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Visitors to the battlefields of France and Belgium expressed pain and anguish, pride and nostalgia, and wonder and surprise at…what they saw. Postcards from the Western Front chronicles the many ways in which these sites were perceived and commemorated by British people, both during the First World War and in the twenty years following the Armistice.Mark Connelly’s definitive and engaging study of the former Western Front examines how different and distinctive sub-communities – regional, ethnic and religious, civilian and armed forces – influenced the depth and strength of the visiting public’s relationship with the battlefields, all the while comparing and contrasting this relationship with the viewpoint of the French and Belgian inhabitants of the devastated regions. Connelly draws from a vast archive a number of interlocking themes, including the lingering presence of the battlefields in the British domestic imagination, the often fraught experience of visiting the battlefields, memorials and cemeteries functioning as part of a historical testimony to wartime realities, and the interactions between visitors and the people living in these former fighting zones. Focusing on French and Belgian sites, Connelly nevertheless provides insight into other major battlefields fought over by troops from the British Empire. Extensively illustrated with black and white photographs, Postcards from the Western Front offers a groundbreaking perspective on landscapes that rarely left anyone – whether tourist, inhabitant, veteran, or pilgrim – unmoved.
By Antony Beevor. 2022
&“Riveting . . . There is a wealth of new information here that adds considerable texture and nuance to his…story and helps to set Russia apart from previous works.&”—The Wall Street JournalAn epic new account of the conflict that reshaped Eastern Europe and set the stage for the rest of the twentieth century.Between 1917 and 1921 a devastating struggle took place in Russia following the collapse of the Tsarist empire. The doomed White alliance of moderate socialists and reactionary monarchists stood little chance against Trotsky&’s Red Army and the single-minded Communist dictatorship under Lenin. In the savage civil war that followed, terror begat terror, which in turn led to ever greater cruelty with man&’s inhumanity to man, woman and child. The struggle became a world war by proxy as Churchill deployed weaponry and troops from the British empire, while contingents from the United States, France, Italy, Japan, Poland, and Czechoslovakia played rival parts. Using the most up to date scholarship and archival research, Antony Beevor assembles the complete picture in a gripping narrative that conveys the conflict through the eyes of everyone from the worker on the streets of Petrograd to the cavalry officer on the battlefield and the doctor in an improvised hospital.
Taught to fly by the Wright Brothers, appointed the first and only five-star general of the Air Force, and remembered…as the man who won World War II&’s air war, Henry Harley &“Hap&” Arnold is one of the most significant figures in American aviation history. Despite his legacy as an air pioneer, little has been written about him. In the thoroughly detailed Hap Arnold and the Evolution of American Airpower, reprinted to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force, biographer and former military officer Dik Alan Daso draws on primary sources like Arnold&’s personal papers and formerly declassified military documents to sketch out his incredible life and career. Daso describes important technology, institutions, and individuals who influenced Arnold&’s decisions as a general, and reveals how the peacetime experiences of World War II&’s foremost military airman shaped the evolution of American military aviation. This biography captures the adventurous career, dynamic personality, and bold vision of the &“father of the Air Force.&”
By Ted Barris. 2022
The Battle of the Atlantic, Canada’s longest continuous military engagement of the Second World War, lasted 2,074 days, claiming the…lives of more than 4,000 men and women in the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian merchant navy The years 2019 to 2025 mark the eightieth anniversary of the longest battle of the Second World War, the Battle of the Atlantic. It also proved to be the war’s most critical and dramatic battle of attrition. For five and a half years, German surface warships and submarines attempted to destroy Allied trans-Atlantic convoys, most of which were escorted by Royal Canadian destroyers and corvettes, as well as aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Throwing deadly U-boat “wolf packs” in the paths of the convoys, the German Kriegsmarine almost succeeded in cutting off this vital lifeline to a beleaguered Great Britain.In 1939, the Royal Canadian Navy went to war with exactly thirteen warships and about 3,500 regular servicemen and reservists. During the desperate days and nights of the Battle of the Atlantic, the RCN grew to 400 fighting ships and over 100,000 men and women in uniform. By V-E Day in 1945, it had become the fourth largest navy in the world. The story of Canada’s naval awakening from the dark, bloody winters of 1939–1942, to be “ready, aye, ready” to challenge the U-boats and drive them to defeat, is a Canadian wartime saga for the ages. While Canadians think of the Great War battle of Vimy Ridge as the country’s coming of age, it was the Battle of the Atlantic that proved Canada’s gauntlet to victory and a nation-building milestone.
