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Germany’s Western Front

Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1914, Part 1

This multi-volume series in six parts is the first English-language translation of Der Weltkrieg, the German official history of the First World War. Originally produced between 1925 and 1944 using classified archival records that were destroyed in the aftermath of the Second World War, Der Weltkrieg is the inside story of Germany’s experience on the Western front. Recorded in the words of its official historians, this account is vital to the study of the war and official memory in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Although exciting new sources have been uncovered in former Soviet archives, this work remains the basis of future scholarship. It is essential reading for any scholar, graduate student, or enthusiast of the Great War.

This volume, the second to be published, covers the outbreak of war in July–August 1914, the German invasion of Belgium, the Battles of the Frontiers, and the pursuit to the Marne in early September 1914. The first month of war was a critical period for the German army and, as the official history makes clear, the German war plan was a gamble that seemed to present the only solution to the riddle of the two-front war. But as the Moltke-Schlieffen Plan was gradually jettisoned through a combination of intentional command decisions and confused communications, Germany’s hopes for a quick and victorious campaign evaporated.

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The Great War

From Memory to History

The Great War: From Memory to History offers a new look at the multiple ways the Great War has been remembered and commemorated through the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. Drawing on contributions from history, cultural studies, film, and literary studies this collection offers fresh perspectives on the Great War and its legacy at the local, national, and international levels. More importantly, it showcases exciting new research on the experiences and memories of “forgotten” participants who have often been ignored in dominant narratives or national histories.

Contributors to this international study highlight the transnational character of memory-making in the Great War’s aftermath. No single memory of the war has prevailed, but many symbols, rituals, and expressions of memory connect seemingly disparate communities and wartime experiences. With groundbreaking new research on the role of Aboriginal peoples, ethnic minorities, women, artists, historians, and writers in shaping these expressions of memory, this book will be of great interest to readers from a variety of national and academic backgrounds.

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Hell in the Holy Land

World War I in the Middle East

David R. Woodward

In the modern popular imagination, the British Army's campaign in the Middle East during World War I is considered somehow less brutal than the fighting on European battlefields. A romantic view of this conflict has been further encouraged by such films as Lawrence of Arabia and The Light Horsemen. In Hell in the Holy Land, David R. Woodward uses graphic eyewitness accounts from the diaries, letters, and memoirs of British soldiers who fought in that war to describe in rigorous detail the genuine experience of the fighting and dying in Egypt and Palestine. The massive flow of troops and equipment to Egypt eventually made that country host to the largest British military base outside of Britain and France. Though many soldiers found the atmosphere in Cairo exotic, the desert countryside made the fundamentals of fighting and troop maintenance extremely difficult. The intense heat frequently sickened soldiers, and unruly camels were the only practical means of transport across the soft sands of the Sinai. The constant shortage of potable water was a persistent problem for the troops; one soldier recalled, "It is impossible to realize the depth a man will sink to endeavor to appease the terrible horror of thirst." The voices of these British soldiers offer a forgotten perspective of the Great War, describing not only the physical and psychological toll of combat but the daily struggles of soldiers who were stationed in an unfamiliar environment that often proved just as antagonistic as the enemy. A soldier of the Dorset Yeomanry, stationed in Egypt, wrote: "There are three sounds in Egypt which never cease -- the creaking of the waterwheels, the song of the frogs, and the buzz of flies.... Letter writing is an impossibility in the evening, for as soon as the sun goes down, if a lamp is lighted, the air all round is thick with little grey sand-flies which bite disgustingly." Using archival records, many from the Imperial War Museum in London, England, Woodward paints a vivid picture of the mayhem, terror, boredom, filth, and sacrifice that marked the daily life of British soldiers in the Middle East. In telling the story of these soldiers, Woodward provides a personal history of a campaign that laid the groundwork for the continuing turmoil in the Middle East.

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Hero of the Angry Sky

The World War I Diary and Letters of David S.Ingalls, America's First Naval Ace

Geoffrey L. Rossano

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Historians on the Homefront

American Propagandists for the Great War

George T. Blakey

When Woodrow Wilson called on the American people to mobilize for war in April 1917, it was hardly surprising that historians should respond to their one-time colleague. Mobilization produced three organizations staffed by many of America's leading historians. All three organizations, the author shows, viewed as their task the mobilizing of America's intellectual resources in support of Wilson's war policies.

The postwar decade saw an inevitable cooling of wartime passions and a reevaluation of the causes of the war. George T. Blakey examines the postwar reaction to the activities of the CPI, NBHS, and NSL, which included congressional investigations and acerbic attacks in popular and scholarly periodicals. A number of the historians came to regret their wartime propaganda work; a few of these joined the ranks of the revisionists and turned on their colleagues. Others merely strengthened their Germanophobia. The majority, Mr. Blakely finds, resumed their academic careers, apparently untouched by the part they had played in mobilizing the American war effort. The question of scholarly integrity versus propaganda has never been fully resolved, the author concludes, but later generations of historians can still learn much from the example of America's World War I historians-turned-propagandists.

