Read e-book online The First World War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short PDF

By Michael Howard

ISBN-10: 0199205590

ISBN-13: 9780199205592

By the point the 1st global warfare resulted in 1918, 8 million humans had died in what were possibly the main apocalyptic episode the area had known.

This Very brief advent offers a concise and insightful background of the nice War--from the nation of Europe in 1914, to the position of the U.S., the cave in of Russia, and the eventual give up of the important Powers. reading how and why the warfare used to be fought, in addition to the historic controversies that also encompass the struggle, Michael Howard additionally seems to be at how peace used to be finally made, and describes the powerful legacy of resentment left to Germany.


A exceptional British historian offers the primary occasions of worldwide struggle I for readers who're curious yet unknowledgeable in regards to the clash. it truly is related common to the author's contemporary the discovery of Peace (2001). Succinctly expressive, Howard's variety concentrates narrative and interpretation inside of a number of sentences, yet a deep ancient controversy usually lurks at the back of his concision, equivalent to who was once accountable for igniting the battle. For these readers who're incredulous international conflagration may possibly erupt from an assassination, Howard summarizes how the alliance structures took place, the fears of the international locations that gotten smaller them, and the targeted resentments of a German monarch who embodied "archaic militarism, vaulting ambition, and neurotic insecurity." simply as complicated, probably, is the continuance for 4 years of trench battle; once more, Howard compactly explains the mild adjustments in strategies that generals believed may in achieving a leap forward, yet produced in its place the bloodbaths that by means of 1917-18 broke armies and full regimes. additionally relating the war's direction in Italy and jap Europe, Howard elegantly applies his erudition and judgment to this concise creation. Gilbert Taylor

`Review from prior variation evaluation from earlier version succinct, accomplished and fantastically written. certainly studying it really is an adventure equivalent to scanning the clues of a well-composed crossword puzzle. each allusion is ultimately provided with a solution, and the completed product defies the puzzler's disbelief that the intricacies should be delivered to a resounding end. . . . Michael Howard is the grasp of the quick book' TLS

`Howard expertly and succintly summarizes the good battle for the layperson... quantity is a superb option to get a grounding during this momentous subject' Forbes worldwide 21/03/03

`an enlightened thought to provide a really brief account of the nice struggle - a web page per thirty days - . . . . but when, in 2014, brilliant schoolchildren, their brains putified via GCSE, get round to asking what the 1st international battle used to be approximately, Howard's booklet may be very valuable.' the days, Culture

`Professor Sir Michael Howard, . . ., is our greatest residing army historian, and maybe additionally strategic philosopher. His new paintings is a masterly advent to the good struggle, desgined for people with no earlier knowldge of the topic. . . . Any new pupil who reads Michael Howard may still cross directly to tackle the 1st quantity of Hew Strachan's large new paintings at the comparable subject matter. there's nice knowledge in either books, and knowledge in this topic is briefly supply.' Sunday Telegraph

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Extra info for The First World War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)

Example text

But the British remained concerned not so much with the fleet that Germany had already built as with that which she yet might – especially if a successful war gave her military hegemony over the Continent. So Britain mended her fences with her traditional rivals. In 1904 she settled her differences with France in Africa, establishing a relationship that became known as l’entente cordiale. There remained the Russian Empire, whose southward expansion towards the frontiers of India had given Victorian statesmen continual nightmares, and had led the British in 1902 to conclude their first formal alliance for a nearly a century with the emerging power of Japan.

It was generally assumed that mobilization led inevitably to Aufmarsch, the deployment of armies for the invasion of their neighbours, and that such deployment led with equal inevitability to war. Mobilization was thus like drawing a gun; whoever did so first enjoyed a huge strategic advantage. But, if Russia did not do so first, her administrative backwardness and the vast distances her reservists had to travel would put her at an equally huge disadvantage with respect to the more compact and better-organized Germany.

To deal with this the Germans employed their major ‘secret weapon’ – mobile siege artillery, especially heavy howitzers from the Austrian Skoda works, whose shells crashed through steel and concrete and battered the garrison into surrender. By 17 August they had cleared the way, and the German march through Belgium began. Before them the German armies drove a flood of refugees who clogged the roads with carts bearing all that they could rescue of their possessions – the first trickle of that immense and miserable flood of uprooted humanity that was to characterize warfare for the rest of the century.

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The First World War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Michael Howard

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