By Rotem Kowner, Iris Rachamimov. 2022
With expert scholars and great sensitivity, Out of Line, Out of Place illuminates and analyzes how the proliferation of internment…camps emerged as a biopolitical tool of governance. Although the internment camp developed as a technology of containment, control, and punishment in the latter part of the nineteenth century mainly in colonial settings, it became universal and global during the Great War.Mass internment has long been recognized as a defining experience of World War II, but it was a fundamental experience of World War I as well. More than eight million soldiers became prisoners of war, more than a million civilians became internees, and several millions more were displaced from their homes, with many placed in securitized refugee camps. For the first time, Out of Line, Out of Place brings these different camps together in conversation. Rotem Kowner and Iris Rachamimov emphasize that although there were differences among camps and varied logic of internment in individual countries, there were also striking similarities in how camps operated during the Great War.
By Ira Jones. 1938
A classic memoir of the early days of aviation by a longtime Royal Air Force pilot, including his harrowing, exhilarating…adventures in the Great War. Ira &“Taffy&” Jones was a well-known air fighter during the First World War, having scored about forty victories flying SE5 scouts in France with 74 Squadron. Familiar in flying circles, Jones recorded stories drawn from his own experiences during the war and wrote of the many personalities he had met or known by association, both during the war and in the postwar flying years. An Air Fighter&’s Scrapbook recreates the atmosphere of the days of the biplane, of wartime flying, of early peacetime adventures in the air, the development of civil aviation, and breathtaking record-beating flights—all evoking the sheer delight in flying that characterized those early years.
By Chris McNab. 2018
How the first military pilots learned to fly—and fight: guidance from Great War training manuals. Aviation was still in…its infancy when World War I broke out—and newly formed air forces produced manuals to help pioneers heading for the skies as they took warfare into a new dimension with reconnaissance missions, primitive bombing attempts, and attacks on enemy aircraft. Pulling together information from British manuals such as A Few Hints for the Flying Officer and Practical Flying, as well as American, German, and French training guides, this book shows the type of information the pilots were given, such as: · The basics of how to care for, start, and fly an aircraft · Tactics and strategy in the air · Identifying whether vehicles below were friend or foe · Interacting with mechanics · Coordinating with army or naval forces, and more This fascinating time capsule opens up the world of the Great War aviator and includes introductions to the manuals by Chris McNab, setting them in context and providing background.
By Johannes Werner. 1985
The story of the World War I fighter pilot the Red Baron himself sought to emulate . . .German air ace Oswald Boelcke…was a national hero during World War I. He was the youngest captain in the German air force, decorated with the Pour le Mérite while still only a lieutenant, and credited with forty aerial victories at the time of his death.Becoming a pilot shortly before the outbreak of the war, Boelcke established his reputation on the Western front first in reconnaissance, then in scouts, before finally becoming the best known of the early German aces, along with Max Immelmann. After Immelmann’ s death, he was taken off flying and traveled to the Eastern front where he met a young pilot called Manfred von Richthofen. Transferred back to the Western Front in command of Jasta 2, he remembered von Richthofen when new small fighting units were formed and chose him as a pilot for his new Staffel. Boelcke was tragically killed in a flying accident during combat in October 1916, although not before the reputation of his unit, together with his own, had been firmly established forever.This absorbing biography was written with the blessing of Boelcke’s family. Professor Werner was given access to his letters and other papers, and presents here a rounded and fascinating portrait of a great airman and a remarkable soldier who became known as the father of the German Jagdflieger.This edition has been completely reoriginated while remaining faithful to the language of the time of its original translation from German in the 1930s.
