving the strength of the remainder of the litter. Eugenically, it was a process which has a good deal in common with "ethnic cleansing" or the Nazi concentration camp "selektion".

Why the discourse on these executions has become an issue for British military history is because the official statistics have hitherto been relied upon to support the notion that the British Army enjoyed high "morale". Aside from demanding an intellectually satisfactory definition of the term, I would question the use of courts-martial data as an indicator of what others term the state of morale of an army. The disparities between the manner in which officers and men were treated by the military-judicial are sufficient to challenge the cosy orthodoxies associated with "nation at arms" classlessness. The omissions and obfuscations in the official data also draw attention to other disturbing dimensions of British imperialism. Just as the exclusion of summary shootings of non-european troops exposes racist continuities, the concealment of rape by British soldiers draws attention to gender. In January 1919 the British socialist-feminist Annie Pimlott was fined and jailed after repeating an allegation that British soldiers had raped and bayonetted women. The Assistant Adjutant General insisted that there had been absolutely no cases of rape (with or without murder) throughout the war.(Daily Herald 12.2.1919) While it is certain that complaints by women that they had been raped probably attracted a less sympathetic hearing by military as opposed to the contemporary French (or any other) civilian police, as the recently-released Judge Advocate General's registers reveal, soldiers were convicted of rape by courts-martial in France and Belgium.(PRO, Kew WO 213 series) However, the collators either omitted references or subsumed them under "Offence against inhabitant" in official published statistics. What gets left out of these statistics is as telling as what's included.


British Official History, Military Operations Macedonia (multiple vols, London, HMSO, 1934-5)

Palmer, A., The Gardeners of Salonika, (London, Andre Deutsch, 1965)

Cultural History - Everyday Life

Williams, John, The Other Battleground: The Home Fronts: Britain, France and Germany 1914-1918, Henry Regnery Company, Chicago, 1972. LOC catalog #77-183803. It's divided year by year; first you get a good overview, and then a more concentrated look at Britain, France and Germany in separate sections.

Pourcher, Yves, Les Jours de Guerre: La vie des Franšais au jour le jour 1914-1918, Librairie Plon, 1994. (The Days of War: Day to Day Life of the French, 1914-1918).

Rawls, Walton, Wake Up, America!: World War I and the American Poster NY: Abbeville Press, 1988, 288 pps. Coffee table sized book, hundreds of full page, half page and quarter page posters, almost all of which are in full color. Glossy paper, sewn binding, superb reproduction quality, with considerable historical and cultural background on the posters themselves and their artists. The book amounts to an entire cultural history of WWI America in itself, with descriptions of all the War Loans and various war-related government programs-- all of which had their own posters. Also includes a chapter devoted to the artistic history of illustration and posters leading up to WWI. Bibliography and index. Currently out of print, but is not infrequently found in used book listings, as it was once a remainder.


First World War Posters, Imperial War Museum (The IWM doesn't go in for fancy names!) It was originally published in 1972 and there was a new edition in 1981. It's a 72-page paperback book, about 9x7 inches, illustrating posters from the museum's collection. The reproductions are excellent and almost all in colour.

Rickards, Maurice, Posters of the First World War, Walker and Company, New York, 1968, LC # is 68-25330. This one has unnumbered pages (about 200+ pages?) and has 242 posters of the various combatant countries.

Naval Actions
Additional recommendations concerning naval actions may be found within the Naval Section.

The King's Ships Were At Sea, dealing with "the War in the North Sea August 1914 - February 1915", Lieutenant James Goldrick RAN, Naval Institute Press 1984, ISBN 0-87021-334-2

A Naval History of World War I, Paul G. Halpern, Naval Institute Press, 1994, ISBN 0-87021-266-4

From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow (5 volumes), Arthur J. Marder, Oxford University Press 1961 - 1978, ISBN 19 215122 3

Naval Operations - Royal Navy Official History of the Great War, Sir Julian Corbett and Sir Henry Newbolt, HMSO originally, reprinted by the Imperial War Museum + Battery Press.

Hard Lying: The Birth of the Destroyer, 1893-1913, Peter Smith, confirms that Beagle and Bulldog were the vessels with HMS Dublin.

Finland in WWI

Some general histories of Finland include Fred Singleton's A Short History of Finland and John Wourinen's A History of Finland.

Under the Tsarist regime Finland was an autonomous grand duchy attached to the Russian Empire, but not subject to its laws (Finland had its own constitution and parliament). As a result, Finns were not subject to conscription into the Russian armed forces, although some did serve as volunteers. Thus, the various Finland Rifle Brigades or Divisions found in the Russian Army were mostly composed of non-Finns. Some Finnish nationalists joined the German Army during the war and constituted a separate Jager battalion (the 27th, I think) which fought on the Eastern front. These troops later were the cadre of the Jager units of the Finnish White Army under Mannerheim.

