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The Cambridge History of the First World War
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  • Volume 1: Global War
  • Edited by Jay Winter, Yale University, Connecticut
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This first volume of The Cambridge History of the First World War provides a comprehensive account of the war's military history. An international team of leading historians charts how a war made possible by globalization and imperial expansion unfolded into catastrophe, growing year by year in scale and destructive power far beyond that which anyone had anticipated in 1914. Adopting a global perspective, the volume analyses the spatial impact of the war and the subsequent ripple effects that occurred both regionally and across the world. It explores how imperial powers devoted vast reserves of manpower and material to their war efforts and how, by doing so, they changed the political landscape of the world order. It also charts the moral, political and legal implications of the changing character of war and, in particular, the collapse of the distinction between civilian and military targets.


'… both scholarly and deftly drafted, a joy to read. It provides broad as well as deep analysis of just about every conceivable facet of this global catastrophe. It deserves close reading and contemplation.'

Len Shurtleff - World War One Historical Association

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Page 1 of 2

  • Part I - A Narrative History
    pp 13-198
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    The First World War has long been considered a non-event in the history of contemporary Latin America, far from the main theatres of military operations. To the first level of analysis of Latin American neutrality in 1914 were added economic considerations of prime importance for the profitable investing nations, mostly exporters of raw materials and importers of manufactured products, structurally dependent on the outside world. More evident in the southern cone of South America and Brazil than in the rest of Latin America, and fundamentally urban, the mobilisation of the communities of European origin during the Great War remained constant from the end of 1914 to the Armistice in November 1918, even, in some cases, into the 1920s, and played a decisive role in the gradual involvement of the Latin American societies in the conflict.
  • 8 - The Western Front
    pp 204-233
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    This chapter examines the long-term and deeper causes of what is called the primordial catastrophe of the twentieth century. It is also concerned with the moods and mentalities and the bearing that these had on the outbreak of war in 1914. The chapter commences with the origins of the First World War. To grasp the highly dynamic developments that the societies of Europe underwent in the three or four decades before 1914, the impact of industrialisation, demography and urbanisation is considered as major background factors. The chapter also discusses social imperialism, electoral politics, cultural optimism, cultural pessimism and the preventive war in 1914. There are two key documents that date from the spring of 1914 after the international and domestic situation in Germany and Austria-Hungary had deteriorated further in 1913. Finally, the chapter talks about the key to understanding what happened in Europe in July and August 1914.
  • 9 - The Eastern Front
    pp 234-265
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    On 28 July 1914, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. The Serb government declared that the political strategy was not concerned by an event that was internal to Austria-Hungary because the authors of the attack were all Bosniacs and thus Austro-Hungarian subjects. Austria was increasingly weakened by pressures from north and south, and would be incapable of following Germany into a war. The German rulers were convinced that rapid action would prevent the other powers from intervening in the conflict between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. If Russia did not fall in with the wish for localisation and acted militarily in support of Serbia, it would show proof of its war-mongering and pan-Slavist aims. In the end, if a climate of risk of war had developed, it was indeed the army leaders who provoked the outbreak of the war, applying pressure on hesitant or paralysed civilian powers.
  • 10 - The Italian Front
    pp 266-296
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    The year 1915 saw the gradual invention of a new kind of war activity which permanently transformed the actual image of the war. During 1915, the war cultures became enduringly crystallised around a body of mobilising themes, words and images which confirmed the meaning initially attributed to the war itself. The question of control of the seas was of central importance during the course of 1915. The blockade imposed on the Central Powers, and the submarine war designed in response to unlock its grip, were thus determining elements in totalisation of the conflict. The consequences of the blockade, in terms of food supply and the economy on the one hand and of military and diplomatic matters on the other, and, finally, of morale, were indeed considerable. They were to be an enduring burden throughout the rest of the war.
  • 11 - The Ottoman Front
    pp 297-320
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    The French, with some British assistance, tried to blast their way through the Western Front by enormous offensives in the spring and autumn. In 1916 the major powers sought to increase their production of armaments, before they made additional attempts to break this stalemate. Germany was the most successful in this endeavour. Britain entered the war with a munitions-industry designed almost exclusively for the use of the navy. The transformation of Britain into a major military, as against naval, power, was looked on with consternation by the decision-makers in Berlin. This especially troubled the German Commander-in-Chief, Falkenhayn. Falkenhayn always intended to capture Verdun but wrote a post-war justification for the nature of the battle into his paper. The battles in 1916 were some of the largest seen in the melancholy tale of men at war. The British alone at the River Somme threw some 15 million shells at the Germans.
  • 12 - The war at sea
    pp 321-348
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    The year 1917 began an important transition on the battlefield. The battles of Cambrai, Riga and Caporetto represented the start of a shift from the infantry-based age of mass assaults to the mechanical, combined-arms approach that featured infantry working with aviation, artillery and armour in various combinations. This transition showed the fulfilment of the Industrial Revolution and its impacts on war. Nivelle's optimism was infectious among politicians who wanted desperately to believe that he had unlocked the secret to modern warfare. Douglas Haig, the British commander, had received discouraging reports about the French army, including some that suggested that French soldiers were demanding peace and refusing to salute their officers. Haig concluded that his long-desired offensive in Flanders offered the best way to draw the Germans away from the French and give his ally the time it desperately needed.
  • 13 - The air war
    pp 349-375
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    A peace treaty with Soviet Russia was signed in the Belorussian town of Brest-Litovsk on 918, but the treaty only confirmed what everybody had known since autumn 1917: that the central powers had won the war on the Eastern Front. After Germany and Austria-Hungary had lost the war they placed their hopes on the programme outlined by American President Woodrow Wilson. German general Erich Ludendorff shared the imperialist dreams of some of the military, political and economic elite, and wanted to exploit the collapse of the Russian-Empire and the power vacuum it created by expanding borders, promoting colonisation and securing German dominance in Eastern-Europe for the foreseeable future. Bulgaria was the first of the central powers to accept defeat. Ludendorff hoped that a democratic Germany would get better terms but he also wanted the democrats, especially the Social Democrats, to take the responsibility for the defeat.
  • 14 - Strategic command
    pp 376-400
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    The signing of the Treaty of Versailles, on 28 June 1919, in the Hall of Mirrors, represented a kind of apotheosis. It was followed by the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye with Austria, the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine with Bulgaria, then the Treaty of Trianon with Hungary and the Treaty of Sèvres with Turkey, itself revised in the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923. The emissaries were Hermann Muller and Johannes Bell sign the Treaty of Versailles that would bring the First World War to an end. Several factors explain the violence of the post-war period, namely, the repercussions of the Russian Revolution in 1917 in Russia and other countries, and the frustrations born of defeat. The forced transfer of populations between Greece and Turkey, undertaken under the auspices of the League of Nations in 1923, was the most dramatic consequence of the ethnic violence that broke out inthe immediate post-war period.
  • Part III - World War
    pp 401-556
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    The First World War is a good example of the dialectic of norm, conflict and revision and of the passions and polemics that accompany it. During the war, the habitual charge that the enemy-committed atrocities was translated into charges that could be tried under international law. The norms of warfare in the pre-war period served to judge the escalating violence of the war but also to blame the enemy for the worst transgressions, which occurred in various contexts, war on land, invasions and occupations, the home front, war at sea and war in the air. Land warfare immediately revealed that the protected status of the legitimate combatant, the soldier or sailor who was wounded or taken prisoner, was far from secure. The French accused the Germans of using the Red Cross flag as a ruse in battle and of executing an immense number of wounded soldiers.
  • 15 - The imperial framework
    pp 405-432
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    The Western Front became one of the defining images of the Great War. The problem of Western Front was that to make ground men had to leave the security of their trenches and attack an entrenched enemy across a strip of ground that soon became known with some accuracy as no-man's-land. What makes the Battle of Neuve Chapelle even more exceptional is that it was one of the first trench warfare encounters to take place on the Western Front. Two of the largest battles ever fought, Verdun and the Somme, were fought during 1916. Germany commander General von Falkenhay was the first to undertake an offensive in 1916. The Allied armies had now developed methods that could overcome the Germans whether they lurked behind strong defences or were in the open. The main factor in wearing down the German army was the Ludendorff offensives of 1918.
  • 16 - Africa
    pp 433-458
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    This chapter focuses on three events to demonstrate some larger military developments on the Eastern Front. It also explains why they were turning points of First World-War and how they influenced its duration and outcome. The encounters presented in the chapter are the Battle of Tannenberg, the fall of Przemyśl and the Battle of Gorlice-Tarnów, and the Brusilov offensive. The victory of Tannenberg gave Germany time to organise its defence in the East, and indeed during the rest of the war Russian-forces were unable to defeat German-troops in a major battle. The surrender of Przemyśl could easily have been a Stalingrad of the First World War. The logic of Gorlice-Tarnów offensive was closely connected with the Austrian defeat at Przemyśl. The prominent feature of Brusilov attack hit the Austrian lines on a large-sector of the front, and quickly became a major success.

Page 1 of 2

Bibliographical essays

1 Origins

Volker R. Berghahn

There are innumerable studies on the larger and deeper origins of the First World War, some of which are being mentioned in this chapter and also in the next one by Jean-Jacques Becker and Gerd Krumeich. While James Joll’s volume, discussed in the Introduction to Chapter 1 above, continues to provide a good starting point, the more so since Richard Wetzel has updated the first edition, the following passages contain a number of additional titles that readers may find helpful as they try to understand the complexities of the subject. The annotations follow the thematic structure of the text.

Domestic politics and foreign policy

Those interested in the interaction of domestic politics and foreign-policy making may wish to start with Dietrich Geyer, Russian Imperialism (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987). The classic work in this interaction in the case of Germany is Eckart Kehr, Economic Interest, Militarism and Foreign Policy (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1977). This perspective is being continued in Hans-Ulrich Wehler, The German Empire, 1871–1918 (Leamington Spa: Berg, 1985). For the French case: Gerd Krumeich, Armaments and Politics in France on the Eve of the First World War (Leamington Spa: Berg, 1984) and Alfred Cobban, A History of Modern France (London: Penguin, 1963), especially the chapters on the Republic’s attempts to stabilise the political system in the 1870s and 1880s. On the pressures exerted increasingly by national movements, see Paul M. Kennedy and Anthony Nicholls (eds.), Nationalist and Racialist Movements in Britain and Germany before 1914 (London: Macmillan, 1981).


For an anthology on imperialism that contains a number of essays trying to conceptualise this phenomenon for the modern period, see Roger Owen and Bob Sutcliffe (eds.), Studies in the Theory of Imperialism (London: Longmans, 1972). On British colonialism it is still worthwhile to consult John Gallagher and Ronald Robinson, Africa and the Victorians (London and New York: Macmillan, 1961), not only because they discuss the interaction between the metropole (London) and the periphery (in this case the Sudan), but also because they introduced the distinction between an earlier ‘informal imperialism’ and a later ‘formal’ one that involved direct occupation and administration. On Belgian colonialism see Adam Hochschild’s study, discussed in the text. On German colonialism, in addition to Isabel Hull’s book (discussed in the text) and Sebastian Conrad (in the notes), see also Helmut Bley, Namibia under German Rule (Hamburg: LIT-Verlag, 1996).


The classic study on high culture is Carl Schorske, Fin-de-siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture (New York: Knopf, 1980). Unfortunately this is not a comprehensive study of Austro-Hungarian culture but a collection of essays. But if the reader begins with Schorske’s really quite wonderful first essay on the ‘Ringstrasse’ in the optimistic days of the mid century, the later essays on the growing pessimism and sense of decadence are all the more intriguing. On the German side, see Fritz Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1965). The study by Edward R. Tannenbaum (cited in the text) is invaluable because it deals both with high culture and the avant-garde as well as with popular culture in pre-1914 Europe more widely.

Armaments and war preparations

Here again are quite a number of relevant studies, some of which have already been mentioned in the text and notes. Next to Samuel R. Williamson’s and Volker R. Berghahn’s, three other studies that appeared in the same Macmillan series on the Origins of the First World War are by John Keiger (on France), Zara Steiner (on Britain) and Dominic Lieven (on Russia). Indispensable still: Fritz Fischer, War of Illusions (New York: W. W. Norton, 1975). But contrast with Konrad H. Jarausch’s biography of Reich Chancellor Bethmann Hollweg (The Enigmatic Chancellor (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1972). He examines the localisation argument. Important also: Annika Mombauer, Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2001); Robert Evans and Hartmut Pogge von Strandmann (eds.), The Coming of the First World War (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), F. R. Bridge, The Habsburg Monarchy among the Great Powers, 1815–1918 (New York: Berg, 1990); Manfred Boemecke et al. (eds.), Anticipating Total War (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1996); Paul M. Kennedy (ed.), The War Plans of the Great Powers, 1880–1914 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1979) and The Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, 1860–1914 (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Ashfield Press, 1987). Finally, because this anthology is also concerned with problems of pre-1914 political culture: Holger Afflerbach and David Stevenson (eds.), An Improbable War? (New York: Berghahn, 2007).

2 1914: Outbreak

Jean-Jacques Becker and Gerd Krumeich

Never have the origins of a war precipitated a debate as important and enduring as that on the outbreak of the First World War. It has been political, ideological and historiographical in character. There have been so many different strands to this debate that it is difficult to distinguish between polemics and history.

In the 1920s, the central issue in the debate on war origins was the question of ‘responsibilities’. This matter became central from the moment the German government signed the Versailles Treaty which affirmed that Germany was solely and totally responsible for the war. In the early days, the key participants were less historians than journalists, retired military men and intellectuals of more or less good faith. A good guide to this phase is Annika Mombauer, The Origins of the First World War: Controversies and Consensus (London: Longman, 2002). What is striking is that this polemical moment also provided the occasion for the publication of studies, more political than historical, which went beyond the debate over ‘responsibility’.

Reflections on what happened in July 1914 reached a level which merits the admiration of historians today. Three historians stand out: Bernadotte Schmitt, Pierre Renouvin and Jules Isaac. On this phase of the debate see: Jacques Droz, Les causes de la Première guerre mondiale: essai d’historiographie (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1973); and the more recent interpretation of Annika Mombauer, The Origins, pp. 78–118. On Pierre Renouvin, see the historiographical study on the war by Jay Winter and Antoine Prost, The Great War in History: Debates and Controversies, 1914 to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2005) (the French version appeared under the title Penser la Grande guerre (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2004)). A remarkably complete and influential essay is that of Samuel R. Williamson and Ernest R. May, ‘An identity of opinion: historians and July 1914’, Journal of Modern History, 79 (2007), pp. 335–87.

Following the first generation of First World War historians was the Italian journalist and political figure, Luigi Albertini, whose study of ‘July’, published in Italian in 1942–3, was based not only on all available sources but on interviews with former leaders still alive. See his Origins of the War of 1914, trans. Isabella M. Massey, 3 vols. (London: Oxford University Press, 1952–7). This study is still alive in today’s debates, though few acknowledge it. Albertini had the merit of establishing with as great a degree of precision as possible the chronology of diplomatic moves on all levels. His aim was to establish who knew what and when. To be sure, this cannot account for everything; it cannot establish how various moves were interpreted, and neglects that which was neglected at the time, but it is an indispensable aid against anachronism.

Albertini’s scholarship was not well known – it appeared in English translation only in the 1950s – but we hear its echoes in the violent controversy arising from the publication in 1961 of Fritz Fischer’s Griff nach der Weltmacht (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1964), which caused a sensation in Germany and in the international scholarly community. Fritz Fischer aimed to show that Germany wanted the war long before she provoked it in 1914. This was a war which seemed to be necessary for her to become a world power, or more precisely, a dominant world power. Contrary to prior claims, Fischer did not find many new sources on the basis of which he analysed the July 1914 crisis. What he did was to read through his personal optic a series of well-known and long-established documents. He owed much to the research of Albertini. Useful on the international dimensions of the Fischer controversy are Mombauer, Origins, pp. 127ff. and Winter and Prost, The Great War, pp. 468ff.

There was one new source which fuelled the ‘Fischer debate’ in the 1970s. It was the diary of Kurt Riezler, principal secretary of the German Chancellor, Bethmann Hollweg. This document was known to exist, but had been held privately in the family ever since. Mombauer, Origins, pp. 155–60, is useful on this source.