By Avery Royce Wolfe. 1919
The dramatic experiences of an ambulance driver in the Great War, told through personal correspondence and photographs.Though the United States…was late to enter the Great War, a number of idealistic young Americans wished to take part from the beginning. One of these was Avery Royce Wolf, a highly educated scion of a family in America’s burgeoning industrial heartland.Volunteering as an ambulance driver with the French Army in the Verdun sector, Royce sent back a constant stream of highly detailed letters describing the experience of frontline combat, as well as comments on strategy, the country he encountered, and the Allies’ prospects for success.This treasure trove of brilliant letters, only recently discovered, is accompanied by several albums worth of rare, high-quality photos depicting aspects of the Great War in France never previously published. Full of action, including the suspense and terror of the Ludendorff Offensive, as well as interesting firsthand analyses such as comparing French and German trench works, Letters from Verdun brings the reader amazingly close to the frontlines of the Great War.
This fully illustrated volume explores German military aviation during WWI through archival photographs and authentically detailed replicas. Fighter aircraft…were developed during World War I at an unprecedented rate, as nascent air forces sought to achieve and maintain air supremacy. German manufacturers innovated at top speed, while constantly scrutinizing the development of new enemy aircraft. The Germans also utilized the concept of modular engineering, which allowed them to disassembled or reassembled their aircraft quickly in the field. The pinnacle of their aeronautical innovations was the iconic Fokker D VII—the only aircraft specifically mentioned in the Treaty of Versailles, which forbade Germany from building it after the war. German Fighter Aircraft in World War I explores how German fighter aircraft were developed during the war, the advancements and trials that made the Fokker D VII possible, and the different makes and types of aircraft. Using unpublished images including photographs of surviving aircraft, archive images, and models and replicas, this volume shows details of aircraft that were kept top secret during the war. Extensively illustrated with 140 photos and ten color profiles, this is will be essential reading for all WWI aviation enthusiasts and modelers.
By Michael Digby. 2021
Many believe that World War I was only fought "over there," as the popular 1917 song goes, in the trenches…and muddy battlefields of Northern France and Belgium—they are wrong. There was a secret war fought in America; on remote railway bridges and waterways linking the United States and Canada; aboard burning and exploding ships in the Atlantic Ocean; in the smoldering ruins of America's bombed and burned-out factories, munitions plants, and railway centers; and waged in carefully disguised clandestine workshops where improvised explosive devices and deadly toxins were designed and manufactured. It was irregular warfare on a scale that caught the United States woefully unprepared. This is the true story of German secret agents engaged in a campaign of subversion and terror on the American homeland before and during World War I.
From Canada&’s top war historian, a definitive medical history of the Great War, illuminating how the carnage of modern battle…gave birth to revolutionary life-saving innovations. It brings to light shocking revelations of the ways the brutality of combat and the necessity of agonizing battlefield decisions led to unimaginable strain for men and women of medicine who fought to save the lives of soldiers.Medical care in almost all armies, and especially in the Canadian medical services, was sophisticated and constantly evolving, with vastly more wounded soldiers saved than lost. Doctors and surgeons prevented disease from decimating armies, confronted ghastly wounds from chemical weapons, remade shattered bodies, and struggled to ease soldiers&’ battle-haunted minds. After the war, the hard lessons learned by doctors and nurses were brought back to Canada. A new Department of Health created guidelines in the aftermath of the 1918-19 flu pandemic, which had killed 55,000 Canadians and millions around the world. In a grim irony, the fight to improve civilian health was furthered by the most destructive war up to that point in human history. But medical advances were not the only thing brought back from Europe: Lifesavers and Body Snatchers exposes the disturbing story of the harvesting of human body parts in medical units behind the lines. Tim Cook has spent over a decade investigating the history of Canadian medical doctors removing the body parts of slain Canadian soldiers and transporting their brains, lungs, bones, and other organs to the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) in London, England. Almost 800 individual body parts were removed from dead soldiers and sent to London, where they were stored, treated, and some presented in exhibition galleries. After being exhibited there, the body parts were displayed in Canada. This uncovered history is a shockingly revelation never told before and part of the hidden legacy of the medical war. Based on deep archival research and unpublished letters of soldiers and medical personnel, Lifesavers and Body Snatchers is a powerful narrative, told in Cook&’s literary style, which reveals how the medical services supported the soldiers at the front and forged a profound legacy in shaping Canadian public health in the decades that followed.
