World War One - Vintage Airfix


WWI books

All these titles are available to purchase from Pen and Sword.

Contents:
- 1914 - Voices from the Battlefields - By Matthew Richardson, Foreword by Dr Peter Liddle..
- 1914-1918 - An Eyewitness to War - By Bob Carruthers..
- 1918 - The Decisive Year in Soldiers’ Own Words and Photographs - By Richard van Emden..
- 1918: The Last Act - By Barrie Pit..
- 6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment in the Great War - By John Hartley..
- A Doctor on the Western Front - By Henry Owens, Edited by John Hutton..
- A French Soldier's War Diary 1914-1918 - By Henri Desagneaux..
- A Gallant County - By Robin Grist..
- A German Deserter's War Experience - By Julius Koettgen..
- A German Tommy - By Ken Anderson..
- A Glint in the Sky - By Martin Easdown, Thomas Genth..
- A Gunner's Great War - By Ian Ronayne..
- A Marine at Gallipoli and on The Western Front - By Harry Askin..
- A Military Atlas Of The First World War - By Arthur Banks..
- A Motorcycle Courier in the Great War - By W.H.L Watson, Edited by Bob Carruthers..

 


 

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1914 - Voices from the Battlefields

By Matthew Richardson, Foreword by Dr Peter Liddle

1914 - Voices from the BattlefieldsDescription:

The opening battles on the Western Front marked a watershed in military history. A dramatic, almost Napoleonic war of movement quickly gave way to static, attritional warfare in which modern weaponry had forced the combatants to take to the earth. Some of the last cavalry charges took place in the same theatre in which armoured cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes were beginning to make their presence felt.

These dramatic developments were recorded in graphic detail by soldiers who were eyewitnesses to them. There is a freshness and immediacy to their accounts which Matthew Richardson exploits in this thoroughgoing reassessment of the 1914 campaign. 

His vivid narrative emphasises the perspective of the private soldiers and the junior officers of the British Army, the men at the sharp end of the fighting.

This title has full colour plates containing over 100 illustrations.

Britain At War Magazine Book of the Month February 2014.

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1914-1918 - An Eyewitness to War

By Bob Carruthers

1914-1918 - An Eyewitness to WarDescription:

Compiled by Emmy Award winning author and historian Bob Carruthers, this is a fascinating collection of recollections from primary sources reflecting often overlooked aspects of the Great War. The struggle for Verdun, the battles between Austro-Hungarian and Russian forces in the East, and the daily life in the trenches are just some of the topics in this fascinating single volume collection which brings together four complete and intriguing memoirs.

'Over There - War Scenes on the Western Front' by Arnold Bennett, the Director of Propaganda for France, charts the beginning of the war in France. 'Four Weeks in the Trenches' by Fritz Kreisler is short memoir of the violence on the Eastern Front. 'They Shall Not Pass' by Frank H. Simonds, an American journalist, is an in-depth report on the battle of Verdun. 'An Onlooker in France 1917-1919' is by William Orpen, an official war painter of the First World War. The book contains many of his paintings and drawings, not just of the officers and statesmen, but portraits and sketches of the ordinary soldiers and local people struggling to survive in an impossible situation.

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1918 - The Decisive Year in Soldiers’ Own Words and Photographs

By Richard van Emden

1918 - The Decisive Year in Soldiers’ Own Words and PhotographsDescription:

1918 proved to be the Allies’ year of victory, but what a monumental effort it was! From the moment Germany launched its all-out Spring offensive to win the war, British and Empire troops fought a tenacious and often last-ditch rearguard action. The Germans gambled with their best, battle-hardened men in one desperate offensive after another, searching for a decisive breakthrough that never came.

In those dark days of March, April and May 1918, Allied troops were tested as never before, their morale placed under microscopic scrutiny, their will to win examined and re-examined. Once again, the soldiers tell their story, giving their own perceptive thoughts and profoundly moving insights while never forgetting the humour that helped them survive.