The Fischer thesis on sole German responsibility for the outbreak of war in 1914 requires a comparative analysis of the actions of each of the belligerents, accomplished by historians in an impressive list of books on individual countries and the origins of the war. These studies modified considerably our understanding of the July crisis. For this moment in scholarship, see Marc Trachtenberg, ‘The coming of the First World War: a reassessment’, in Trachtenberg, History and Strategy (Princeton University Press, 1991), pp. 47–99.

With the arrival of research on ‘mentalities’ in the 1960s and 1970s, there occurred a real paradigm change in approaches to this topic. Now historians of the twentieth century followed Bloch and Febvre in trying to understand the structures of feeling and thought of contemporaries in 1914. The first to do so was the British historian, James Joll, in his inaugural lecture at the London School of Economics in 1968. His theme was ‘the unspoken assumptions’ of the leaders of 1914, and his views can be followed in the 1968 edition of his inaugural lecture published by the London School of Economics in pamphlet form. The task of the historian, Joll said, was both difficult and unavoidable. It was ‘to re-create the whole climate of opinion within which political leaders in the past operated, and to discover what were the assumptions in the minds of ordinary men and women faced with the consequences of their ruler’s decisions’ (p. 13). Joll later developed a new paradigm concerning the ‘mood of 1914’. In his pioneering work on the Great War he showed that the decisions of July 1914 rested on sentiments formed earlier, and that the war they unleashed was one that was beyond their imagination at the time. On Joll’s ideas, see Williamson and May’s essay in the Journal of Modern History, cited above. Joll’s view does not preclude detailed analysis of decisions taken and of responsibilities on different levels for the outbreak of the war. Instead its advantage is the avoidance of anachronism, of using our perspective to judge that of others, a practice which Marc Bloch termed a mortal sin in history.

Other historians reached conclusions similar to Joll at roughly the same time, though most recognise that it was Joll who led the way. This was particularly true in the case of Wolfgang Mommsen, who had played an important role in the Fischer controversy, and whose reflections on the ‘topos of inevitable war’ in the minds of the German leadership appeared in 1980 and was soon translated into several other languages. See his two essays: ‘Die deutsche Kriegszielpolitik 1914–1918: Bemerkungen zum Stand der Diskussion’, in Walter Laqueur and George L. Mosse (eds.), Kriegsausbruch 1914 (Munich: Nymphenburger, 1967), pp. 60–100; and ‘The topos of inevitable war in Germany in the decade before 1914’, in Volker R. Berghahn and Martin Kitchen (eds.), Germany in the Age of Total War (London: Croom Helm, 1981), pp. 23–45.

Similarly pathbreaking was the work of Jean-Jacques Becker, 1914, Comment les Français sont entrés dans la guerre (Paris: Presses de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques, 1977), on public opinion in France at the moment of the outbreak of the war, which permitted the historical study of the genesis of the union sacrée. Later, Richard Hamilton and Holger Herwig brought together a series of essays on Decisions for War, 1914–1917 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004), where they moved in a different direction, setting aside questions of social structure or mentalities, to concentrate solely on ‘the men on the spot’, the men who took the decisions. They disclosed ‘that the decision makers . . . sought to save, maintain, or enhance the power and prestige of the nation’ (p. 20). It is evident that such a framework, subtly, perhaps subconsciously, reintroduces the notion of ‘mentalities’, in which social-Darwinian notions informed beliefs on the need to defend the nation.

It is striking that the mix of military plans and political decisions little concerned historians of responsibility for the war. To be sure, everyone knew there was a Schlieffen Plan, but the older historiography never established when and to what extent this plan was decisive in framing concrete decisions. These scholars were content to describe pre-mobilisation and mobilisation, partial and general in the last days of July. The best synthesis is still Steven E. Miller et al. (eds.), Military Strategy and the Origins of the First World War (Princeton University Press, 1991), and especially the chapter in this collection written by Marc Trachtenberg, ‘The meaning of mobilization in 1914’, pp. 195ff.

The puzzle of mobilisation was also at the heart of the work of the French scholar Jules Isaac, for whom the German decision during the crisis was marked by a degree of incoherence, responsibility for which he attributed to General Moltke. On this point, see Isaac’s Un débat historique: 1914, le problème des origines de la guerre (Paris: Rieder, 1933), p. 157. This matter is significant, and suggests that we can find the key, and perhaps the decisive key, to Russian, German and French decisions in considerations of military ‘necessity’. The research of Gerhard Ritter on German militarism (see his monumental The Sword and the Sceptre: The Problem of Militarism in Germany, vol. iii: The Tragedy of Statesmanship: Bethmann Hollweg as War Chancellor 1914–1917 (London: Allen Lane, 1972)) helped establish the validity of this interpretation. This view was further fortified by the work of Volker Berghahn, whose analysis of the July crisis distinguishes political, economic, military and intellectual factors (see his Germany and the Approach of War in 1914, 2nd edn (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1993)). Last but not least, the important work of David Stevenson on armaments before the Great War concludes with a chapter on the ‘militarization of diplomacy’ during the July crisis: see his Armaments and the Coming of War: Europe 1904–1914 (Oxford University Press, 1996), pp. 366ff.

To what extent can one say that military opinion prevailed in the war crisis? With respect to France, the question remains open and acute. Were Poincaré, President of the Republic, and Paléologue, French ambassador to Russia, primarily worried about preserving the Franco-Russian alliance, or were they prepared to risk everything to honour military accords? This latter position is that of Gerd Krumeich, Armaments and Politics in France on the Eve of the First World War (Leamington Spa: Berg, 1984); see also his Raymond Poincaré dans la Crise de Juillet 1914’, in La politique et la guerre (Mélanges Jean-Jacques Becker) (Paris: Éditions Noêsis, 2002), pp. 508–18. Or did they have their own considerations facing a Germany worried for years about encirclement, real or imagined? This is the thesis of Stefan Schmidt, Frankreichs Außenpolitik in der Julikrise 1914 (Munich: R. Oldenburg Verlag, 2009). John Keiger’s synthesis (France and the Origins of the First World War (London: Macmillan, 1983)) leaves these questions open. But, as M. B. Hayne has shown in The French Foreign Office and the Origins of the First World War 1898–1914 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), it is essential to recognise that there is no evidence of military pressure placed on French political leaders during the July crisis. In the case of Russia, we are much less well informed. There is research still to be done on the real impact of military planning on political decisions, a question on which there is still no consensus today. On this point, see Sean McMeekin, The Russian Origins of the First World War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011), whose views are questioned by Volker Berghahn in Chapter 1 of this volume; and Keith Neilson, ‘Russia’, in Keith Wilson (ed.), Decisions for War, 1914 (London: UCL Press, 1995), pp. 97–120.

Nevertheless, the research of Holger Afflerbach and of Annika Mombauer has given us much on which to interpret the correlation between military and political decisions. They have shown that the German military elite played a much larger role in the decisions taken in the July crisis than we have thought until now. See Holger Afflerbach, Falkenhayn: Politisches Handeln und Denken im Kaiserreich (Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1994); Annika Mombauer, ‘A reluctant military leader? Helmuth von Moltke and the July Crisis of 1914’, War in History, 6:4 (1999), pp. 417–46; see also her essay on the ‘July Crisis’ in her book Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2001). To be sure, Fischer and his students wrote of German ‘militarism’ and on the desire among the war party to impose its views on the political leadership. But Mombauer goes further in saying: ‘It is striking to what extent military concerns and reasoning had become common currency, accepted without question by civilians and determining their decision making’ (Mombauer, ‘Reluctant military leader’, p. 421). The views of Hew Strachan move in the same direction. See his ‘Towards a comparative history of World War I: some reflections’, Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift, 67 (2008), pp. 339–44. Mombauer shows striking similarities between the long-term, pessimistic attitude of Moltke, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, and that of Bethmann Hollweg. Doubting time and again that Germany could win a quick and decisive victory, Moltke still told everyone within hearing range that Germany had to go to war and ‘the sooner the better’. Wolfgang Mommsen had come to a similar interpretation of German thinking in the July crisis; see his essay on ‘The topos of inevitable war’. Mombauer and Stig Förster separately showed that many German military leaders did not believe a war would be short and victorious; so much for the ‘short war illusion’ of which other historians spoke when looking at the war crisis. For Förster’s formulation, see his ‘Der deutsche Generalstab und die Illusion des kurzen Krieges 1871–1914: Metakritik eines Mythos’, Militärgeschichtliche Mitteilungen, 54 (1995), pp. 61–98. The problem remains to determine the extent to which a phobia about ‘encirclement’ was the decisive element in the war crisis of 1914.

This point brings us back to the beginning of this bibliographical essay. Joll invited historians to think about what kind of war the leaders of 1914 were capable of imagining. It is in this domain that there remains much work still to be done. Cataclysms of the order of Verdun or the Somme could not have been in their minds, even if we find – from Moltke to Bethmann Hollweg or from Bebel to Sasonov – fears of the eventual destruction of Europe, a kind of seven years’ war, in the terms Bebel used in 1911, entailing the destruction of millions of young men in a future war. In reflecting on the writings of actual military leaders both before and during the July crisis on the war or wars to come, we do not find a hint of what later would unfold on the battlefields of the Great War. It is in this kind of terrain that we can see why Jean-Baptiste Duroselle termed the Great War as ‘incomprehensible’ (see his La Grande guerre des Français: 1914–1918: l’incompréhensible (Paris: Perrin, 1994)). The war prepared for in 1914, the war undertaken in 1914, was utterly remote from the war Europe and the world had to live through from 1915 to 1918. To chart the difference between the war imagined and the real war to come is a kind of ‘counterfactual history’, a task which still awaits us.

Finally, there is the brilliantly told and abundantly documented study of Christopher Clark, The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (London: Allen Lane, 2012). While masterful, it tells an anti-Fischer tale with a bias against Serbia and towards Austria–Hungary and Germany, whose decision-makers vanish from the narrative at decisive moments in 1914.

3 1915: Stalemate

Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau

The historiography of the First World War has rarely defined its chronology year by year. Many studies of this kind have encountered difficulties as a result, particularly in relation to 1915, caught as it is between 1914, with the outbreak of war and the first major operations, and 1916, the year of the great battles of materiel. This second year of the war is thus frequently isolated within studies that are wider in theme or national interest, and which consider the totality of the war. Such examples are not followed here. The choice of works cited below represents a selection among studies in which the year 1915 is seen as central.

For a rare study of 1915 as a whole, see Lyn Macdonald, 1915: The Death of Innocence (London: Headline, 1993). A recent study adopts the problématique of the years 1914–15 as a fundamental turning point, treating 1915 in depth from a new perspective: John Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale: le tournant de 1914–1915 (Paris: Tallandier, 2010). (Note in particular the substantial general introduction.)

At the narrative level, the chapters dealing with the military history of 1915 can be consulted in two major studies: John Keegan, The First World War (London: Hutchinson, 1998) and Hew Strachan, European Armies and the Conduct of War (London: Allen & Unwin, 1983).

The following general work, apart from its structure, picks out clearly certain key events of 1915, at least from the British point of view, both on the home front and on the battlefields. The point of view is narrative and analytical, but the chapters are short: Trevor Wilson, The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War, 1914–1918 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1986). (See in particular Parts 2, 3 and 5, for the military aspects and Part 4 for the home front.)

Certain military aspects of the year 1915 have been the subject of specific studies, notably Gallipoli: George Cassar, The French and the Dardanelles: A Study of the Failure in the Conduct of War (London: Allen & Unwin, 1971); Kevin Fewster, Vecihi Basarin and Hatice Basarin, Gallipoli: The Turkish Story (London: Allen & Unwin, 2003); Jenny Macleod, Reconsidering Gallipoli (Manchester University Press, 2004); and Victor Rudenno, Gallipoli: Attack from the Sea (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2008).

The year 1915 is also very evident in a work which is fundamental on matters relating to the Eastern Front, both in its military aspects and the home front: Norman Stone, The Eastern Front, 1914–1917 (London: Penguin, 1998).

By reason of the date of Italy’s entry into the war, 1915 is a strong presence in Antonio Gibelli, La grande guerra degli italiani, 1915–1918 (Milan: Sansoni, 1998).

On the use of gas, 1915 was a decisive period, well studied in the two following works: L. F. Haber, The Poisonous Cloud: Chemical Warfare in the First World War (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986); Olivier Lepick, La Grande Guerre chimique, 1914–1918 (Paris: PUF, 1998).

On matters concerning civilian populations and the different forms of assault that they suffered in 1915, historiography has recently been very considerably enhanced. On the occupations during the ‘long 1915’ in a comparative study, a fundamental synthesis can be found in Sophie de Schaepdrijver, ‘L’Europe occupée en 1915: entre violence et exploitation’, in Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale, pp. 121–51.

On refugees in the Russian Empire, a crucial question in 1915, see Peter Gatrell, A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during the First World War (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999.)

On Russian anti-Semitic acts of violence: Peter Holquist, ‘Les violences de l’armée russe à l’encontre des Juifs en 1915: causes et limites’, in Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale, pp. 191–219.

On the ‘battle of words’ which, very particularly in 1915, took over from the ‘German atrocities’ of 1914, see a fundamental book: John Horne and Alan Kramer, German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2001).

On the German blockade in 1915: Paul Vincent, The Politics of Hunger: The Allied Blockade of Germany, 1915–1919 (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 1985); Gerd Krumeich, ‘Le blocus maritime et la guerre sous-marine’, in Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale, pp. 175–90.

On the vital question of the Armenian genocide, the following stand out: Arnold Toynbee, Armenian Atrocities: The Murder of a Nation (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1915) (the great report by the British historian, then aged 26, which was published in November 1915 and which was the first book on the genocide); Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford University Press, 2005); Raymond Kévorkian, Le génocide des Arméniens (Paris: Odile Jacob, 2006); Taner Akçam, A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of the Turkish Responsibility (New York: Metropolitan Books, 2006); Vahakn Dadrian, The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus (Providence and Oxford: Berg, 1995); and Yves Ternon, Les Arméniens: histoire d’un génocide (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 1996).

Two studies of the economic mobilisation examine a significant development in 1915: R. J. Q. Adams, Arms and the Wizard: Lloyd George and the Ministry of Munitions, 1915–1916 (London: Cassell, 1978); and L. H. Siegelbaum, The Politics of Industrial Mobilization in Russia, 1914–1917: A Study of the War Industry Committee (London: Macmillan, 1984).

On the scientific and technological mobilisation in 1915, an essential synthesis can be found in Anne Rasmussen, ‘Sciences et techniques: l’escalade’, in Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale, pp. 97–117.

4 1916: Impasse

Robin Prior

For those with French, the appropriate volumes of the official history, Les Armées Françaises dans la Grande Guerre (Paris: Imprimerie nationale, 1922–39) with their massive supplements of documents, are indispensable. For the Germans the Reichsarchiv, Der Weltkreig 1914 bis 1918, vol. x is good on detail, less reliable on interpretation.

It is sad to report that there are few modern studies of Verdun written by the French. The best book is still therefore Alistair Horne, The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 (London: Macmillan, 1963), although its frequent references to so-called parallel events in the Second World War make it somewhat anachronistic. To English readers it is still essential. Ian Ousby, The Road to Verdun (London: Jonathan Cape, 2002) is an attempt to integrate the battle into wider French society. It does not always succeed. Anthony Clayton, Paths of Glory: The French Army 1914–1918 (London: Cassell, 2003) has chapters on Verdun. It is a brave attempt at an overview of the French but must be used with care as some of its very basic facts are wrong. Malcolm Brown, Verdun 1916 (Stroud: Tempus, 1999) is, as might be expected, strong on the experiences of the individual soldier. David Mason, Verdun (Moreton-in-the Marsh: Windrush, 2000) is a useful summary. Its place of publication seems weirdly appropriate. Georges Blond, Verdun (London: Andre Deutsch, 1965) is one of the few French studies of the battle to have been translated. It is well worth study. I found the Michelin Guide, Verdun and the Battles for its Possession (Clermont Ferrand, 1919) useful to grasp the topography of the battlefield.

Pétain, because of later events, has received much attention. Nicholas Atkin, Pétain (London: Longman, 1997) and Richard Griffith, Marshal Pétain (London: Constable, 1970) are balanced accounts. Pétain’s version, Verdun (London: Elkin Mathews & Marrot, 1930) is also more balanced in its appraisal of the battle than might be thought. In French, Guy Pedroncini, Pétain: le soldat et la gloire, 1856–1918 (Paris: Perrin, 1989) is the essential work. Of the other French generals there is virtually nothing in English. Joffre, The Memoirs of Marshal Joffre, 2 vols. (London: Geoffrey Bles, 1932) are as devoid of insight as was Joffre himself in 1916. For another view of the political dimensions of the French war effort see J. C. King, Generals and Politicians: Conflicts between France’s High Command, Parliament and Government (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1951). A more modern study of French strategy is provided in Robert Doughty’s Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2005).