This candid WWI memoir takes readers inside the cockpit with an RAF officer on the Western Front from the outbreak…the Great War until its end in 1918.Louis Arbon Strange was at the Royal Air Force’s Central Flying School when war broke out in 1914. He immediately reported to Royal Flying Corps headquarters and joined No.5 Squadron. Strage remained on active duty throughout the war, serving his country over the Western Front from August of that year until the enemy’s surrender.Strange transferred to No.6 Squadron in 1915 and went on to form and command No.23 Squadron. Due to illness, he did not accompany his Squadron to France, but spent that time training others. He took charge of the Machine-Gun School at Hythe and other schools of aerial gunnery before returning to the Front. There he commanded the 23rd Wing, and finally took command of the 80th Wing from June 1918 until the end of the war. As Strange chronicles his experiences, he provides unique insight into how and why the Allied airmen eventually prevailed.
A penetrating study of Britain’s top World War I fighter ace, written by fellow pilot Ira Jones, the author of…An Air Fighter’s Scrapbook.Ira Jones’ biography of Britain’s top-scoring ace of the First World War has become the subject of some controversy over the last few years; most notably, it claims seventy-three “kills” for Mannock, making him the number-one-scoring Allied ace of the war. Later research has thrown serious doubt on this assertion, and indeed, Mannock himself only claimed fifty-one kills.Jones’ biography is nevertheless an important account, especially when seen in the context of the time in which it was first written. In particular, the biography delves into the mind of Mannock, portraying the singular nature of his character and the true stress that these pioneer air fighters experienced in the last few months of the war.Originally published in 1934 by Ivor Nicholson and Watson in London, the book has been reprinted—most recently in the 1990s by Greenhill Books as part of its Vintage Aviation Library—and reproduced from the original 1930s version of the book.Not a word has been changed in this Casemate edition, but the original, very dated type and page layout have been reworked, as has been the format in which the book is presented, to give a beautiful new treatment to this classic of aviation literature.
By Claude Sykes. 1930
This book, originally written in 1931 by &“Vigilant&” (the pen name for Claude Sykes), tells the dramatic tales of air…combat as fought by the best German pilots of the First World War. Manfred von Richthofen, Max Immelmann, Oswald Boelcke and other famous daredevil flyers are joined by the lesser-known but equally resourceful colleagues such as Rudolph von Eschwege and Hand Shuz, taking part in furious battles in the sky and close escapes on the ground when brought down on the wrong side of the lines. German War Birds contains some of the earliest information to appear after the war about air combat in the Middle East and Russia, as well as the Western Front, and about the significance of observation balloons as targets that were viciously attacked. The author focuses on the heart of the action and recreates the experiences of the airborne war with immediacy, excitement and a vivid turn of phrase, drawing the reader into events as they happen.
A WWI pilot’s memoir of flying with the unit that dropped the first bomb at night on Germany—and, on November…11, 1918, the last one.One of the many who came to Europe from all over the British Commonwealth to fight in the First World War, A. R. Kingsford had sailed from New Zealand in 1914. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1917 and learned to fly at Northolt before being posted to 33 Squadron at Lincoln, where he flew against Zeppelins sent from across the North Sea on night bombing raids. Kingsford joined 100 Squadron in France early in 1918 and had an active career with this famous squadron up until the end of the war.Full of adventure, Night Raiders of the Air is a first-person account of this young volunteer’s experiences during the Great War—a fascinating read for anyone interested in the early days of military aviation.
By Frantz Immelmann. 2009
The story of one of Germany&’s pioneers in aerial combat . . . Max Immelmann was born in Dresden, the…son of a container factory owner. When World War I started, Immelmann was recalled to active service, transferred to the Luftstreitkäfte and was sent for pilot training in November 1914. He was initially stationed in northern France as a reconnaissance aviator. On June 3, 1915 he was shot down by a French pilot but managed to land safely behind German lines. He was decorated with the Iron Cross, Second Class for preserving his aircraft. Later in 1915, he became one of the first German fighter pilots, quickly building an impressive score of victories as he became known as The Eagle of Lille (Der Adler von Lille). Immelmann was the first pilot to be awarded the Pour le Mérite, Germany&’s highest military honor. The medal became colloquially known as the &“Blue Max&” in the German Air Service in honor of Immelmann. His medal was presented by Kaiser Wilhelm II in January 1916. Oswald Boelcke received his medal at the same ceremony. Founder of the aerial combat maneuver that still bears his name, Immelmann was credited with 15 victories, his final one coming on 30 March 1916. He will forever be associated with the Fokker Eindecker, Germany&’s first fighter aircraft, and the first to be armed with a machine gun synchronized to fire forward through the propeller arc. Along with Oswald Boelcke and other pilots, Immelmann was one of the main instigators of the Fokker Scourge which inflicted heavy loses upon British and French aircrews during 1915. Originally published in 1930 by John Hamilton in London, the book has been reprinted (most recently in the 1990&’s by Greenhill Books as part of it&’s Vintage Aviation Library) and each time has been reproduced from the original 1930&’s version of the book. This new Casemate edition has been entirely reoriginated. Not a word has been changed, but the original (very dated) type and page layout have been reworked, as has been the format in which the book is presented, to give a beautiful new treatment to this classic of aviation literature.