And when the tables were turned in August, there began a campaign that would throw the enemy across the old ruptured battlefields of 1916 and 1917 and beyond, into open untouched countryside in the full bloom of summer. It took a hundred days of relentless fighting to reach Mons, the Belgian town where it had all started four years before.

A century on, best-selling First World War historian Richard van Emden builds on the success of his previous books, The Somme and The Road to Passchendaele, with this next volume including an extraordinary collection of soldiers’ photographs taken on their illegally-held cameras. Utilising an unparalleled collection of memoirs, diaries and letters written by the men who fought, Richard tells the riveting story of 1918, when decisive victory was grasped from near catastrophe.

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1918: The Last Act

By Barrie Pit

1918: The Last ActDescription:

By 1918, after three years of war, Europe was weary of the stalemate and the terrible slaughter on the Western Front. The Russian Front had collapsed but the United States had abandoned her neutral stance and joined the Allies.

So the stage was set for what would be the last year of the Great War. Acclaimed military historian Barrie Pitt describes the savage battles that raged unceasingly along the Western front, and analyses the policies of the warring powers and studies the men who led them. From the German onslaught of 21st March 1918 - the Kaiser's Battle designed to force a resolution before America's armies could tip the balance - through the struggles in Champagne and the Second Battle of the Marne to the turning point in August and final victory, the author gathers together scattered material to make an enthralling book.

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6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment in the Great War

By John Hartley

6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment in the Great WarDescription:

The 6th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, was a pre-war Territorial unit. Many of its members held “white collar” positions employed by the City's legal, financial and stockbroking practices or worked for the major commercial organisations trading and manufacturing cotton goods. It went overseas in September 1914, taking with it many new recruits who would undertake their basic training whilst the Battalion formed part of the British garrison in Egypt.

It saw action at Gallipoli from May 1915 until the evacuation at the end of the year and fascinating campaign is dealt with in considerable detail. The Battalion returned to Egypt until the spring of 1917 when it moved to France.

The Manchesters saw regular action for most of 1918, coming under attack in the German offensive in March. Throughout the summer and autumn, the Battalion took part in the Advance to Victory and was still advancing when the Armistice was signed in November.

The book also recounts the history of the second line battalion, the 2/6th Manchesters, from its inception in 1914 until it was all but destroyed in March 1918.

The author draws on official records and personal accounts to tell the story of these fine battalions.

John Hartley is a Cheshire man who worked in and around Manchester. Now retired he lives near Cheadle, Cheshire.

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A Doctor on the Western Front

By Henry Owens, Edited by John Hutton

A Doctor on the Western FrontDescription:

Henry Owens's Great War diary provides a vivid and complete narrative, seen from the perspective of an army doctor, of what it was like to live and fight in the trenches of the Western Front. Owens, a member of the original British Expeditionary Force, the 'Old Contemptibles', was among the first British soldiers to set foot in France. He spent the next four years in the front line as a doctor and a diarist, an eyewitness to some of the most bitter and violent struggles of the greatest conflict the world had ever seen.

Over the course of those years, he was involved in virtually all the major battles the British fought during the war, in Flanders, around Ypres, along the Somme. He cared for the soldiers of all three armies – British, French and German. Frequently he was under direct fire from artillery, machine guns and rifles, and he faced the same risks and hardships as any combatant. His experiences in the trenches, in ambulances, at first-aid posts and in hospitals gave him a unique vantage point from which to observe the brutality of the fighting and the treatment of the wounded and dying.

Henry Owens's writing, edited and with a full introduction by John Hutton, gives us an inside view of the duties and experiences of a doctor tending the fighting troops, and it paints a graphic portrait of the daily lives of the men themselves.

As seen in Essence magazine.