On the German side, Falkenhayn’s General Headquarters 1914–1916 and its Critical Decisions (London: Hutchinson, 1919) must be read with forensic care. Much more reliable is Crown Prince Wilhelm, My War Experiences (London: Hurst & Blackett, 1922). Robert Foley, German Strategy and the Path to Verdun (Cambridge University Press, 2005) is an excellent account of the development of attrition. More generally there is Ian Passingham, All the Kaiser’s Men: The Life and Death of the German Army on the Western Front 1914–1918 (Stroud: Sutton, 2003).

For the Somme, the starting point for English-speaking readers must be Sir John Edmonds, Military Operations: France and Belgium 1916, volume i, and Captain Wilfrid Miles who wrote volume ii. They were published by Macmillan in 1932 and 1938 respectively and are far more critical of Haig’s generalship than might be thought.

There are many studies of the battle. Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson, The Somme (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2005) is one of the most recent. For a different perspective, Gary Sheffield’s The Somme (London: Cassell, 2003) is recommended. Peter Hart’s The Somme (New York: W. W. Norton, 2008) is strong on the personal experiences of the soldiers. A. H. Farrar-Hockley, The Somme (London: Batsford, 1964) is an older study with many insights. Peter Liddle, The 1916 Battle of the Somme: A Reappraisal (London: Leo Cooper, 1992) doesn’t reappraise much of interest. William Philpott, Bloody Victory (London: Little, Brown, 2009) is a useful reminder that the French also took part in the battle. In what sense the Somme can be seen as a British victory is more problematic. Elizabeth Greenhalgh’s chapter on the Somme in her book Victory Through Coalition (Cambridge University Press, 2005) is a more judicious treatment.

There have been (too?) many studies of Haig. The definitive published version of his War Diaries and Letters 1914–1918 is edited by Gary Sheffield and John Bourne (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2005). John Terraine’s Douglas Haig: The Educated Soldier (London: Cassell, 1963) still has merit, although it glosses over Haig’s failings. Denis Winter’s Haig’s Command (London: Viking, 1991) is too full of conspiracy theories to be taken seriously. Duff Cooper’s Haig, 2 vols. (London: Faber & Faber, 1935–6) was useful until editions of Haig’s diaries appeared and demonstrated how selectively Duff Cooper had used them. Sir John Davidson’s Haig: Master of the Field (London: Nevill, 1953) fails to convince. Gary Sheffield’s The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army (London: Aurum Press, 2011) presents a viewpoint different from my own.

A series of battlefield guides to the Somme published by Leo Cooper and written by diverse hands should not be neglected. There are far too many to mention individually here, but they often contain remarkable insights into the terrain and difficulties thrown up by sections of the battlefield.

On the artillery, Jackson Hughes’s tragically unpublished thesis, ‘The Monstrous Anger of the Guns: British Artillery Tactics on the Western Front’ (PhD thesis, University of Adelaide, 1994) should be consulted. The British official history, Martin Farndale, History of the Royal Regiment of Artillery: The Western Front (London: Royal Artillery Institution, 1986) is almost worthless for the Somme. Much better is the unpublished draft history by Brigadier Anstey, languishing in the Artillery Institution Archives in Greenwich. Lawrence Bragg et al., Artillery Survey in the First World War (London: Field Survey Association, 1971) is essential for those trying to come to grips with the technical side of the subject.

The chapters on the Somme in Winston Churchill’s World Crisis (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1923) have been too heavily criticised. Much material was supplied to him by James Edmonds, and his dissection of the casualties of the Somme is as good a study as can be found. I discuss it in Churchill’s ‘World Crisis’ As History (London: Croom Helm, 1983). Lloyd George’s War Memoirs must be read with caution and in conjuction with Andrew Suttie, Rewriting the First World War: Lloyd George, Politics and Strategy (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005).

The memoir literature is too detailed to deal with here. John Bickersteth (ed.), The Bickersteth Diaries (London: Leo Cooper, 1996) is particularly harrowing. Martin Middlebrook, The First Day on the Somme (London: Allen Lane, 1971) is a kind of collective memoir. It enjoys a classic status but almost all of Middlebrook’s military judgements can be called into question.

5 1917: Global war

Michael S. Neiberg

This bibliography avoids general histories that cover the entire war in an effort to focus on the main events of 1917. The following three volumes are dedicated exclusively to the year and have the added advantage of looking at the problem globally: Jean-Jacques Becker, 1917 en Europe: l’année impossible (Brussels: Éditions Complexe, 1997); Ian F. W. Beckett (ed.), 1917: Beyond the Western Front (Leiden: Brill, 2009); and Peter Dennis and Jeffrey Grey (eds.), 1917: Tactics, Training, and Technology (Canberra: Army History Unit Press, 2007).

The American entry and first year of the war for the United States are the subject of a number of books. Grotelueschen is particularly valuable for the military aspects. Kennedy is a classic and Keene is most appropriate for a student audience. These all provide a good introduction to the topic: Justus Doenecke, Nothing Less than War: A New History of America’s Entry into World War I (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2011); Mark Grotelueschen, The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2007); Jennifer D. Keene, World War I: The American Soldier Experience (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2011); David Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980); and David Trask, The AEF and Coalition Warmaking, 1917–1918 (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1993).

There is less scholarly attention to the events of 1917 in Russia than one might suppose. There is even less attention to the events of the Eastern Front in that year. McMeekin offers a recent analysis based on exhaustive primary work in numerous archives. Liulevicius offers a provocative and compelling thesis. All of these are useful: W. Bruce Lincoln, Passage Through Armageddon: The Russians in War and Revolution (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986); Vejas Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity and German Occupation in World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2000); Sean McMeekin, The Russian Origins of the First World War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011); and Allan K. Wildman, The End of the Russian Imperial Army, 2 vols. (Princeton University Press, 1980–7).

Perhaps not surprisingly, there is much more scholarship about events on the Western Front in 1917. There remains considerably more debate about British strategy and the Passchendaele campaign than about most other battles that year. Smith’s book is one of the best on the events of this crucial year. It focuses on one French division as a way of explaining the mutinies that followed the Nivelle offensive. There is still no definitive biography of Nivelle himself. See the following: Martin Kitchen, The Silent Dictatorship: The Politics of the German High Command under Hindenburg and Ludendorff, 1916–1918 (London: Croom Helm, 1976); Guy Pedroncini, Les Mutineries de 1917 (Paris: PUF, 1967); Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson, Passchendaele: The Untold Story (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996); Leonard V. Smith, Between Mutiny and Obedience: The Case of the French Fifth Infantry Division during World War I (Princeton University Press, 1994); Tim Travers, How the War Was Won: Command and Technology in the British Army on the Western Front 1917–1918 (London: Routledge, 1992).

The Italian Front has received increased scholarly attention of late. So, too, has the Middle Eastern front, although much of the discussion there is on the post-war political ramifications of the Balfour Declaration (issued in 1917) and the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916. The former famously promised British support for a Jewish homeland after the war while the latter divided the region into British and French spheres of influence. Studies of the Italian and Ottoman Fronts include: George Cassar, The Forgotten Front: The British Campaign in Italy, 1917–1918 (London: Hambledon, 1998); Edward Erickson, Ottoman Army Effectiveness in World War I: A Comparative Study (London: Routledge, 2007); Elie Kedourie, England and the Middle East: The Destruction of the Ottoman Empire, 1914–1921 (London: Bowes & Bowes, 1956); Mario Morselli, Caporetto 1917: Victory or Defeat? (London: Routledge, 2001); and Jan Karl Tannenbaum, France and the Arab Middle East, 1914–1920 (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1978).

Finally, several historians have turned their attention to the experience of non-British units on the Western Front in this year. For Canada especially, 1917 was a critical year. Australia and New Zealand, although more commonly identified with Gallipoli, in fact suffered more casualties at Passchendaele. See the following for a guide to this part of the war: Tim Cook, Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1917–1918 (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2008); Glyn Harper, Massacre at Passchendaele: The New Zealand Story (Auckland: HarperCollins, 2000); Geoffrey Hayes, Andrew Iarocci and Mike Bechtold (eds.), Vimy Ridge: A Canadian Reassessment (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2007; and the still classic study by Bill Gammage: The Broken Years: Australian Soldiers in the Great War (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1974).

6 1918: Endgame

Christoph Mick

Histories of the Great War include chapters on 1918, but often they are tagged on almost as an afterthought. Many important economic, social and cultural transformations had already begun before 1918 and were not completed by the time the war ended. In November 1918 the war on the Western Front was over but it still continued in large parts of Eastern Europe, and peace treaties with the Central Powers were only signed in 1919. The year 1918 is therefore, in many ways, a year of transition. As many important publications on the war and the immediate post-war period are discussed in other bibliographical essays of this volume, I will – with a few exceptions – be focusing on literature which is specifically dedicated to the year 1918.

The battles of the Marne and the Somme, of Verdun, Ypres and Passchendaele have traditionally attracted greater attention by historians than the German spring offensives or the Allied victories in the summer and autumn of 1918. This has only changed in the last few years. In 1999, an edited volume was published in Germany which gives an excellent overview of the ongoing discussions about the military, political, social, economic and cultural history of the last year of the Great War: Jörg Duppler and Gerhard Paul Gross (eds.), Kriegsende 1918: Ereignis, Wirkung, Nachwirkung (Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1999).

A comprehensive history of 1918 was published by David Stevenson. The book covers all theatres of war and also includes chapters on morale, the home fronts, the war economy and submarine and naval warfare: David Stevenson, With our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 (London: Allen Lane, 2011).

Two excellent studies discuss the military and (Martin Kitchen) political aspects of the German offensives: Martin Kitchen, The German Offensives of 1918 (Stroud: Tempus, 2005); and David T. Zabecki, The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in the Operational Level of War (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006).

The best overview of the events on the Italian Front, which includes seventy pages on the year 1918, is Mark Thompson’s The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915–1919 (London: Basic Books, 2008).

An indispensable work on the domestic situation in Austria-Hungary in 1918, which also covers the situation in Germany, is Holger H. Herwig, The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914–1918 (London: Edward Arnold, 1997).

German historiography after the Second World War has been more interested in the transition from the ‘silent dictatorship’ of Hindenburg and Ludendorff to the democratic Weimar Republic than in the spring offensives and subsequent German defeat. The question whether post-war Germany would have had a better chance of developing into a peaceful and democratic nation if there had been more transformation and less continuity, or whether the opposite is true, is still hotly debated. The leaders of the two social democratic parties in particular have come in for a lot of criticism. Could they have done more to disempower the old elites, to hold them accountable for the defeat and to achieve greater democracy and more social justice? For this discussion see Bruno Thoss, ‘Militärische Entscheidung und politisch-gesellschaftlicher Umbruch: Das Jahr 1918 in der neueren Weltkriegsforschung’, in Duppler and Gross (eds.), Kriegsende 1918, pp. 17–40.

Scott Stephenson analyses the curious fact that the soldiers on the Western Front remained disciplined up to the very end and only rarely participated in soldiers’ councils and the German revolution: Scott Stephenson, The Final Battle: Soldiers of the Western Front and the German Revolution of 1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2009).

The work by Deist still offers the best concise discussion of the reasons for the German military collapse: Wilhelm Deist, ‘The military collapse of the German Empire: the reality behind the stab-in-the-back myth’, War in History, 3 (1996), pp. 186–207.

A comprehensive discussion of the fatal role of the ‘stab-in-the-back’ myth during the Weimar Republic is provided in Boris Barth’s Dolchstoßlegende und politische Desintegration: Das Trauma der deutschen Niederlage im Ersten Weltkrieg 1914–1933 (Düsseldorf: Droste, 2003).

Two new political biographies of leading figures of the Third OHL have been published in recent years. Manfred Nebelin argues that Ludendorff, and not Wilhelm II, was the link between Bismarck and Hitler, stating that Ludendorff’s views were closer to those of Hitler than to Bismarck’s ideas. See Manfred Nebelin, Ludendorff: Diktator im Ersten Weltkrieg (Munich: Siedler, 2011). Wolfram Pyta argues against the view that Hindenburg was just a figurehead: Wolfram Pyta, Hindenburg: Herrschaft zwischen Hohenzollern und Hitler (Munich: Siedler, 2009).

The First World War plays a key role in many national narratives. As the British Expeditionary Force was in itself a supranational army, it should not come as a surprise that historians with different national backgrounds tend to focus on the important contribution of their respective national units for victory. A good overview of such ‘national histories’ of the war is given in the essays of the following edited volume: Ashley Ekins (ed.), 1918 – Year of Victory: The End of the Great War and the Shaping of History (Titirangi, Auckland: Exisle, 2010).

American historians tend to stress the contribution of the American Expeditionary Force while British and French historians often highlight the naivety and inexperience of American officers and soldiers, the organisational deficits and the unnecessarily high casualty rates. A discussion of this is given in Meleah Ward, ‘The cost of inexperience: Americans on the Western Front, 1918’, in Ekins (ed.), 1918 – Year of Victory, pp. 111–43.

The ‘blame game’ which was played during the war between British and French military commanders continues in historiography. Many historians of British military history tend to follow the argument put forward by Sir Douglas Haig that the BEF did not receive sufficient support from the French army during the Michael and Georgette offensives. They often marginalise the French contribution to stopping the German offensives and ignore the fact that it was the French army’s defensive victory in Champagne and the success of the subsequent counter-offensive which helped turn the tide. Historians of French military history depict British generals as incompetent and often panicking. According to their interpretation the BEF had to be bailed out by the French. All historians are agreed that the soldiers themselves were extremely resilient. In 1918, not only soldiers of the BEF, but also French, Italian, German and Austro-Hungarian soldiers kept on fighting and pushing themselves to the limits of their physical and mental endurance.

Different opinions about who contributed most to repulsing the German offensives and the subsequent victories are discussed in (and expressed by) the following essays (all in Ekins (ed.), 1918 – Year of Victory): Robin Prior, ‘Stabbed in the front: the German defeat in 1918’, pp. 27–40; Gary Sheffield, ‘Finest hour? British forces on the Western Front in 1918: an overview’, pp. 41–63 and Elizabeth Greenhalgh, ‘A French victory, 1918’, pp. 95–110. An ongoing debate among historians of British military history is the question of the ‘learning curve’ of the BEF. Did General Headquarters and the generals learn from the failed offensives of 1916 and 1917 or not? Gary Sheffield in particular argues that the failure of the German spring offensive and the following victories is evidence enough that there was a steep ‘learning curve’, and that Haig and Co. were not ‘donkeys’ who led ‘lions’ (the British soldiers) as many critics believed, a view still shared by a considerable part of the British public: Gary Sheffield, Forgotten Victory: The First World War: Myths and Realities (London: Headline, 2001).

The Treaties of Brest-Litovsk and Bucharest do not feature much in histories of the Great War. Monographs on the peace treaties and on German and Austrian occupation policies in the region are usually published by historians of Eastern Europe, not by historians of the Great War.

One exception is David Stevenson, who discusses the political context of the peace treaties and the armistice in chapter 5 of his book: The First World War and International Politics (Oxford University Press, 1988).

The classic study on German war aims in Eastern Europe and the political context of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is given in Winfried Baumgart, Deutsche Ostpolitik 1918: Von Brest-Litowsk bis zum Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges (Vienna and Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1966).

The best book on the German occupation policy and one which also discusses the cultural dimensions and post-war implications of German rule in Eastern Europe (focusing mostly on Lithuania) is Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity and German Occupation in World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2000).

For German policy in and towards Ukraine, see Frank Grelka, Die ukrainische Nationalbewegung unter deutscher Besatzungsherrschaft 1918 und 1941/42 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2005) and Włodzimierz Mędrzecki, Niemiecka interwencja militarna na Ukrainie w 1918 roku (Warsaw: Wydawnictwo, 2000).