By M. E. Kaehnert. 2013
A visceral and accurate firsthand account of flying with the Imperial German Air Force during WWI.The airborne fighting squadrons of…the Imperial German Luftstreitkräfte—known as the Jagdstaffel, or Jasta for short—were a fearsome and elite force throughout the Great War. Though the entire force was dissolved and their aircraft destroyed by order of the Treaty of Versailles, the stories of the pilots remain in books like Jagdstaffel 356.Although the author has given this Jagdstaffel a fictitious number and changed the names of the pilots composing it, the vivid descriptions and accurate narrative have the genuine ring of truth. Anyone who has had experience of flying on the Western Front or who has studied it since will recognize this chronicle as factual. Many experts believe this work draws on the experience of the Bavarian Jasta 35, which flew against the British; however, whatever its real number may have been, the squadron depicted in Jagdstaffel 356 undoubtedly fought in the air over Flanders in 1918.
By John Sadler, Rosie Serdville. 2017
A readable and entertaining introduction to aerial combat in the series that “would be excellent for someone with an early…interest in military history” (Army Rumour Service).Just over a decade after the first successful powered flight, fearless pioneers were flying over the battlefields of France in flimsy biplanes. Though the infantry in their muddy trenches might see aerial combat as glorious and chivalric, the reality was very different and undeniably deadly: new Royal Flying Corps subalterns in 1917 had a life expectancy of 11 days.In 1915 the term “ace” was coined to denote a pilot adept at downing enemy aircraft, and top aces like the Red Baron, René Fonck and Billy Bishop became household names. The idea of the ace continued after the 1918 Armistice, but as the size of air forces increased, the prominence of the ace diminished. But still, the pilots who swirled and danced in Hurricanes and Spitfires over southern England in 1940 were, and remain, feted as “the Few” who stood between Britain and invasion. Flying aircraft advanced beyond the wildest dreams of Great War pilots, the “top” fighter aces of World War II would accrue hundreds of kills, though their life expectancy was still measured in weeks, not years.World War II cemented the vital role of air power, and postwar innovation gave fighter pilots jet-powered fighters, enabling them to pursue duels over huge areas above modern battlefields. This entertaining introduction explores the history and cult of the fighter ace from the first pilots through late 20th century conflicts, which leads to discussion of whether the era of the fighter ace is at an end.
By John Sadler, Rosie Serdiville. 2017
“Everything you need to know to get you started on the subject of the men of the British Army who…found themselves in the trenches in WW1. Superb.”—Books MonthlyBritish soldiers have been known as Tommies for centuries, but the nickname is particularly associated with the British infantryman in the trenches of World War I.In August 1914, a small professional force of British soldiers crossed the Channel to aid the French and Belgians as the German army advanced. As it became apparent that the war would not, in fact, be over by Christmas, a vast drive for volunteer soldiers began.As enthusiasm for enlistment tailed off, eventually conscription was introduced in order to replenish the forces weakened by years of bloodshed. By 1918 the British Army was transformed, fielding 5.5 million men on the Western Front alone. These Tommies fought an entirely new type of war, living in vast trench systems, threatened by death from the air and gas attack as well as by bullet, bomb, or bayonet.This introduction explores the experience of Tommies on the Western Front, explaining how their war evolved and changed from the mobile battles of August 1914 to the final days of the war, and discussing daily life as an infantryman on the front line using firsthand accounts, contemporary poems, and songs.The Casemate Short History Series “would be excellent for someone with an early interest in military history or for someone talking history at school. Very readable and easy to understand with some good illustrations” (Army Rumour Service).