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A French Soldier's War Diary 1914-1918

By Henri Desagneaux

A French Soldier's War Diary 1914-1918Description:

A pattern has been given to the history of the events between 1914 and 1918 which is called the 'Great War'. To Henri Desagneaux and to thousands of others, there was no pattern to be seen from the trenches where he executed orders which ensured that dozens of men had to die attempting to achieve impossible objectives worked out at a headquarters in the rear. His diary, one of the classic French accounts of the conflict, gives a vivid insight into what it was like to execute those orders, and to live in the trenches with increasingly demoralized, unruly and mutinous men. In terse unflinching prose he records their experiences as they confronted the acute dangers of the front line. The appalling conditions in which they fought and the sheer intensity of the shellfire and the close-quarter combat have rarely been conveyed with such immediacy.

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A Gallant County

By Robin Grist

A Gallant CountyDescription:

This book describes the campaigns fought by the Gloucestershire Regiment’s sixteen infantry battalions and the 1/1st RGH which saw action on all the Allied fronts. During The Great War the Gloucesters who already had more battle honours than any other regiment won another eighty-two.

Over 46,000 men served in the Gloucesters and the RGH during the First World War without any member of either regiment being charged with either desertion or cowardice. Twenty-five Military Medals were won by 1st Gloucesters at Festubert on one day in April 1918, a record for a single battalion.

A Gallant County captures the contrast between the fighting in the mud of the Western Front, the heat and dust of the Middle East and the horrors of Gallipoli. The author skilfully paints the picture of infantry and cavalry actions in the different theatres. 1/1st RGH were one of only two yeomanry regiments to fight from Egypt to Aleppo.

The use of personal accounts and descriptions of acts of individual and collective gallantry make this a superb record of a County’s outstanding contribution to victory.

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A German Deserter's War Experience

By Julius Koettgen

A German Deserter's War ExperienceDescription:

In 1913 Julius Koettgen, a pacifist and a socialist, was drafted into the ranks of sapper battalion No. 30. He dutifully fought in the ranks of the Kaiser's armies during 1914 and 1915 and saw action in France and Belgium where he describes the terrible events which were to become known as 'the rape of Belgium' and also details the extent of the fighting including being forced to form part of a firing squad, crossing the Meuse under heavy fire, using corpses as road building materials annihilating a cavalry charge hand to hand bayonet fighting, and the awful events of the disastrous German retreat from the Marne. rnrnWith the onset of trench warfare Koettgen also experienced the horrors of trench warfare and the famous Christmas truce of 1914. In 1915 he decided that enough was enough and escaped military life by deserting the colours and slipping through the lines to neutral Holland. His war memoirs were published by a gleeful allied press under the title 'A German Deserter's War Experience'.rnrnThis English translation, edited and introduced Emmy AwardTM winning historian Bob Carruthers provides a rare primary source insight into the German side during the crucial opening battles of the war and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the Great War from the German perspective.

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A German Tommy

By Ken Anderson

A German TommyDescription:

It was a time of misguided loyalties. The First World War British Army, in a shameful act of patriotism, was withdrawing from the front line veterans who had a German name and posting them to a non-combatants regiment. At home, anti-German feeling was reaching fever pitch. However, one young man, the son of a German father, conspired to have the Army send him into battle. In doing so he became a hero.

This is the story of the 'German Tommy', Walter Schwarz (alias Lieutenant Walter Lancelot Merritt, Military Cross and Bar, bearer of the king's pardon), told in full for the first time after years of research in Australia and Britain. It reveals why and how others helped the young man from Queensland – an Australian Army deserter – survive in an atmosphere that was poisonous at home and in battle for those of German blood who were, nevertheless, like Schwarz, loyal to king and country. Ken Anderson has gone behind the accepted facts to claim how official documents were altered and members of a secret society lied and swore false testimony to help Schwarz, acting on their oath to help a fellow member in distress.

The book offers an insight into the way in which people of German origin were treated in Australia and Britain during the First World War, as well as how Freemasonry – at its peak at that time – helped men of humble background improve their status in life.

It is a story of bravery and deception, unique in the history of war.