7 1919: Aftermath

Bruno Cabanes

The study of the aftermath of the Great War covers three specific fields of research. To begin with, the historians associated with the Historial de la Grande Guerre (the Museum of the Great War) in Péronne, Somme, have studied the war’s traumatic memory and the impact the conflict had on violence in the twentieth century. Secondly, the history of international relations has been significantly revitalised in recent years, as illustrated by Zara Steiner’s standard work, The Lights that Failed: European International History, 1919–1933 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2005). Lastly, transnational history has addressed the global problems of the 1920s – humanitarian crises, refugees, the development of networks of experts and the international recognition of new human rights and new standards. Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Christophe Prochasson (eds.), Sortir de la Grande Guerre (Paris: Tallandier, 2008) offers a ground-breaking overview of the transition from war to peace, with its chapters on each belligerent country in the wake of the war.

On Woodrow Wilson and Wilsonianism, see Arno J. Mayer, Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking: Containment and Counterrevolution at Versailles, 1918–1919 (New York: Knopf, 1967); Thomas J. Knock, To End All Wars: Woodrow Wilson and the Quest for a New World Order (Princeton University Press, 1995); Francis Anthony Boyle, Foundations of World Order: The Legalist Approach to International Relations (1898–1922) (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999); Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2007); Leonard V. Smith, ‘The Wilsonian challenge to international law’, Journal of the History of International Law, 13 (2011), pp. 179–208.

For a study of the workings of the Peace Conference, see Margaret Macmillan, Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (New York: Random House, 2003). For a critical reading of the Treaty of Versailles, see Manfred F. Boemeke et al. (eds.), The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment after 75 Years (Cambridge University Press, 1998). See also Gerd Krumeich (ed.), Versailles 1919: Ziele, Wirkung, Wahrnehmung (Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2001).

On veterans of the Great War, see Stephen R. Ward (ed.), The War Generation: Veterans of the First World War (Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1975); Antoine Prost, Les anciens combattants et la société française, 1914–1939 (Paris: Presses de la Fondation des Sciences Politiques, 1977); and Bruno Cabanes, La victoire endeuillée: la sortie de guerre des soldats français (1918–1920) (Paris: Éditions du Seuil, 2004).

On veterans’ pacifism, see Norman Ingram, The Politics of Dissent: Pacifism in France, 1919–1939 (Oxford University Press, 1991); Sophie Lorrain, Des pacifistes français et allemands pionniers de l’entente franco-allemande, 1871–1925 (Paris: L’Harmattan, 1999); Andrew Webster, ‘The transnational dream: politicians, diplomats and soldiers in the League of Nations’ pursuit of international disarmament, 1920–1938’, Contemporary European History, 14:4 (2005), pp. 493–518; and Jean-Michel Guieu, Le rameau et le glaive: les militants français pour la S.D.N. (Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, 2008).

On disabled veterans, see Robert Weldon Whalen, Bitter Wounds: German Victims of the Great War, 1914–1939 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984); Joanna Bourke, Dismembering the Male: Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War (University of Chicago Press, 1996); Sophie Delaporte, Les gueules cassées: les blessés de la face de la Grande Guerre (Paris: Éditions Noêsis, 1996); David A. Gerber (ed.), Disabled Veterans in History (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2000); Deborah Cohen, The War Come Home: Disabled Veterans in Britain and Germany, 1914–1939 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2001); Jeffrey S. Reznick, ‘Prostheses and propaganda: materiality and the human body in the Great War’, in Nicholas J. Saunders, Matters of Conflict: Material Culture, Memory and the First World War (London and New York: Routledge, 2004), pp. 51–61; Sabine Kienitz, Beschädigte Helden: Kriegsinvalidität und Körperbilder 1914–1923 (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2008); Marina Larsson, Shattered Anzacs: Living with the Scars of War (University of New South Wales Press, 2009); and Beth Linker, War’s Waste: Rehabilitation in World War I America (University of Chicago Press, 2011).

On the memory of the Great War, see Annette Becker, Les monuments aux morts: mémoire de la Grande Guerre (Paris: Errance, 1988); Jay Winter, Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History (Cambridge University Press, 1995); and Daniel J. Sherman, The Construction of Memory in Interwar France (University of Chicago Press, 1999).

On the return to private life and on gender, see Mary Louise Roberts, Civilization Without Sexes: Reconstructing Gender in Postwar France, 1917–1927 (University of Chicago Press, 1994); and Bruno Cabanes and Guillaume Piketty (eds.), Retour à l’intime au sortir de la guerre (Paris: Tallandier, 2009).

On war widows and orphans, see Joy Damousi, The Labour of Loss: Mourning, Memory and Wartime Bereavement in Australia (Cambridge University Press, 1999); Olivier Faron, Les enfants du deuil: Orphelins et pupilles de la nation de la Première Guerre mondiale (Paris: La Découverte, 2001); Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau, Cinq deuils de guerre: 1914–1918 (Paris: Éditions Noêsis, 2001); Virginia Nicholson, Singled Out: How Two Million British Women Survived Without Men After the First World War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008) and Erica A. Kuhlman, Of Little Comfort: War Widows, Fallen Soldiers and the Remaking of the Nation After the Great War (New York University Press, 2012).

On the creation of international organisations, see Susan Pedersen, ‘Back to the League of Nations’, American Historical Review, 112:4 (2007), pp. 1091–117; Sandrine Kott, ‘Une “communauté épistémique” du social? Experts de l’I.L.O. et internationalisation des politiques sociales dans l’entre-deux guerres’, Genèses, 2:71 (2008), pp. 26–46; Gerry Rodgers, Eddy Lee, Lee Swepston and Jasmien Van Daele (eds.), The International Labour Organization and the Quest for Social Justice, 1919–2009 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press and Geneva: International Labour Office, 2009); Jasmien Van Daele et al. (eds.), ILO Histories: Essays on the International Labour Organization and its Impact on the World in the Twentieth Century (Bern: Peter Lang, 2010) and Isabelle Moret-Lespinet and Vincent Viet (eds.), L’Organisation internationale du Travail (Rennes: PUR, 2011).

On human rights in the wake of the Great War, see Barbara Metzger, ‘Towards an international human rights regime during the inter-war years: the League of Nations’ combat of traffic in women and children’, in Kevin Grant et al. (eds.), Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire, and Transnationalism, c. 1880–1950 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), pp. 54–79; Antoine Prost and Jay Winter, René Cassin (Paris: Fayard, 2011); and Bruno Cabanes, The Great War and the Origins of Humanitarianism (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

On the question of minority groups, see Carol Fink, Defending the Rights of Others: The Great Powers, the Jews, and International Minority Protection (Cambridge University Press, 2004); and Tara Zahra, ‘The “minority problem”: national classification in the French and Czechoslovak borderlands’, Contemporary European Review, 17 (2008), pp. 137–65.

On refugees, see Michael Marrus, The Unwanted: European Refugees in the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 1985) and Claudena M. Skran, Refugees in Inter-War Europe: The Emergence of a Regime (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995). See also Philippe Nivet, Les réfugiés français de la Grande Guerre, 1914–1920 (Paris: Economica, 2004); Nick Baron and Peter Gatrell (eds.), Homelands: War, Population, and Statehood in Eastern Europe and Russia, 1918–1924 (London: Anthem Press, 2004); Catherine Gousseff, L’exil russe: la fabrique du réfugié apatride (Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2008); and Annemarie H. Sammartino, The Impossible Border: Germany and the East, 1914–1922 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010).

On refugees in the Near East, the standard work is Dzovinar Kévonian, Réfugiés et diplomatie humanitaire: les acteurs européens et la scène proche-orientale pendant l’entre-deux-guerres (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 2004). See also Keith David Watenpaugh, ‘The League of Nations’ rescue of Armenian genocide survivors and the making of modern humanitarianism, 1920–1927’, American Historical Review, 115:5 (2010), pp. 1315–39.

On the violence of the immediate post-war period, see George Mosse, Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990). For a critical evaluation of Mosse’s book, see Antoine Prost, ‘The impact of war on French and German political cultures’, Historical Journal, 37:1 (1994), pp. 209–17; John Horne (ed.), ‘Démobilisations culturelles après la Grande Guerre’, 14–18: Aujourd’hui–Today–Heute, 5 (Paris: Éditions Noêsis, 2002), pp. 49–53; Peter Gatrell, ‘War after the war: conflicts, 1919–1923’, in John Horne (ed.), A Companion to the First World War (Chichester and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 558–75; and Robert Gerwarth and John Horne, ‘The Great War and paramilitarism in Europe, 1917–23’, Contemporary European History, 19:3 (2010), pp. 267–73.

8 The Western Front

Robin Prior

There is no one book which covers the Western Front as a whole, which given the diverse source material and the size of the archival record, is not surprising. Readers will have to turn to the bibliographies of particular years in this volume or as a point of entry start with some of the general books on the Great War listed here. All contain considerable sections on the Western Front.

General histories which cover the Western Front in some detail, are David Stevenson, Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy (New York: Basic Books, 2004), an excellent modern study, and Hew Strachan, The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War (Oxford University Press, 1998). Strachan’s The First World War, vol. i: To Arms (Oxford University Press, 2001) should be consulted for the early development of the Western Front. When completed this will be a definitive study. S. Tucker’s The Great War 1914–18 (London: UCL, 1998) is a rather neglected good modern overview. The First World War by Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson (London: Cassell, 1999) has many chapters on the Western Front, as does Trevor Wilson’s The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War, 1914–1918 (Cambridge: Polity Press and Oxford: Blackwell, 1986). John Keegan’s The First World War (London: Hutchinson, 1998) is surprisingly hard going. Niall Ferguson, The Pity of War (London: Basic Books, 1998) is in itself a pity. It demonstrates the danger of historians moving into areas about which they know little. So does J. Mosier, The Myth of the Great War: A New Military History of World War I (London: HarperCollins, 2001). It is certainly a new history of something. Whether that something is the Great War is more problematical. Gerard Groot, The First World War (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) adds little. More interesting is A. Millett and W. Murray (eds.), Military Effectiveness, vol. i: The First World War (London: Allen & Unwin, 1988). This contains many shrewd judgements on why some powers fared better than others on the Western Front. Marc Ferro, The Great War 1914–1918 (London: Routledge, 1973) is a treatment of the war from a Marxist perspective. It is rather a historical curiosity now. Other studies are now too old to recommend. Anyone who thinks C. R. M. F. Cruttwell’s A History of the Great War 1914–1918 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1936) has anything to offer has not read it recently. All A. J. P. Taylor’s War By Timetable (London: Macdonald, 1969) proves is what nonsense an eminent historian can get away with. His The First World War: An Illustrated History (London: Penguin, 1966) should be read for the captions on the photographs but for nothing else. A sound illustrated history is J. Winter, The Experience of World War I (London: Macmillan, 1988). B. H. Liddell Hart, History of the First World War (or other various titles) (London, 1932) tries to demonstrate that the Western Front was the last place in which the war should have been fought. The presence there of the German army presents a problem for this thesis. Holger Herwig, The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914–1918 (London: Edward Arnold, 1997) is worth reading for the chapters on the Western Front from the point of view of the Central Powers. John Terraine’s The Western Front, 1914–1918 (London: Hutchinson, 1970) is very biased towards Haig. Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson have dealt with one commander’s experiences between 1914 and 1918 in Command on the Western Front: The Military Career of Sir Henry Rawlinson (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992).

More specialised studies on aspects of the Western Front are Paddy Griffith, Battle Tactics of the Western Front: The British Army’s Art of Attack, 1916–18 (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1994). ‘Art’ might be pitching it a bit high. S. Bidwell and Dominick Graham, Fire-Power: British Army Weapons and Theories of War 1904–45 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1982) should not be neglected for its chapters on the technical side of fighting on the Western Front. John Terraine’s White Heat: The New Warfare (London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1982) has some useful chapters on the Western Front. Guy Hartcup, The War of Invention: Scientific Developments 1914–1918 (London: Brassey’s, 1988) is an interesting but slightly superficial book on an important subject. On one particularly nasty aspect of the war of invention, L. F. Haber, The Poisonous Cloud: Chemical Warfare in the First World War (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1986) is particularly important. Tim Travers, in his The Killing Ground: The British Army, the Western Front, and the Emergence of Modern Warfare (London: Allen & Unwin, 1987), sometimes confuses the historiography of the war with its history. Bruce Gudmundsson, Stormtroop Tactics: Innovation in the German Army 1914–1918 (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1989) fails to explain why such an innovative army lost the war. It is still, however, essential reading on German battle tactics. The same praise and criticism can be directed at Timothy Lupfer, The Dynamics of Doctrine: the Changes in German Tactical Doctrine during the First World War (Fort Leavenworth, KS: Combat Studies Institute, 1981). M Samuels, in his Command or Control? Command, Training, and Tactics in the British and German Armies 1888–1918 (London: Frank Cass & Co., 1995), demonstrates that the German army must have emerged victorious from the Great War. Some Germans believed it at the time but no historians should believe it now. Altogether more important is G. C. Wynne, If Germany Attacks: The Battle in Depth in the West (London: Faber & Faber, 1940). Note the date of publication, which overshadowed the appearance of this important volume. E. D. Brose, The Kaiser’s Army: The Politics of Military Technology in Germany During the Machine Age 1870–1918 (Oxford University Press, 2001) has many useful insights from the German perspective of the Western Front. R. Chickering and S. Förster (eds.), Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front 1914–1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2000) is a useful volume of essays. B. Rawling’s Surviving Trench Warfare: Technology and the Canadian Corps 1914–1918 (University of Toronto Press, 1992) has implications for trench warfare that extend beyond the Canadians. Charles Messenger’s Trench Fighting, 1914–1918 (London: Pan, 1973) is a popular but useful account. It should be studied by anyone wishing to know about the nature of trench warfare. On the logistics of the Western Front, Ian Brown’s British Logistics on the Western Front 1914–1919 (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1992) is a good study of a neglected area. Martin van Creveld has also dealt with some logistical aspects of the Western Front in his Supplying War: Logistics from Wallenstein to Patton (Cambridge University Press, 1977).

9 The Eastern Front

Holger Afflerbach

The most important single book on the Eastern Front is Norman Stone’s The Eastern Front (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1975). Stone has excellent and detailed knowledge and understanding of the events on the German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian sides, and his book is indispensable as a guide to military events on the Eastern Front. He focuses mainly on the shortcomings of Russian generals and of Russian military organisation and administration. Dennis Showalter offers a short and useful overview on the Eastern Front in War in the East and Balkans, 1914–18’, in John Horne (ed.), A Companion to World War I (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 66–81. A very useful collected volume on ‘the forgotten Front’ was edited by Gerhard Gross, Die Vergessene Front: Der Osten 1914/15: Ereignis, Wirkung, Nachwirkung (Paderborn/Munich/Vienna/Zurich: Schöningh, 2006). This work takes a comprehensive approach to events, not limiting its analysis to military developments only, and it is regrettable that it stops in 1915.

The operational history of the Eastern Front fills many substantial volumes. The chapters of the official German history of the war, Der Weltkrieg 1914–1918: die militärischen Operationen zu Lande. Bearbeitet im Reichsarchiv, 14 vols. (Berlin: E. S. Mittler, 1925–44; vols. xiii–xiv new edn, Koblenz, 1956), as well as the relevant parts of Oesterreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg, 1914–1918, 15 vols. (Vienna: Verlag der Militärwissenschaftlichen Mitteilungen, 1931–8), cover the events in much detail. The Reichsarchiv published several volumes on single battles (Schlachten des Weltkriegs in Einzeldarstellungen, for example on Tannenberg or Gorlice). More a collection of sources than memoirs in the normal sense of the word, is Franz Conrad v. Hötzendorf, Aus meiner Dienstzeit 1906–1918, 5 vols. (Vienna: Rikola, 1921–5). Very useful is Manfried Rauchensteiner, Der Tod des Doppeladlers: Österreich-Ungarn und der Erste Weltkrieg (Graz/Vienna/Cologne: Styria Verlag, 1993), covering events on the Austrian fronts, and Holger Herwig, The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914–1918 (London: Edward Arnold, 1997). See also Gary Shanafelt: The Secret Enemy: Austria-Hungary and the German Alliance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985). On Russia, see Allan Wildman, The End of the Russian Imperial Army, 2 vols. (Princeton University Press, 1980–7) and William Fuller, The Foe Within: Fantasies of Treason and the End of Imperial Russia (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2006).