Finland formally declared indpendence from Russia in Dec. 1917, but in early 1918 fighting erupted between "Red" and "White" factions. In April 1918 the latter were aided by the arrival of a 12,000 strong German expeditionary force and the Red Finns were defeated. German units remained in Finland for the rest of the war.

See Joose Hannula.Finland's War of Independence, and Anthony Upton, The Finnish Revolution, 1917-18.

For anyone interested in the history of Finland, may I suggest reading ENSIGN STAL by J.T.Runeberg. Not a history nor about WW 1 but it gives one the feeling of the Finnish people and their love of freedom.

The Somme

Middlebrook, Martin The First Day of the Somme is (as the title suggests) an analysis of the first day only and therefore lacks some of the breadth view required for a full understanding of the battle.It includes a fine description of the call to arms during the 12 months prior to the battle and relies heavily and effectively on verbatim narrative.In the latter respect the style is similiar to that of Lynn Macdonald.

Middlebrook, Martin and Mary Middlebrook The Somme Battlefields, (Penguin 1994, ISBN 0-14-012847) based upon the tours he has given over the years.

Dyer, Geoff, The Missing of the Somme, Penguin 1994, ISBN 0-14-023949-9 relates art and literature to the battle.

Macdonald, Lynn, Somme, Penguin ISBN 0-14-017867-8 provides personal as well as historical accounts of the battle.

Holt, Tonie and Valmai, Battlefields of the First World War. A Traveller's Guide, Pavilion 1993, ISBN 1-85145-364-4. They also put out small pocket editions of individual battlefields.

Liddle, Peter, The 1916 Battle of the Somme, A Reappraisal

McCarthy, Chris The Somme, Arms & Armour Press, ISBN 1 85409 206 5. A straight, clinical, day by day account. Particularly interesting if you wish to track the actions of individual units.

The Battleground Europe series from Leo Cooper, publisher. Theipval, Beaumont Hamel, Sanctuary Wood and Hooge (Ypres) are the recent titles.

A more specific one dealing with one regiment is Pilgrimage, a Guide to the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in World War One, a guide to the 5 Caribou memorials of the Newfoundlanders. Creative Printers, St.John's Newfoundland. by W.D.Parsons.

Brown, Martin, The "Imperial War Museum Book of the Somme, 1966

Bean, CEW Official History of Australia in the War of 1914 to 1918, Volume III, gives an excellent account from the Australian perspective. Tthe Australian War Memorial indicates that Volume III has been sold out for the present.

Johnson, JH, Stalemate, Arms and Armour Press, 1995 with a good chapter on the Somme.

Chappell, Michael, The Somme 1916: Crucible of a British Army, Windrow and Greene, ISBN 1 85915 007 1

Giles, John, The Somme then and Now. Part of the After the Battle series, published by Battle of Britain Prints International. ISBN 0 900913 41 x

Giles, John, The Western Front Then and Now, John Giles, Battle of Britain Prints International, ISBN 0 900913 71 1

Coombs, Rose E.B., MBE. Before Endeavours Fade, A guide to the battlefields of the First World War Part of the After the Battle series, published by Battle of Britain Prints International. ISB 0 900913 29 0 Special emphasis on memorials.

Powell, Anne (ed.) The Fierce Light: The Battle of the Somme, July-November 1916: Prose and Poetry, Aberporth: Palladour, Paperback, 0-9521678-1-6., 1996

For a good Somme bibliography of film etc try G. Gliddon, Legacy of the Somme 1916. The battle in film, fact and fiction, Stroud, Sutton Publishing Ltd 1996

The Somme - Australian Participation

Joynt, Bill, Breaking the Road for the Rest, Hyland House (1979), pp. 79-96

Lawrence, Cyril, Sergeant Lawrence Goes to France, Melbourne University Press (1987), pp. 39-50

Partridge, Eric, Frank Honeywood, Private, Melbourne University Press (1987), pp. 62-94

Rule, E.J., Jacka's Mob, Angus & Robertson (1933), pp. 57-110. Rule also has some interesting things to say about relations between Australian soldiers and French civilians.

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra has an extensive collection of personal diaries and letters. I presume that this is not an option for you but Bill Gammage quotes a lot of letters in The Broken Years, pp. 163-193.

Women in the War

University Press of Colorado's spring/summer catalog gives a March 1997 publication date for Gavin, Lettie, American Women in World War I: They Also Served

Book Shops Specialising in WWI Material

The following is a reliable Turkish source:

Sinan Kuneralp (Owner)
ISIS Press
Semsibey Sokak 10
81210 Beylerbeyi
FAX: +90 216 321 86 66
Mr. Kuneralp takes pride in being able to find any book published in the Turkish Republic. (I do not know if he extends the Republic back to 1922 though). Quite a few academic libraries (including Bodley) deal with him.