As featured in Discover Your History and Essence magazines.

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A Glint in the Sky

By Martin Easdown, Thomas Genth

A Glint in the SkyDescription:

Martin Easdown's compelling account of the German air raid on Folkestone in 1917 and its appalling aftermath is the first comprehensive history of an episode to be published. He gives a dramatic description of the event, relying heavily on the eyewitness testimony from the townspeople who were there on that fateful day. He records the experiences of the German airmen who carried out the raid and pioneered a new and terrifying method of warfare. In addition, he recounts in graphic detail similar attacks by bombers, seaplanes and Zepplins on other Kentish towns, including Dover, Ramsgate, Margate and Sheerness.

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A Gunner's Great War

By Ian Ronayne

A Gunner's Great WarDescription:

If the First World War had not happened when it did, Channel Islander Clarence Ahier would almost certainly have led a mostly unremarkable life. But it did, and in October 1915, aged just 23-years-old, Clarence left his home and volunteered to join the British Army. He would spend the next two and half years serving as an artilleryman on the Western Front.

Now this in itself is not remarkable - millions of other young men did the same thing. But Clarence Ahier did do something remarkable, and it was something to set him out from almost all his contemporaries. From the very beginning of his time at the front, he wrote a graphic and moving account of his experiences of war.

Clarence's ultimate plans for his meticulously written journal are unknown. But having lain unnoticed for years, it was recently discovered in a collection of dusty ephemera handed to a local history society.

The complete journal consists of around 25,000 words, with a focus on Clarence's experience during the Battle of the Somme, in the fighting around Ypres, and, after he was wounded for the second time, the journey to India and his time there as a member of the garrison. This will be supported by additional explanatory text.

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A Marine at Gallipoli and on The Western Front

By Harry Askin

A Marine at Gallipoli and on The Western FrontDescription:

Harry Askin was 22 when he enlisted at Nottingham in September 1914 and was sent to train with the Royal Marines at Portsmouth.

He set sail with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in late February 1915. On 25 April he was towed ashore to Gallipoli. So began a nine month ordeal of constant fighting and shelling on that bare and desperate Peninsula.

In this diary he captures the atmosphere of danger and death, blazing heat in summer and rain and cold at other times. The smell of dead bodies was everywhere and while the fortitude of the troops was astonishing, at times confusion and panic prevailed. Harry was wounded twice in one day but the surgeon removed the bullet and he returned to the firing line.

Harry was among the last to withdraw and his reward was to be sent to the Western Front. Again he was wounded. This is a stirring memoir which paints a vivid picture of the horrors of war.

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A Military Atlas Of The First World War

By Arthur Banks

A Military Atlas Of The First World WarDescription:

This is a unique study of the conflict of 1914-18 on land, sea and in the air, through maps, diagrams and illustrations. Within the scope of some 250 maps, Arthur Banks has presented both broad general surveys of political and military strategy, and the most closely researched details of major individual campaigns and engagements. These are supplemented by comprehensive analysis of military strengths and command structures and illustrations.

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A Motorcycle Courier in the Great War

By W.H.L Watson, Edited by Bob Carruthers

A Motorcycle Courier in the Great WarDescription:

W.H.L. Watson was a British Army, motorcycle despatch rider in the First World War. He saw active service during the key battles of 1914 and early 1915. Watson and his colleagues formed part of the Royal Engineers Signal Service and these riders were originally volunteers, some of whom supplied their own machines.

This amazing account details the experiences of these brave young men and provides a unique primary source account of life at the sharp end during the titanic struggles fought out in Northern France and Belgium.

Richly illustrated with contemporary photographs and maps, this evocative description of the actions of the British Expeditionary Force is a key source and is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of the Great War. Highly detailed, but nonetheless accessible this superb volume is greatly recommended for serious enthusiasts and casual readers alike.

Eye witness accounts of these early clashes are comparatively rare and Watson's wonderfully personal account provides a rare insight from an unusual perspective.

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