An in-depth modern analysis of the events on the Eastern Front has to offer solutions to the problem of multi-ethnicity and sources in at least ten different languages. That alone makes a comprehensive analysis of the fighting which looks at events from a ‘transnational’ viewpoint very difficult. The role of army and command structures is important and a comparison tempting. For the German side, Holger Afflerbach, Falkenhayn: Politisches Handeln und Denken im Kaiserreich (Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1994), offers a discussion of the strategic questions on the Eastern Front from 1914–16. A full-scale comparison (Gross (ed.), Die Vergessene Front, is a very good start) has to deal with the fighting and the experience of the soldiers, with weaponry and problems of equipment, supply and logistics. Much work is needed before the events in the East will be covered as well as those on the Western Front (see Robin Prior, Chapter 8 in this volume).

The fate of POWs (Alon Rachamimov, POWs and the Great War: Captivity on the Eastern Front (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2002) has recently attracted some attention, and so have the consequences of military advance and retreat, scorched earth politics and plundering of the civilian population. Of particular importance here is Peter Gatrell, A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during World War I (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2005). Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity and German Occupation in World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2000), is a beginning, but deals more with German occupation than with the views of the inhabitants of these ‘war lands’.

The role of public memory and remembrance – ‘a Fussell of the Eastern Front’ – is missing, though a beginning has been made (Karen Petrone, The Great War in Russian Memory (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2011)). Doing this in a multi-national, comparative way would be an extremely challenging task.

10 The Italian Front

Nicola Labanca

In many general histories of the First World War, the military history of the Italian Front has long been neglected. Still, in recent years, some historians have returned to this theme. See, for instance, Hew Strachan (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War (Oxford University Press, 1998); John Keegan, The First World War (New York: A. Knopf-Random House, 1999); Ian F. W. Beckett, The Great War, 1914–1918 (Harlow: Longman, 2001); Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Jean-Jacques Becker (eds.), Encyclopédie de la Grande Guerre, 1914–1918: histoire et culture (Paris: Bayard, 2004); and David Stevenson, Cataclysm: The First World War as Political Tragedy (New York: Basic Books, 2004). But even here, accurate references are often not available or are imprecise.

The Italian side of the story is largely ignored in literature written for the general public too. No serious recent single book on Italian participation in the war is available in a language other than Italian. A notable and recent exception is Mark Thompson’s The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915–1919 (New York: Basic Books, 2009). When an Italian translation of the Encyclopédie de la Grande Guerre by Audoin-Rouzeau and Becker was published (La prima guerra mondiale, ed. Antonio Gibelli (Turin: Einaudi, 2007)), a number of new articles, written by Italian historians, were introduced, presumably for the Italian readership. The Italian story, therefore, remains apart from the general history of the war.

More complex is the question about the nature and range of Austrian publications on the Italian Front. There is much in the fundamental work by the Canadian historian Holger Herwig, The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914–1918 (London: Edward Arnold, 1997), and in the German language, of course, Austrian books are fully available. (Now even in French: see the recent Max Schiavon, L’Autriche-Hongrie dans la Première Guerre mondiale: la fin d’un Empire (Paris: Soteca, 2011)). But even these works do not always help readers to understand the imperial and multi-ethnic complexities of the Austrian Dual Monarchy/Empire. We need to know in more detail the story of Slovenians, Croatians, Serbs and Czechs under and against Austria during the war – something that many recent general histories of the Habsburg Empire do not provide.

All this means that international appreciation of the two wars (Austrian, Italian) fought on the Italian Front still rests on old knowledge, not always revised by recent research. All this said – and denounced – in the last decades important and new studies have become available. The old gap between local–traditional and international–new research is already a thing of the past.

The best place to start for an understanding of the Austrian side is Manfried Rauchensteiner, Der Tod des Doppeladlers: Österreich-Ungarn und der Erste Weltkrieg (Graz: Styria Verlag, 1993); for a starting point on the Italian side, the best is Mario Isnenghi and Giorgio Rochat, La grande guerra 1914–1918 (Florence: La nuova Italia, 2000).

Historiographical debates are on-going. For Austria, see Günther Kronenbitter, ‘Waffenbrüder: Der Koalitionskrieg der Mittelmächte 1914–1918 und das Selbst-bild zweier Militäreliten’, in Volker Dotterweich (ed.), Mythen und Legenden in der Geschichte (Munich: Ernst Vögel, 2004), pp. 157–86; and Hermann J. W. Kuprian, ‘Warfare – Welfare: Gesellschaft, Politik und Militarisierung Österreich während des Ersten Weltkrieges’, in Brigitte Mazohl-Wallnig, Hermann J. W. Kuprian, Gunda Barth-Scalmani (eds.), Ein Krieg, zwei Schützengräben: Österreich-Italien und der Erste Weltkrieg in den Dolomiten 1915–1918 (Bozen: Athesia, 2005). And for Italy see Antonio Gibelli, La grande guerra degli italiani 1915–1918 (Milan: Sansoni, 1998); Giovanna Procacci, ‘La prima guerra mondiale’, in Giuseppe Sabbatucci and Vittorio Vidotto (eds.), Storia d’Italia, vol. iv: Guerre e fascismo (Rome-Bari: Laterza, 1997); and Bruna Bianchi, La follia e la fuga: nevrosi di guerra, diserzione e disobbedienza nell’esercito italiano, 1915–1918 (Rome: Bulzoni, 2001).

A good ‘point of contact’ with on-going studies at the national level may be found in collective, edited books. For Austria see the already quoted Mazohl-Wallnig, Kuprian, Barth-Scalmani (eds.), Ein Krieg, zwei Schützengräben; and Hermann J. W. Kuprian and Oswald Überegger (eds.), Der Erste Weltkrieg in Alpenraum (Innsbruck: Wagner, 2011). For Italy the most recent and impressive collection is Mario Isnenghi and Daniele Ceschin (eds.), La Grande Guerra: dall’Intervento alla ‘vittoria mutilata’ (Turin: Utet, 2008) (being the third volume of a five-volume series edited by Mario Isnenghi on Italiani in guerra: Conflitti, identità, memorie dal Risorgimento ai nostri giorni (Turin: Utet, 2008–10), ranging from the Risorgimento up to today).

The best available literatures, by Rauchensteiner and Isnenghi–Rochat and new research alongside them, have revised and superseded the first narratives and official histories of the war: Österreichischen Bundesministerium für Heereswesen und vom Kriegsarchiv (ed.), Österreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg, 1914–1918 (Vienna: Verlag der Militärwissenschaftlichen Mitteilungen, 1930–8); and Ministero della guerra, Comando del corpo di stato maggiore, Ufficio storico, L’esercito italiano nella grande guerra (1915–1918) (Rome, 1927–88).

Among many topics most researched in the last decades, the debate on the consent/dissent of soldiers has attracted some attention in Austria and in Italy, but probably less than in other countries. This happened for different reasons: in Austria because of the relative advance of studies in the field of ‘new military history’ in the last two decades; in Italy – on the contrary – because the subject had already been deeply studied between the end of the 1960s and the 1970s (actually it was the point of rupture of the new studies on the First World War in respect of the old ‘patriotic’ historiography and tradition), so that nowadays it does not sound so exciting to young scholars. In any case see, for Austria, the most important review article is by Oswald Überegger, ‘Vom militärischen Paradigma zur “Kulturgeschichte des Krieges”? Entwicklungslinien der österreichischen Weltkriegsgeschichtsschreibung zwischen politisch-militärischer Instrumentalisierung und universitärer Verwissenschaftlichung’, in Oswald Überegger (ed.), Zwischen Nation und Region: Weltkriegsforschung im interregionalen Vergleich: Ergebnisse und Perspektiven (Innsbruck: Wagner, 2004), pp. 63–122. Two different approaches to the Italian war may be found in Giovanna Procacci, Soldati e prigionieri italiani nella Grande Guerra, con una raccolta di lettere inedite (Rome: Editori Riuniti, 1993); and Mario Isnenghi, La tragedia necessaria: da Caporetto all’Otto settembre (Bologna: Il Mulino, 1999). An interesting new point of view is in Federico Mazzini, ‘Cose de laltro mondo: una contro-cultura di guerra attraverso la scrittura popolare trentina, 1914–1920’ (PhD thesis, University of Padua, 2009).

Another important topic, not by chance, is about ‘borderlands’, regions that suffered (and changed) borders because of the war. This is the case of Trieste, and even more of the Trentino. A very important chapter of this story is that of inhabitants of the Trentino, who during the war mainly fought on the Austrian side – of course, obliged by Austrian conscription – but were sent by Austria to fronts far away from the Italian one. A vocal minority of ‘irredentisti’ volunteered in the Italian army. Some of the most innovative research comes from this regional approach. In Austria, Innsbruck University (alongside Vienna and Graz) is the central force. In Italy, much of this complex ‘border story’ has been studied by a wonderful network of historians from Rovereto and Trento, first grouped in an extremely interesting review, Materiali di lavoro. They produced a number of interesting publications, and now work in and around a network of historical museums in that region. Somehow in the middle, at Bozen/Bolzano, Süd Tirol/Alto Adige, another very active inter-regional/international network is grouped around the review Geschichte und region/Storia e regione.

11 The Ottoman Front

Robin Prior

Serious readers should start with the Official History of each of the three main campaigns discussed here. These are for Palestine: George McMunn and Cyril Falls, Military Operations: Egypt and Palestine, vol. i: From the Outbreak of War with Germany to June 1917 (London: HMSO, 1928) and Cyril Falls, Military Operations: Egypt and Palestine, vol. ii: From June 1917 to the End of the War (London: HMSO, 1930); for Gallipoli: Cecil Aspinall-Oglander, Military Operations: Gallipoli, 2 vols. (London: Heinemann, 1929–32); and for Mesopotamia: F. J. Moberley, Military Operations: Mesopotamia, 4 vols. (London: HMSO, 1923–7). The Australian official history, Henry S. Gullett, The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1944), though rather romantic on the Light Horse, is more readable than its British equivalents.

More digestible reading on the Palestine campaign can be found in Anthony Bruce, The Last Crusade: The Palestine Campaign in the First World War (London: John Murray, 2002). This is the best modern study of the campaign. General Archibald Wavell, The Palestine Campaign (London: Constable, 1928) is an excellent book and has stood the test of time well. David Woodward, Hell in the Holy Land: World War I in the Middle East (Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2006) tells the story from the viewpoint of the ordinary soldier, but has some shrewd remarks on the strategy and tactics of the campaign. Matthew Hughes’s Allenby and British Strategy in the Middle East 1917–1919 (London: Frank Cass & Co., 1999) is a clear account of the finalities in Palestine. Unfortunately, there is no similar study of Archibald Murray’s strategy and tactics. Alec Hill, Chauvel of the Light Horse (Melbourne University Press, 1978) is one of the best studies of any commander in the Middle East.

On Lawrence of Arabia it is difficult to know where to start. Some authorities regard Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom essential reading and a modern classic. I am not one of them, but there are many editions always in print. A more modern (and moderate) study is Lawrence James, The Golden Warrior: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1990).

It is also difficult to know where to begin on Gallipoli. The author of this chapter has written a study, Gallipoli: The End of the Myth (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2009), which even he thinks will do no such thing. I find C. E. W. Bean’s volumes of the Australian official history virtually unreadable. There is, however, a great deal of information to be gleaned from them. Tim Travers, Gallipoli 1915 (Stroud: Tempus, 2001) is particularly strong on the historiography of the campaign. Alan Moorehead, Gallipoli (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1956) is superbly written but desperately out of date. Robert Rhodes James, Gallipoli (London: Batsford, 1965) was the standard study for many years. It should now be treated with caution for the author’s orientalist views of the Turks, his strange views on the Australians and his ludicrous optimism on the prospects of the campaign. Nigel Steel and Peter Hart, Defeat at Gallipoli (London: Macmillan, 1985) is a fine study of the soldiers during the campaign. Michael Hickey, Gallipoli (London: John Murray, 1995) doesn’t add much. There are no studies of the Gallipoli commanders – Hamilton, Birdwood, Hunter-Weston – that can be recommended. John Lee has written A Soldier’s Life: General Sir Ian Hamilton (London: Macmillan, 2000). Only those interested in the development of military hagiography should read it. George Cassar, The French and the Dardanelles (London: Allen & Unwin, 1971) holds the field in this area, although it is more about politics than military operations. Eric Bush, Gallipoli (London: Allen & Unwin, 1975), written by one who was there, but long after the event, is still worth reading, as is Cecil Malthus, Anzac: A Retrospect (Auckland: Whitcombe & Tombs, 1965). Jenny Macleod, Reconsidering Gallipoli (Manchester University Press, 2004) is a first rate investigation into the ever-growing and increasingly baffling Anzac Myth. On the naval side, Keyes’s memoirs (The Fight for Gallipoli: From the Naval Memoirs of Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Roger Keyes Baron, 1872–1945 (London: Eyre & Spottiswoode, 1941)) are self-serving to the point of desperation and cannot be recommended. Nor can almost anything else about the naval aspect of the operation. Readers can seek out the Report by the Mitchell Committee in AWM 124 in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. It is by far the most analytical study of the naval failure.

On the Turkish side, the Turkish General Staff have rendered into a kind of English, A Brief History of the Canakkale Campaign in the First World War (Ankara, 2004). Edward Erikson is owed a debt of gratitude by anyone trying to come to grips with the Ottoman army. His Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War (Westport, CN: Greenwood Press, 2001), although perhaps too glowing about the fighting power of the Turkish army, is essential. I find him totally unconvincing on the prospects of the naval attack.

On Mesopotamia the point of departure for many years has been A. J. Barker, The Neglected War: Mesopotamia 1914–1918 (London: Faber & Faber, 1967). It must now give way to Charles Townshend, When God Made Hell (London: Faber & Faber, 2010). Its subtitle is too long to be given here, but it is a superb study of the military and political aspects of the campaign. It corrects many myths, especially regarding Townshend (the author is not a relative). The other Charles Townshend should not be neglected. His My Campaign in Mesopotamia (London: Thornton Butterworth, 1922), despite its shrill tone, makes a reasonable case. Ronald Millar, Kut: Death of an Army (London: Secker & Warburg, 1969) is good on the great siege. Russell Braddon’s book on the same subject (The Siege (London: Jonathan Cape, 1969)) retains not a shred of credibility after the dissection it receives by the modern Charles Townshend. There are no modern studies of the careers of the other Mesopotamian generals. Nixon and Maude seem to have fallen into an historiographical crevasse. Wilfred Nunn’s Tigris Gunboats (London: Melrose, 1932) is useful, although the author has no conception of the weirdness of the events described. Alexander Kearsey, A Study of the Strategy and Tactics of the Mesopotamian Campaign 1914–1917 (London: Gale & Polden, 1934), is full of military insight, as is Elie Kedourie, England and the Middle East: The Destruction of the Ottoman Empire, 1914–1921 (London: Bowes & Bowes, 1956). Its conclusions should be read in the light of my conclusions in this chapter. Peter Sluglett, Britain in Iraq: Contriving King and Country, 1914–1932, 2nd edn (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007) puts the whole political scene in perspective. Also good on the politics of the campaign is Paul Davis, Ends and Means: The British Mesopotamian Campaign and Commission (London and Toronto: Associated University Presses, 1994).

12 The war at sea

Paul Kennedy

One begins, as usual, with the official histories and then next, in deference, with the memoir literature of the leading participants in what was called ‘the Great War at Sea’. By comparison with the magnificent, scholarly and vibrant official histories of the Second World War, these ones make for poor, apologetic and dull reading. The plain reason is this: that the official histories of the loser navies have little to say except that they did their best under impossible circumstances; while those of the winners seek to explain why their demonstration of naval mastery was nonetheless far less than expected and desired. For the lesser naval powers, this was not such a psychological problem, for what could the official historians of Austria-Hungary and Italy do but point to their country’s geopolitical constraints, and then agreeably turn to a detailed discussion of minor operations in the Adriatic? (Hans Sokol’s Oesterreich-Ungarns Seekrieg (Zurich: Amalthea-Verlag, 1933) is a nice exception.) Almost the same dilemma presented itself to the French historians: the Royal Navy held the North Sea and Channel, the Mediterranean was friendly waters and the great French struggle was on land. The US navy wished to present its naval contribution as epic, and a stepping-stone to greater things, but a battleship squadron at Scapa Flow and tentative beginnings at anti-U-boat warfare were really not so thrilling.

It was only in Britain and Germany that post-mortems on the war at sea provoked interest and great controversy, because in each country so much was at stake. In Germany the issue was not so much about whether the High Seas Fleet had done well – it had performed very competently under bad geopolitical and numerical circumstances. It was, rather, whether the overall Tirpitzian strategy of a ‘Fleet Against England’ had made any sense at all or whether, the next time around, the Fatherland should break out via Norway, as it was to do in 1940. The German official naval history prefers not to discuss that matter. In Britain, and for reasons described in the main chapter text, the debate was much more existential, which meant that as fine a historian and strategic thinker as Sir Julian Corbett could make no impact through the History of the Great War: Naval Operations, vols. i and ii (London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1921), when the Admiralty insisted that it was to be their official account and analysis of things, not his – Beatty’s interference here is inexcusable. The end result is thousands of pages, and lots of sketches of, say, the Fifth Battle Squadron turning to the left in the Jutland mists.

The memoir literature is even worse; at least the official histories give many incontestable facts. One looks in vain for an equivalent to Grant’s Memoirs of the American Civil War, or to General William Slim’s Defeat into Victory (on the 1942–5 Burma Campaign), perhaps the best war memoir ever. No matter whose autobiographies one reads – Scheer’s, Hipper’s, Sims’s, Jellicoe’s, Beatty’s, Bacon’s and so on – together with those of their dutiful interwar biographers, the critical general reader is dulled by their incapacity to step outside their own shoes and be brutally objective. One approaches Filson Young’s With Beatty in the North Sea (London: Cassell, 1921) with the same dull feeling as one approaches the dentist. Vice-Admiral Dewar’s The Navy from Within (London: Victor Gollancz, 1939) is like a fresh breeze by comparison. Perhaps we should not expect that much; autobiographies of Second World War air force generals have much the same mind-numbing effect.

There is one bright light here. It is the various volumes of the extraordinary and precious editions of The Navy Record Society (London, annually, since 1893). There is nothing like this set of unadulterated and reprinted original documents in the world, with at least a dozen edited volumes that pertain to the naval dimensions of the First World War – central command, regional operations, intelligence, Anglo-American naval relations, the private papers of Fisher, Jellicoe, Beatty and Keyes. But they are what they are: raw, wonderful documents. They need their interpreters.

Even the most navy-focused historians would agree that the older, generalist, ‘Blue Water’ writers – one thinks here of Richard Hough’s The Great War at Sea, 1914–1918 (Oxford University Press, 1983) and Geoffrey Bennett’s Naval Battles of The First World War (London: Batsford, 1968) – are hopeless. There is not a critical bone in their bodies. All of them are happiest when discussing naval actions, few though they were. All of them conclude by stating that, at the end of the day (sic), sea-power was decisive. The evidence provided is limp.

Mahan told us, the navalists assert, that sea power was all-important. The war came after Germany invaded Belgium in August 1914. Sea power was applied. Ergo, it was decisive, because Germany finally lost. Battleship actions were hard to find between 1914 and 1918 but, still, the economic blockade prevailed. That’s all one needed to know. Even military historians, as in Basil Liddell Hart’s The Real War: 1914–1918 (London: Faber & Faber, 1930), buy into that. Those far-off, distant ships ground the enemy into shreds. Obviously, the present author is deeply sceptical of this presumption.

The best single-volume history of the war at sea is Paul Halpern’s wonderful A Naval History of World War I (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994). This scholar’s coverage of all the belligerent navies – of Austria-Hungary, the British Empire, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia and the United States – and his terrific bibliography are a godsend to scholars, and supplant hundreds of earlier works. Here is the forest as a whole, not the individual trees or branches. And the maps are great. But it ends, abruptly, with the surrender of the High Seas Fleet to the Allied navies in the Firth of Forth on 21 November 1918. ‘The naval war was over’, Halpern concludes (p. 449). There are no reflections, no summation, no attempt to draw up a balance-sheet from someone who is undoubtedly the most knowledgeable naval historian of the First World War.

There are finely grained studies of naval expenditures, technology, global strategy, logistics and all those vital, hitherto-neglected fields, but it seems to this critic that the deeper these superb scholars (I include Nicholas Lambert, Jon Sumida, James Goldrick, Barry Gough and Greg Kennedy in this pantheon) dig into the archives, the less chance they have of looking at the naval war as a whole, and of seeing it in the overall context of the First World War, let alone the whole sweep of Western military–technological history since the coming of the steam engine, the railway and the aeroplane. Even the magnificent five-volume history by my former mentor, Arthur J. Marder, From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow (Oxford University Press, 1961–70, 1978), shows how a very fine historian can become a prisoner of the Admiralty archives.

One single recent work stands out in breaking the mould, and that is Andrew Gordon’s The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command (London: John Murray, 1996), because it enters into the mental universe of those naval leaders who found 1914–18 naval warfare so difficult to understand. Yet it is an exception. One wonders why this branch of history has become so sterile and inward-looking over the past decades, and why we seem to have lost track of the broader principles clearly delineated in such works as Admiral Sir Herbert Richmond’s Statesmen And Sea Power (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1946), which itself reaches back to the great Julian S. Corbett’s Some Principles of Maritime Strategy (London: Longmans, 1911). Sea power is best understood not as exciting battlefleet exchanges or arcane fire-control techniques, but as control of the Great Commons. Apart from the frightening German U-boat actions against Allied shipping in 1917, soon to be countered by convoys, this was not a problem, at least, nothing like as scary as the years from 1941 to 1943. And the short-ranged High Seas Fleet was never a problem after Jutland.

The best brief analysis of what still needs to be done is by the fine Australian scholar, James Goldrick, in ‘The need for a New Naval History of the First World War’, Corbett Paper No.7 (Corbett Centre for Maritime Studies, Kings College London, 2011), but even he does not appreciate the cruel fact that the First World War was not a good war for the influence of sea power upon history. He suggests instead more research on naval logistics, manpower, communications . . . But what doth that availeth if young historians come out with a deep study (say, on naval mines) and can’t answer the basic questions: ‘So what?’ How does maritime history affect the great subject of History itself? Only last year (2012) did Nicolas A. Lambert’s book Planning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012) rise above this tunnel vision.

This author ‘had a crack’ at this issue almost forty years ago, in The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery (London and New York: Allen Lane, 1976). There is, alas, little that has been published since that time which addresses the big problem of sea power’s relative impotence in this terrible, world-shattering war. J. H. Hexter once divided historians into ‘splitters’ and ‘lumpers’. So far, the historiography of the war at sea between 1914 and 1918 definitely belongs to the splitters. It is time for some lumping.

13 The air war

John H. Morrow, Jr.

The best overarching works on the air war of 1914–18 are John H. Morrow Jr.,’s exhaustive volume, The Great War in the Air: Military Aviation from 1909 to 1921 (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2009 [reprint of the original edition published by the Smithsonian Institution Press in 1993]) and Lee Kennett’s shorter and more anecdotal study, The First Air War, 1914–1918 (New York: Free Press, 1991).

French military aviation, despite its signal importance in the First World War, has not received the attention it merits. The most important work on the subject remains the relevant chapters in the official volume by Charles Christienne et al., Histoire de l’aviation militaire française (Paris: Charles Lavauzelle, 1980), which the Smithsonian Institution Press published in English under the title A History of French Military Aviation in 1986.

German military aviation receives due attention in John Morrow’s consecutive works, Building German Air Power, 1909–1914 (Knoxville, TN: University of Tennessee Press, 1976) and German Air Power in World War I (Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1982). Douglas H. Robinson’s book, The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division, 1912–1918 (London: Foulis, 1962) traces the dramatic and ill-fated history of the German naval airship campaign against England.

The history of British air power in the First World War has received the most attention in the literature in English, starting with the only official history to see the light of day after the war, Sir Walter Raleigh’s and H. A. Jones’s six-volume work, The War in the Air (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1922–37). More recent popular and informative studies include Denis Winter’s illuminating book, The First of the Few: Fighter Pilots of the First World War (London: Penguin, 1982) and Peter H. Liddle’s anecdotal work, The Airman’s War 1914–18 (Poole, Dorset: Blandford, 1987). For a fine study of wartime air policy, the reader should see Malcolm Cooper’s work, The Birth of Independent Air Power: British Air Policy in the First World War (London: Allen & Unwin, 1986). For a study of early Italian aviation, see Piero Vergnano’s book, Origins of Aviation in Italy, 1783–1918 (Genoa: Intyprint, 1964).

Richard P. Hallion’s book, Rise of the Fighter Aircraft, 1914–1918 (Annapolis, MD: Nautical & Aviation Publishing Co., 1984), offers a fine study of fighter, or pursuit aviation. Authors have devoted much attention to the warplanes of 1914–18 but little to the important history of the engines that are the heart of those aircraft: see the relevant chapters of Herschel Smith’s A History of Aircraft Piston Engines (Manhattan, KS: Sunflower University Press, 1986 [1981]). Curators of the National Air and Space Museum published the following outstanding volume on the air war based on the Museum’s outstanding exhibit on the First World War: Dominick A. Pisano, Thomas J. Dietz, Joanne M. Gernstein and Karl S. Schneide, Legend, Memory, and the Great War in the Air (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992).

Some of the books written by and about the fighter pilots of 1914–18 have become classics: Cecil Lewis’s autobiographical study, Sagittarius Rising (Barnsley: Frontline Books, 2009 [1936]); V. M. Yeates’s novel based on his wartime experience, Winged Victory (London: Buchan & Wright, 1985 [1936]); Edward Mannock’s diary, Edward Mannock: The Personal Diary of Maj. Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock, introduced and edited by Frederick Oughton (London: Spearman, 1966); Manfred von Richthofen’s memoir, The Red Fighter Pilot (St Petersburg, FL: Red & Black, 2007 [1918]); James T. B. McCudden’s memoir, Flying Fury (London: John Hamilton, 1930 [1918]); Eddie V. Rickenbacker’s Fighting the Flying Circus (New York: Doubleday, 1965 [1919]); and John M. Grider’s War Birds: Diary of an Unknown Aviator, ed. Elliot White Springs (Garden City, NY: Sun Dial Press, 1938). Adrian Smith has written perhaps the sole analytical study of these legendary aces in his book, Mick Mannock, Fighter Pilot: Myth, Life, and Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001).

Two more recent studies of First World War aviation are Peter Hart’s books, Bloody April: Slaughter in the Skies over Arras, 1917 (London: Cassell, 2007) and Aces Falling: War above the Trenches, 1918 (London: Phoenix, 2009). Such books demonstrate the continuing power of First World War aviation to fire the imagination of another generation of readers.

14 Strategic command

Gary Sheffield and Stephen Badsey

Command remains an under-studied aspect of military history. In part, this is because of problems of definition. Leadership and command are related but not identical concepts. A seemingly promising title, John Keegan, The Mask of Command (New York: Viking, 1987) actually deals mainly with leadership. Martin van Creveld, Command in War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985) is one of the few books to deal specifically with command. It retains its value, although it is showing its age; in particular, van Creveld’s chapter on the British army on the Somme needs to be read in conjunction with more recent work on the subject. See also G. D. Sheffield (ed.), Leadership and Command: The Anglo-American Military Experience since 1861 (London: Brassey’s, 2002 [1997]).

Work on strategic command in the First World War is similarly patchy. Three collections of essays, Peter Paret et al. (eds.), Makers of Modern Strategy from Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age (Princeton University Press, 1986); Williamson Murray, MacGregor Knox and Alvin Bernstein (eds.), The Making of Strategy: Rulers, States and War (Cambridge University Press, 1994); and especially Roger Chickering and Stig Förster (eds.), Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front 1914–18 (Cambridge University Press, 2000) contain material of relevance. Richard F. Hamilton and Holger H. Herwig (eds.), War Planning 1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2010) is also very useful. Alliance command issues for either side are presently under-researched, but a good starting place for the Anglo-French alliance is Elizabeth Greenhalgh, Victory Through Coalition: Britain and France during the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2005). For the war at sea, see Paul G. Halpern, A Naval History of World War I (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1994) and Andrew Gordon, The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command (London: John Murray, 1996).

Some major figures in the Central Powers command hierarchy have been well served by historians: see Lawrence Sondhaus, Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf: Architect of the Apocalypse (Boston, MA: Humanities Press, 2000); and Annika Mombauer, Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2000). Holger Afflerbach’s biography, Falkenhayn (Munich: R. Oldenbourg Verlag, 1996) has yet to be translated into English. This should be read in conjunction with Robert T. Foley’s important book, German Strategy and the Path to Verdun (Cambridge, 2005), which takes issue with some of Afflerbach’s findings.

British grand strategy and military strategy are well dealt with in two books by David French: British Strategy and War Aims 1914–16 (London: Allen & Unwin, 1986) and The Strategy of the Lloyd George Coalition 1916–1918 (Oxford University Press, 1998). Those interested in key British strategic commanders may consult a number of useful books, including George H. Cassar, Kitchener’s War: British Strategy from 1914–16 (Dulles, VA: Brassey’s, 2004); Richard Holmes, The Little Field Marshal: A Life of Sir John French (London: Cassell, 2005 [1981]); David R. Woodward, Field Marshal Sir William Robertson: Chief of the Imperial General Staff in the Great War (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998). Douglas Haig remains intensely controversial. For two very different views, see J. P. Harris, Douglas Haig and the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and Gary Sheffield, The Chief: Douglas Haig and the British Army (London: Aurum Press, 2011).

For Italy, there is some background material in John Whittam, The Politics of the Italian Army (London: Croom Helm, 1977) which deals with the pre-1915 period. Mark Thompson, The White War (London: Faber & Faber, 2008) is an excellent recent survey of Italy’s war that contains much relevant material. The US commander John J. Pershing can be approached through Donald Smythe, Pershing: General of the Armies (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2007 [1986]). French commanders are much better served: see Robert A. Doughty, Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2005) and Elizabeth Greenhalgh, Foch in Command (Cambridge University Press, 2011). Guy Pedroncini has written extensively on Pétain, e.g., Pétain: le soldat et la gloire, 1856–1918 (Paris: Perrin, 1989). Edward J. Erickson’s work, which draws on Ottoman material and modern Turkish studies, has transformed Western knowledge of the Ottoman army. Although not primarily concerned with the strategic level, his Ottoman Military Effectiveness in World War I: A Comparative Study (London: Routledge, 2007) contains much of interest.

Of the vast number of operational studies, only a handful can be mentioned. These include David T. Zabecki, The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in the Operational Level of War (Abingdon: Routledge, 2006); Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson, Command on the Western Front: The Military Career of Sir Henry Rawlinson, 1914–18 (Oxford: Blackwell, 1992); Graydon A. Tunstall, Blood on the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915 (Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2010); Holger H. Herwig, The Marne 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle that Changed the World (New York: Random House, 2009); Richard DiNardo, Breakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign, 1915 (Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2010); and Dennis E. Showalter, Tannenberg: Clash of Empires, 1914 (Washington, DC: Brassey’s, 2004 [1991]).

15 The imperial framework

John H. Morrow, Jr.

Two general studies of the First World War that take a global or imperial approach are John H. Morrow, Jr.’s The Great War: An Imperial History (London and New York: Routledge, 2004) and Hew Strachan’s study, The First World War (London: Penguin, 2005). Avner Offer’s The First World War: An Agrarian Interpretation (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989) offers penetrating insights into the global nature of the war from an agrarian perspective.

For an understanding of the origins of the war within the context of imperialism, John A. Hobson’s classic, Imperialism (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1965 [1902]) remains an indispensable starting point. On a related topic, D. P. Crook’s book, Darwinism, War and History: The Debate over the Biology of War from the ‘Origins of Species’ to the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 1994), focuses on the contribution of Darwinism to the bellicose and imperialist atmosphere leading to war. An insightful work on the stress that empire imposed on Great Britain is Aaron L. Friedberg’s The Weary Titan: Britain and the Experience of Relative Decline, 1895–1905 (Princeton University Press, 1986). Pre-war British plans to wreck the German economy employing Britain’s unique global power are the subject of Nicholas A. Lambert’s tome, Planning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012). Sean McMeekin’s invaluable study, The Russian Origins of the First World War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011), exemplifies how an imperial perspective prevents simplistic attempts to blame a single power for the First World War. The role of the policies of the Ottoman Empire in the war’s origins has received thorough attention only in Mustafa Aksakal’s monograph, The Ottoman Road to War: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Some of the best works on imperialism concern France, which, alongside Britain, brought its colonial subjects to Europe to fight and work. Richard S. Fogarty’s book, Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914–1918 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), is the latest and most comprehensive of works that include From Adversaries to Comrades in Arms: West Africans and the French Military, 1885–1918 (Waltham, MA: African Studies Association, 1979) by Charles J. Balesi, Memoirs of the Maelstrom: A Senegalese Oral History of the First World War (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999) by Joe Lunn and Tyler Stovall’s path-breaking article on race in wartime France, ‘The color line behind the lines: racial violence in France during the Great War’, American Historical Review, 103:3 (1998), pp. 737–69. Guoqi Xu’s fascinating book, Strangers on the Western Front: Chinese Workers in the Great War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011) sheds light on a hitherto ignored group of workers in France.

In regard to Britain and India, the former’s most significant imperial possession, see Philippa Levine’s article on race and gender in Britain, ‘Battle colors: race, sex, and colonial soldiery in World War I’, Journal of Women’s History, 9:4 (1998), pp. 104–30; David Omissi’s informative and moving edited collection of the letters of Indian soldiers, Indian Voices of the Great War: Soldiers’ Letters, 1914–1918 (London: Macmillan, 1999); and Richard J. Popplewell’s book on British intelligence operations in and about India, Intelligence and Imperial Defense: British Intelligence and the Defense of the Indian Empire, 1904–1924 (London: Frank Cass & Co., 1995).

On the war in Africa, see the general studies, The Great War in Africa, 1914–1918 (New York: W. W. Norton, 1986) by Byron Farwell, and Melvin Page (ed.), Africa and the First World War (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1987). The revelatory monograph by Mahir Saul and Patrick Royer, West African Challenge to Empire: Culture and History in the Volta-Bani Anticolonial War (Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2001), examines a significant rising against the French in West Africa. Melvin Page’s book, The Chiwaya War: Malawians and the First World War (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000) and James J. Mathews’s article, ‘World War I and the rise of African nationalism: Nigerian veterans as catalysts of political change’, Journal of Modern African Studies, 20:3 (1982), pp. 493–502, shed light on developments in British colonial Africa.

For readers interested in the military history of difficult British campaigns against the Ottomans, see Charles Townsend, Desert Hell: The British Invasion of Mesopotamia (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011) and Peter Hart, Gallipoli (Oxford University Press, 2011). On the all-important topics of the Ottoman Empire and the Middle East, see Michael A. Reynold’s book, Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908–1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and David Fromkin’s readable study, A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East (New York: Henry Holt, 1989). Finally, the unique horror and harbinger of an even more monstrous Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, receives due attention in two recent books: Raymond Kévorkian, The Armenian Genocide: A Complete History (London: I. B. Tauris, 2011); and Tamer Akçam, The Young Turks’ Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire (Princeton University Press, 2012).

16 Africa

Bill Nasson

The volume of writing about Africa and 1914–18 still remains comparatively modest. Addressing the impact of the war on the entire continent entails paying attention to a literature on weighty general themes of empire and colonialism, and taking account of a wide spectrum of military, political, social, economic, religious, cultural and ethnic and racial dynamics. For here the war was both an external European imposition and a conflict shaped by the impulses of varied African societies.

At an introductory world war level, although many histories of 1914–18 either ignore Africa or barely touch it, a few of the more recent which seek to place the continent in a wider picture are Jay Winter and Blaine Baggett, The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century (London: BBC Books, 1996); John H. Morrow, Jr., The Great War: An Imperial History (New York: Routledge, 2005); Michael S. Neiberg, Fighting the Great War: A Global History (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006); and William Kelleher Storey, The First World War: A Concise Global History (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009).

For Africa overviews, see the special ‘World War I and Africa’ issue of the Journal of African History, 19:1 (1978); Michael Crowder, ‘The First World War and its consequences’, in A. Adu Boahen (ed.), Africa under Colonial Domination, 1880–1935, UNESCO General History of Africa, vol. vii (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985), pp. 283–311; M. E. Page (ed.), Africa and the First World War (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1987); David Killingray, ‘The war in Africa’, in Hew Strachan (ed.), The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War (Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 191–212; and Hew Strachan, The First World War in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2004).

On West Africa, see Michael Crowder and Jide Osuntokun, ‘The First World War and West Africa, 1914–1918’, in J. F. Ade Ajayi and Michael Crowder (eds.), History of West Africa, 2 vols. (London: Longman, 1974), vol. ii, pp. 484–513. On the British colonial side, there is Akinjide Osuntokun, Nigeria in the First World War (Harlow: Longman Ibadan History Series, 1979). For French colonies, there are excellent studies of soldiering experience in Marc Michel, L’appel a l’Afrique: contributions et réactions a l’effort de guerre en A.O.F. (1914–1919) (Paris: Publications de la Sorbonne, 1982); Myron Echenberg, Colonial Conscripts: The Tirailleurs Senegalais in French West Africa, 1857–1960 (Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1991); and Joe Lunn, Memoirs of the Maelstrom: A Senegalese Oral History of the First World War (Oxford: James Currey, 1999).

On East and Central Africa there are both appraisals and more specialised local and thematic studies. A first-rate guide is Bruce Vandervort’s historiographically assured ‘New light on the East African theater of the Great War: a review essay of English-language sources’, in Stephen M. Miller (ed.), Soldiers and Settlers in Africa, 1850–1918 (Amsterdam: Brill, 2009), pp. 287–305. For military campaigning and the totality of the war’s effects, see Melvyn E. Page, The Chiwaya War: Malawians and the First World War (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2000); Edward Paice, Tip & Run: The Untold Story of the Great War in Africa (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2007); R. Anderson, The Forgotten Front: The East African Campaign, 1914–1918 (Stroud: Tempus, 2004); and Anne Samson, Britain, South Africa and the East African Campaign, 1914–1918 (London: Frank Cass & Co., 2006). A perceptive recent depiction of Africans under German command is Michelle Moyd, ‘“We don’t want to die for nothing”: askari at war in German East Africa, 1914–1918’, in Santanu Das (ed.), Race, Empire and First World War Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2011), pp. 53–76.

Modern specialist literature on North Africa is notably sparse, and for insights readers should consult histories of the region as well as of affected countries, such as Dirk Vanderwalle, A History of Modern Libya (Cambridge University Press, 2006); and Robert O. Collins, A History of Modern Sudan (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

On southern Africa, see Simon E. Katzenellenbogen, ‘Southern Africa and the war of 1914–18’, in M. R. D. Foot (ed.), War and Society (London: Longman, 1973), pp. 161–88; N. G. Garson, ‘South Africa and World War I’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 8:1 (1979), pp. 92–116; Albert Grundlingh, Fighting Their Own War: South African Blacks and the First World War (Johannesburg: Ravan, 1987); and Bill Nasson, Springboks on the Somme: South Africa in the Great War, 1914–1918 (Johannesburg: Penguin, 2007).

On war-related rebellions and uprisings, see George Shepperson and Thomas Price, Independent African: John Chilembwe and the Nyasaland Native Uprising of 1915 (Edinburgh University Press, 1967); Sandra Swart, ‘“A Boer and his gun and his wife are three things always together”: republican masculinity and the 1914 rebellion’, Journal of Southern African Studies, 24:2 (1998), pp. 116–38.

17 The Ottoman Empire

Mustafa Aksakal

For the pre-war international context, see Nazan Çiçek, Turkish Critics of the Eastern Question in the Late Nineteenth Century (London: I. B. Tauris, 2010); Michael A. Reynolds, Shattering Empires: The Clash and Collapse of the Ottoman and Russian Empires, 1908–1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2011); and Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford University Press, 2005).

On social conditions, see Yiğit Akın, ‘The Ottoman Home Front during World War I: Everyday Politics, Society, and Culture’ (unpublished PhD thesis, Ohio State University, 2011); Melanie Tanielian, ‘The War of Famine: Everyday Life in Wartime Beirut and Mount Lebanon (1914–1918)’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 2012); Part I in Elizabeth Thompson, Colonial Citizens: Republican Rights, Paternal Privilege and Gender in French Syria and Lebanon (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000); and Yavuz Selim Karakışla, Women, War and Work in the Ottoman Empire: Society for the Employment of Ottoman Muslim Women, 1916–1923 (Istanbul: Ottoman Bank Archive and Research Centre, 2005).

On conscription and the lives of soldiers, see Mehmet Beşikçi, The Ottoman Mobilization of Manpower in the First World War: Between Voluntarism and Resistance (Leiden: Brill, 2012); Yücel Yanıkdağ, ‘Educating the peasants: the Ottoman army and enlisted men in uniform’, Middle Eastern Studies, 40:6 (2004), pp. 91–107, and his Healing the Nation: Prisoners of War, Medicine and Nationalism in Turkey, 1914–1939 (Edinburgh University Press, 2013). On disease, see Hikmet Özedmir, The Ottoman Army, 1914–1918: Disease and Death on the Battlefield, trans. Saban Kardaş (Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 2008). For operational history, see Edward J. Erickson, Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001) and his Gallipoli: The Ottoman Campaign, 1915–1916 (Barnsley: Pen & Sword, 2010).

For the Committee of Union and Progress – the party in power – see M. Şükrü Hanioğlu, Preparation for a Revolution: The Young Turks, 1902–1908 (Oxford University Press, 2001); Nader Sohrabi, Revolution and Constitutionalism in the Ottoman Empire and Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2011); M. Naim Turfan, Rise of the Young Turks: Politics, the Military and Ottoman Collapse (London: I. B. Tauris, 2000); and Erik J. Zürcher, The Young Turk Legacy and Nation-Building: From the Ottoman Empire to Atatürk’s Turkey (London: I. B. Tauris, 2010). On economic conditions and war financing, see Zafer Toprak, İttihad-Terakki ve Cihan Harbi: Savaş Ekonomisi ve Türkiye’de Devletçilik, 1914–1918 (Istanbul: Homer Kitabevi, 2003).

On intervention, see Handan Nezir Akmeşe, The Birth of Modern Turkey: The Ottoman Military and the March to World War I (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005); F. A. K. Yasamee, ‘The Ottoman Empire’, in Keith Wilson (ed.), Decisions for War, 1914 (Abingdon: Routledge, 1995); and Mustafa Aksakal, The Ottoman Road to War in 1914: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

On local and regional politics, imperial citizenship and nationalism, see Hasan Kayalı, Arabs and Young Turks: Ottomanism, Arabism, and Islamism in the Ottoman Empire, 1908–1918 (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1997); Abigail Jacobson, From Empire to Empire: Jerusalem Between Ottoman and British Rule (Syracuse University Press, 2011); Michelle U. Campos, Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2011); Janet Klein, The Margins of Empire: Kurdish Militias in the Ottoman Tribal Zone (Stanford University Press); and Kamal Madhar Ahmad, Kurdistan during the First World War, trans. Ali Maher İbrahim (London: Saqi Books, 1994).

On ethnic violence, deportations and Armenians, see Ryan Gingeras, Sorrowful Shores: Violence, Ethnicity, and the End of the Ottoman Empire, 1912–1923 (Oxford University Press, 2009); Uğur Ümit Üngör, The Making of Modern Turkey: Nation and State in Eastern Anatolia, 1913–1950 (Oxford University Press, 2011); and Ronald Grigor Suny, Fatma Müge Göçek and Norman M. Naimark (eds.), A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire (Oxford University Press, 2011). On statistics, see Fuat Dündar, Crime of Numbers: The Role of Statistics in the Armenian Question (1878–1918) (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2010).

On the press and propaganda, see Thomas Philipp, ‘Perceptions of the First World War in the contemporary Arab press’, in Itzchak Weisman and Fruma Zachs (eds.), Ottoman Reform and Muslim Regeneration (London: I. B. Tauris, 2005); Gottfried Hagen, Die Türkei im Ersten Weltkrieg: Flugblätter und Flugschriften in arabischer, persischer und osmanisch-türkischer Sprache aus einer Sammlung der Universitätsbibliothek Heidelberg (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 1990); and Erol Köroğlu, Ottoman Propaganda and Turkish Identity: Literature in Turkey during World War I (London: I. B. Tauris, 2007).

For first-hand accounts, see Salim Tamari, Year of the Locust: A Soldier’s Diary and the Erasure of Palestine’s Ottoman Past (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2011); Ian Lyster (ed.), Among the Ottomans: Diaries from Turkey in World War I (London: I. B. Tauris, 2011); and Hanna Mina, Fragments of Memory: A Story of a Syrian Family, trans. Olive Kenny and Lorne Kenny (Northampton: Interlink Books, 2004 [1975]).

On memory and continued effects, see Olaf Farschid, Manfred Kropp and Stephan Dähne (eds.), The First World War as Remembered in the Countries of the Eastern Mediterranean (Würzburg: Ergon Verlag and Orient-Institut Beirut, 2006); Fatma Müge Göçek, The Transformation of Turkey: Redefining State and Society from the Ottoman Empire to the Modern Era (London: I. B. Tauris, 2011); and Michael Provence, ‘Ottoman modernity, colonialism, and insurgency in the Arab Middle East’, International Journal of Middle East Studies, 43 (2011), pp. 205–25.

18 Asia

Guoqi Xu

The field of Asia and the Great War is largely a virgin land, and we still do not have a rigorous treatment of this topic from a comparative perspective. What we do have are uneven studies of the topic related to individual Asian nations.

On China, Guoqi Xu’s China and the Great War: China’s Pursuit of a New National Identity and Internationalization (Cambridge University Press, 2005 [2011]) provides a general history of China and the war from an international history perspective. Guoqi Xu’s Strangers on the Western Front: Chinese Workers in the Great War (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011) studies the long-ignored but important journey of 140,000 Chinese workers from their homes in Asia to the Western Front during the Great War, and the roles they played in the histories of both Asia and the world.

On Japan, Frederick Dickinson’s War and National Reinvention: Japan in the Great War, 1914–1919 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999) is an excellent study of the war’s impact on Japanese political development and her role in the war. For Japan’s ‘racial equality’ clause in the Paris Peace Conference negotiations, see Naoko Shimaz, Japan, Race and Equality: The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 (London: Routledge, 2009).

The scholarship on India and the Great War seems to be relatively extensive. Yet an authoritative volume on India and the war has not yet emerged. For personal perceptions and observations on the war, see David Omissi, Indian Voices of the Great War (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1999) and DeWitt C. Ellinwood, Between Two Worlds: A Rajput Officer in the Indian Army, 1905–1921, Based on the Diary of Amar Singh (Lanham, MD: Hamilton, 2005); Santanu Das’s, ‘Indians at home, Mesopotamia and France, 1914–1918: towards an intimate history’, in Santanu Das (ed.), Race, Empire and First World War Writing (Cambridge University Press, 2011), brings a fresh and new perspective into our understanding of the history of India and the Great War.

Scholars have just turned their attentions to the study of Vietnam and the Great War. Most scholars in this field focus on its colonial aspects. A good example is Richard Fogarty, Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914–1918 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008) which has an excellent discussion of Vietnamese labourers in France during the Great War. Kimloan Hill’s work is an important step forward. See her book Coolies into Rebels: Impact of World War I on French Indochina (Paris: Les Indes Savantes, 2011), based on her doctoral dissertation, and her articles Strangers in a foreign land: Vietnamese soldiers and workers in France during World War I’, in Nhung Tuyet Tran and Anthony Reid (eds.), Viet Nam: Borderless Histories (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2006), pp. 256–89, and ‘Sacrifices, sex, race: Vietnamese experiences in the First World War’, in Das (ed.), Race, Empire and First World War Writing, pp. 53–69.

On Asia and the post-war Peace Conference, the best book is Erez Manela, The Wilsonian Moment: Self-Determination and the International Origins of Anticolonial Nationalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), which has excellent discussions on China, India and Korea and their roles and interests in the post-war world order.

19 North America

Jennifer D. Keene

There are no transnational North American histories of the First World War. National histories predominate, while histories focused on international relations focus heavily on Woodrow Wilson’s vision of a new world order.

David Mackenzie (ed.), Canada and the First World War: Essays in Honour of Robert Craig Brown (University of Toronto Press, 2005) contains a series of excellent essays by leading scholars that challenge older interpretative paradigms of the war’s impact on Canada. Desmond Morton, Marching to Armageddon: Canadians and the Great War, 1914–1919 (Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1989) is the classic study of Canada’s war. Robert Craig Brown and Ramsey Cook, Canada, 1896–1921: A Nation Transformed (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1974) contains five chapters dealing with the First World War which offer perhaps the best synthetic overview to date. In considering the entire span of US-Canadian relations, John Herd Thompson and Stephen J. Randall, Canada and the United States: Ambivalent Allies, 4th edn (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2008) view the First World War as a turning point. On Canadian commemorative practices, see Jonathan Vance, Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1997). Tim Cook’s two volumes on the Canadian military trace the evolution in tactics, strategy and fighting prowess over the course of the war: At the Sharp End: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1914–1916 (Toronto: Viking, 2007) and Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War, 1917–1918 (Toronto: Viking, 2008). Timothy Winegard explores the experiences of native peoples within Canada in Indigenous Peoples of the British Dominions and the First World War (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and For King and Kanata: Canadian Indians and the First World War (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2012).

Excellent overviews of America’s war effort include David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The First World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980); Robert H. Zieger, America’s Great War: World War I and the American Experience (Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000); and Robert H. Ferrell, Woodrow Wilson and World War I, 1917–1921 (New York: Free Press, 2001). For more insight into the home front, civil rights and mobilisation, see Christopher Capozzola, Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I and the Making of the Modern American Citizen (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008); Jennifer D. Keene, Doughboys, the Great War and the Remaking of America (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001); and Chad L. Williams, Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 2010). Recent work on the American combat experience includes Edward G. Lengel, To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918 (New York: Henry Holt, 2008) and Mark Grotelueschen, The AEF Way of War: The American Army and Combat in World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2007). Steven Trout traces the disjointed American memorialisation of the war in On the Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919–1941 (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2010).

Historians documenting America’s evolving foreign relations during the war pay close attention to Mexico, but almost uniformly ignore relations with Canada. One exception is Kathleen Burk, Britain, America and the Sinews of War, 1914–1918 (Boston: Allen & Unwin, 1985). Insightful discussions of America’s evolving relationship with Mexico are found in John Milton Cooper, Jr., Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (New York: Knopf, 2009); N. G. Levin, Woodrow Wilson and World Politics: America’s Response to War and Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968); Friedrich Katz, The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, the United States and the Mexican Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 1981); and Mark T. Gilderhus, Pan American Visions: Woodrow Wilson in the Western Hemisphere, 1913–1921 (Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 1986). Akira Iriye, The Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations, vol. iii: The Globalizing of America, 1913–1945 (Cambridge University Press, 1993) considers how the war fits into America’s gradual rise as a world power in the first part of the twentieth century.

20 Latin America

Olivier Compagnon

The effects of the Great War on Latin America form a complex and still developing field of historical research. Among recent attempts at synthesis are: Olivier Compagnon and Armelle Enders, ‘L’Amérique latine et la guerre’, in Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau and Jean-Jacques Becker (eds.), Encyclopédie de la Grande Guerre, 1914–1918 (Paris: Bayard, 2004), pp. 889–901, and Olivier Compagnon, ‘1914–18: the death throes of civilization: the elites of Latin America face the Great War’, in Jenny Macleod and Pierre Purseigle (eds.), Uncovered Fields: Perspectives in First World War Studies (Leiden: Brill, 2004), pp. 279–95. This second article is an analysis of the reception of the conflict by the intellectual elites, and an evaluation of the war as a turning point in identity in the cultural history of contemporary Latin America.

For an earlier synthesis, see Bill Albert and Paul Henderson, South America and the First World War: The Impact of the War on Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Chile (Cambridge University Press, 1988). There are other important national studies surrounding the question of intervention and the political effects of wartime developments. These three are important contributions: Francisco Luiz Teixeira Vinhosa, O Brasil e a Primeira Guerra mundial (Rio de Janeiro: IBGE, 1990). This is the most complete work on Brazil in the First World War, above all, founded on an analysis of diplomatic sources. See also Freddy Vivas Gallardo, ‘Venezuela y la Primera Guerra mundial: de la neutralidad al compromiso (octubre 1914–marzo 1919), Revista de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas, 61 (1981), pp. 113–33, and Ricardo Weinmann, Argentina en la Primera guerra mundial: neutralidad, transición política y continuismo económico (Buenos Aires: Biblio, Fundación Simón Rodríguez, 1994). Weinmann’s is an important work on Argentina and the Great War, with a focus in particular on the radical presidency of Hipólito Yrigoyen from 1916 on.

Many scholars have approached the impact of war on Latin America in terms of her economic history. The most complete presentation of the economic consequences of the conflict in this region is Victor Bulmer-Thomas, La historia ecónomica de América latina desde la Independencia (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Ecónomica, 1998), chapter 6, pp. 185–228. Another notable study is Roger Gravil, ‘Argentina and the First World War’, Revista de História (27th year), 54 (1976), pp. 385–417. Here is a careful analysis of the economic consequences of the Great War in Argentina. Another contribution is Marc Badia I Miro and Anna Carreras Marin, ‘The First World War and coal trade geography in Latin America and the Caribbean, 1890–1930’, Jahrbuch für Geschichte Lateinamerikas, 45 (2008), pp. 369–91. On Peru, see Victor A. Madueño, ‘La Primera Guerra mundial el desarrollo industrial del Perú’, Estudios Andinos, 17–18 (1982), pp. 41–53. And on Central America, see Frank Notten, La influencia de la Primera Guerra Mundial sobre las economías centroamericanas, 1900–1929: Un enfoque desde el comercio exterior (San José: Centro de Investigaciones Históricas de América Central/Universidad de Costa Rica, 2012).

The British side of the story, with an emphasis on economic issues, is the focus of Philip A. Dehne, On the Far Western Front: Britain’s First World War in South America (Manchester University Press, 2009). Based on British archives, this is a study of relations between Great Britain and Latin America putting the accent on the economic stakes and supplying valuable data on the black lists. See as well Juan Ricardo Couyoumdjian, Chile y Gran Bretaña durante la Primera Guerra mundial y la postguerra, 1914–1921 (Santiago: Editorial Andres Bello/Universidad Católica de Chile, 1986). And on expatriates to Uruguay, see Álvaro Cuenca, La colonia británica de Montevideo y la Gran Guerra (Montevideo: Torre del Vigia Editores, 2006).

Others with European origins were mobilised too. See Emilio Franzina, ‘La guerra lontana: il primo conflitto mondiale e gli italiani d’Argentina’, Estudios migratiorios latinoamericanos, 44 (2000), pp. 66–73, and Franzina, ‘Italiani del Brasile ed italobrasiliani durante il Primo Conflitto Mondiale (1914–1918)’, História: Debates e Tendências, 5:1 (2004), pp. 225–67. These are two fundamental articles on the mechanisms of mobilisation at a distance among the substantial Italian community in Argentina and Brazil. Other groups are treated in Frederick C. Luebke, Germans in Brazil: A Comparative History of Cultural Conflict During World War I (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1987). This is a remarkable study of the communities of Germanic origin established in the northern states of Brazil between 1914 and 1918. See as well Hernán Otero, La guerra e la sangre: Los franco-argentinos ante la Primera Guerra Mundial (Buenos Aires: Sudamericana, 2009).

Cultural historians have entered this field as well. One Chilean poet’s response to the war is the subject of Keith Ellis, ‘Vicente Huidobro y la Primera Guerra mundial’, Hispanic Review, 57:3 (Summer 1999), pp. 333–46. A brief study of the treatment of the war in 1914 and 1917 in two daily papers in Rio de Janeiro, the Correio da Manha and the Jornal do Commercio is available in Sydney Garambone, A Primeira Guerra Mundial e a imprensa brasileira (Rio de Janeiro: Mauad, 2003). See also Olivier Compagnon, L’adieu à l’Europe: L’Amérique latine et la Grande Guerre (Argentine et Brésil, 1914–1939) (Paris: Fayard, 2013).

On the political history of the war period and its aftermath, there are a number of useful studies. On Argentina, María Inés Tato has offered these interpretations of domestic political conflict and the war: ‘La disputa por la argentinidad: rupturistas y neutralistas durante la Primera guerra mundial’, Temas de historia argentina y americana, 13 (July–December 2008), pp. 227–50; La contienda europea en las calles porteñas: manifestaciones civices y pasiones nacionales en torno de la Primera Guerra Mundial’, in María Inés Tato and Martin Castro (eds.), Del Centenario al peronismo: dimensiones de la vida politica argentina (Buenos Aires: Imago Mundi, 2010), pp. 33–63; and Nacionalismo e internacionalismo en la Argentina durante la Gran Guerra’, Projeto História, 36 (June 2008), pp. 49–62.

On the press, we have: Patricia Vega Jiménez, ‘¿Especulación desinformativa? La Primera Guerra Mundial en los periódicos de Costa Rica y El Salvador’, Mesoamérica, 51 (2009), pp. 94–122; and Yolanda de la Parra, ‘La Primera Guerra Mundial y la prensa mexicana’, Estudios de historia moderna y contemporánea de México, 10 (1986), pp. 155–76.

On the vexed question of relations with the United States and the war, a good place to start is Friedrich Katz, The Secret War in Mexico: Europe, the United States and the Mexican Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 1981). This is a classic study on diplomats, both European and North American, in Mexico in the double context of the revolution and the Great War. There are two older studies, still worth reading: Barbara Tuchman, The Zimmermann Telegram (New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1965); and Joseph S. Tulchin, The Aftermath of War: World War I and U.S. Policy toward Latin America (New York University Press, 1971), an old but still valuable decrypting of inter-American relations after the war.

On the League of Nations and Latin America, see Thomas Fischer, Die Souveränität der Schwachen: Lateinamerika und der Völkerbund, 1920–1936 (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2012). This is a complete and richly documented analysis of the Latin American presence in the League of Nations. The French side of the story is explored in Yannick Wehrli, ‘Les délégations latino-américanes et les intérêts de la France à la Société des Nations’, Relations internationales, 137:1 (2009), pp. 45–59.

21 Atrocities and war crimes

John Horne

The topic addressed in this chapter involves legal, cultural and military history. On the legal side, an indispensable history of international law and the conduct of war is Geoffrey Best, Humanity in Warfare: The Modern History of the International Law of Armed Conflicts (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1980). For the relevant texts, two useful collections are Adam Roberts and Richard Guelff (eds.), Documents on the Laws of War, 2nd edn (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989 [1982]) and Michael Reisman and Chris Antoniou (eds.), The Laws of War: A Comprehensive Collection of Primary Documents on International Laws Governing Armed Conflicts (New York: Vintage, 1994). The proceedings of the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907 may be found in James Brown Scott (ed.), Texts of the Peace Conferences at The Hague, 1899 and 1907 (Boston and London: Ginn & Co., 1908). On the Leipzig war crimes trials in 1921, see German War Trials: Report of Proceedings before the Supreme Court in Leipzig (London: HMSO, 1921); James F. Willis, Prologue to Nuremberg: The Politics and Diplomacy of Punishing War Criminals of the First World War (Westport, CT and London: Greenwood Press, 1982); Annie Deperchin-Gouillard, ‘Responsabilité et violation du droit des gens pendant la première guerre mondiale: volonté politique et impuissance juridique’, in Annette Wieviorka (ed.), Les Procès de Nuremberg et de Tokyo (Brussels: Éditions Complexe, 1996), pp. 25–49; and Gerd Hankel, Die Leipziger Prozesse: Deutsche Kriegsverbrechen und ihre strafrechtliche Verfolgung nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 2003). On the trials of perpetrators of the Armenian genocide in Constantinople, see Taner Akçam, Armenien und der Völkermord: Die Istanbuler Prozesse und die türkische Nationalbewegung (Hamburg: Hamburger Edition, 1996).

On the cultural meaning of ‘atrocities’ and the ways in which they designated the enemy as well as the crimes allegedly committed, see John Horne and Alan Kramer, German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 2001). So far, there is no equivalent study for the Eastern Front, though for the Russian invasion of East Prussia, see Imanuel Geiss, ‘Die Kosaken kommen! Ostpreußen im August 1914’, in Geiss, Das deutsche Reich und der Erste Weltkrieg, 2nd edn (Munich: Piper, 1985 [1978]). On the allegations and reality of atrocities during the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia, the best work is Jonathan Gumz, The Resurrection and Collapse of Empire in Habsburg Serbia, 1914–1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 44–61. For the legality and reality of the protected status of the POW, see Heather Jones, Violence against Prisoners of War in the First World War: Britain, France and Germany, 1914–1920 (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

Works that look at the interplay of the cultural construction of the enemy and the exactions against occupied civilian populations are, for the Western Front, the pioneering works of Annette Becker, Oubliés de la Grande Guerre: humanitaire et culture de guerre: populations occupées, déportés civils, prisonniers de guerre (Paris: Éditions Noêsis, 1998) and Les cicatrices rouges, 14–18: France et Belgique occupées (Paris: Fayard, 2010); and Sophie de Schaepdrijver, La Belgique et la première guerre mondiale (1997; translation from the Dutch, Brussels: Peter Lang, 2004); and for the Eastern Front, Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity and German Occupation in World War I (Cambridge University Press, 2000). For a detailed contemporary study of the deportation of Belgian labour to Germany (written for the Belgian government in exile), see Fernand Passelecq, Déportation et travail forcé des ouvriers et de la population civile de la Belgique occupée (1916–1918) (Paris: PUF, 1928). An important essay on the applicability or otherwise of international law to the German occupations in Belgium and France is Annie Deperchin and Laurence van Ypersele, ‘Droit et occupation: les cas de la France et de la Belgique’, in John Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale: le tournant de 1914–1915 (Paris: Tallandier, 2010), pp. 153–74.

On violence against home populations, see, for the Russian retreat in 1915, Peter Holquist, ‘Les violences de l’armée russe à l’encontre des Juifs en 1915: causes et limites’, in Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale, pp. 191–219, and Peter Gatrell, A Whole Empire Walking: Refugees in Russia during the First World War (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1999), esp. pp. 15–97. The Armenian genocide is dealt with in Chapter 22 of this volume, but for its subordination to Great Power relations and the relative view taken of it by the Allies (compared to the greater vilification of Germany), see Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford University Press, 2005) and Annette Becker and Jay Winter, ‘Le génocide arménien et les réactions de l’opinion internationale,’ in Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale, pp. 291–313.

There is no satisfactory cultural history of the claims and counter-claims surrounding the Allied blockade and German submarine campaigns, but see Gerd Krumeich, ‘Le blocus maritime et la guerre sous-marine’, in Horne (ed.), Vers la guerre totale, pp. 175–90. On the moral and legal dimension of the air war, in addition to Best, Humanity in Warfare, see Christian Geinitz, ‘The First German air war against noncombatants: strategic bombing of German cities in World War I’, in Roger Chickering and Stig Förster (eds.), Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front, 1914–1918 (Cambridge University Press, 2000), pp. 207–25.

Much of the discussion of ‘propaganda’ during the First World War still adopts the uncritical use of the term from the 1920s, itself a negative reaction against the supposed manipulation of minds during the Great War. For an attempt to think about constructions of ‘truth’ and ‘falsehood’ in the polarised circumstances of wartime, see John Horne, ‘“Propagande” et “vérité” dans la Grande Guerre’, in Christophe Prochasson and Anne Rasmussen (eds.), Vrai et faux dans la Grande Guerre (Paris: Bayard, 2004), pp. 76–95.

The military and political context for each of the themes treated in this chapter is discussed elsewhere in this history, notably in Volume I: Chapter 12 (War at sea) and Chapter 13 (The air war); Volume II: Chapter 11 (Prisoners of war) and Chapter 18 (Blockade and economic warfare); and Volume III: Chapter 8 (Refugees and exiles), Chapter 9 (Minorities), Chapter 10 (Populations under occupation) and Chapter 11 (Captive civilians). Finally, for another overview from a somewhat different perspective, see Alan Kramer, ‘Combatants and noncombatants: atrocities, massacres and war crimes’, in John Horne (ed.), A Companion to World War I (Chichester and Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), pp. 188–201.

22 Genocide

Hans-Lukas Kieser and Donald Bloxham

There is now an impressive scholarship based on extensive Ottoman documentation as well as Armenian and other primary sources. Raymond Kévorkian’s The Armenian Genocide: a Complete History (London: I. B. Tauris, 2011) is a hugely detailed historical account of almost every aspect of the genocide. See also his analysis, including detailed timeline, ‘The extermination of Ottoman Armenians by the Young Turk regime (1915–1916)’, in the Online Encyclopedia of Mass Violence at Taner Akçam’s The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire (Princeton University Press, 2012) is the most recent of the author’s book-length engagements with the topic. His and Vahakn N. Dadrian’s Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide Trials (New York: Berghahn, 2011) also contains much relevant evidence. Hilmar Kaiser has written many authoritative essays, including the primary-source-based overview, Genocide at the twilight of the Ottoman Empire’, in