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Imagining the Unimaginable

World War, Modern Art, and the Politics of Public Culture in Russia, 1914-1917

Aaron J. Cohen

As World War I shaped and molded European culture to an unprecedented degree, it also had a profound influence on the politics and aesthetics of early-twentieth-century Russian culture. In this provocative and fascinating work, Aaron J. Cohen shows how World War I changed Russian culture and especially Russian art. A wartime public culture destabilized conventional patterns in cultural politics and aesthetics and fostered a new artistic world by integrating the iconoclastic avant-garde into the art establishment and mass culture. This new wartime culture helped give birth to nonobjective abstraction (including Kazimir Malevich’s famous Black Square), which revolutionized modern aesthetics. Of the new institutions, new public behaviors, and new cultural forms that emerged from this artistic engagement with war, some continued, others were reinterpreted, and still others were destroyed during the revolutionary period.
Imagining the Unimaginable deftly reveals the experiences of artists and developments in mass culture and in the press against the backdrop of the broader trends in Russian politics, economics, and social life from the mid-nineteenth century to the revolution. After 1914, avant-garde artists began to imagine many things that had once seemed unimaginable. As Marc Chagall later remarked, “The war was another plastic work that totally absorbed us, which reformed our forms, destroyed the lines, and gave a new look to the universe.”

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In the Company of Generals

The World War I Diary of Pierpont L. Stackpole

Edited & Intro by Robert H. Ferrell

Pierpont Stackpole was a Boston lawyer who in January 1918 became aide to Lieutenant General Hunter Liggett, soon to be commander of the first American corps in France. Stackpole’s diary, published here for the first time, is a major eyewitness account of the American Expeditionary Forces’ experience on the Western Front, offering an insider’s view into the workings of Liggett’s commands, his day-to-day business, and how he orchestrated his commands in trying and confusing situations.

Hunter Liggett did not fit John J. Pershing’s concept of the trim and energetic officer, but Pershing entrusted to him a corps and then an army command. Liggett assumed leadership of the U.S. First Army in mid-October of 1918, and after reorganizing, reinforcing, and resting, the battle-weary troops broke through the German lines in a fourth attack at the Meuse-Argonne—accomplishing what Pershing had failed to do in three previous attempts. The victory paved the way to armistice on November 11.

Liggett has long been a shadowy figure in the development of the American high command. He was “Old Army,” a veteran of Indian wars who nevertheless kept abreast of changes in warfare and more than other American officers was ready for the novelties of 1914–1918. Because few of his papers have survived, the diary of his aide—who rode in the general’s staff car as Liggett unburdened himself about fellow generals and their sometimes abysmal tactical notions—provides especially valuable insights into command within the AEF.

Stackpole’s diary also sheds light on other figures of the war, presenting a different view of the controversial Major General Clarence Edwards than has recently been recorded and relating the general staff’s attitudes about the flamboyant aviation figure Billy Mitchell. General Liggett built the American army in France, and the best measure of his achievement is this diary of his aide. That record stands here as a fascinating and authentic look at the Great War.

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A Journalist's Diplomatic Mission

Ray Stannard Baker's World War I Diary

At the height of World War I, in the winter of 1917–1918, one of the Progressive era’s most successful muckracking journalists, Ray Stannard Baker (1870–1946), set out on a special mission to Europe on behalf of the Wilson administration. While posing as a foreign correspondent for the New Republic and the New York World, Baker assessed public opinion in Europe about the war and postwar settlement. American officials in the White House and State Department held Baker’s wide-ranging, trenchant reports in high regard. After the war, Baker remained in government service as the president’s press secretary at the Paris Peace Conference, where the Allied victors dictated the peace terms to the defeated Central Powers. Baker’s position gave him an extraordinary vantage point from which to view history in the making. He kept a voluminous diary of his service to the president, beginning with his voyage to Europe and lasting through his time as press secretary. Unlike Baker’s published books about Wilson, leavened by much reflection, his diary allows modern readers unfiltered impressions of key moments in history by a thoughtful inside observer. Published here for the first time, this long-neglected source includes an introduction by John Maxwell Hamilton and Robert Mann that places Baker and his diary into historical context.

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World War I's Greatest Naval Battle

edited by Michael Epkenhans, Jörg Hillmann, and Frank Nägler

During the first two years of World War I, Germany struggled to overcome a crippling British blockade of its mercantile shipping lanes. With only sixteen dreadnought-class battleships compared to the renowned British Royal Navy's twenty-eight, the German High Seas Fleet stood little chance of winning a direct fight. The Germans staged raids in the North Sea and bombarded English coasts in an attempt to lure small British squadrons into open water where they could be destroyed by submarines and surface boats. After months of skirmishes, conflict erupted on May 31, 1916, in the North Sea near Jutland, Denmark, in what would become the most formidable battle in the history of the Royal Navy.

In Jutland, international scholars reassess the strategies and tactics employed by the combatants as well as the political and military consequences of their actions. Most previous English-language military analysis has focused on British admiral Sir John Jellicoe, who was widely criticized for excessive caution and for allowing German vice admiral Reinhard Scheer to escape; but the contributors to this volume engage the German perspective, evaluating Scheer's decisions and his skill in preserving his fleet and escaping Britain's superior force. Together, the contributors lucidly demonstrate how both sides suffered from leadership that failed to move beyond outdated strategies of limited war between navies and to embrace the total war approach that came to dominate the twentieth century. The contributors also examine the role of memory, comparing the way the battle has been portrayed in England and Germany. An authoritative collection of scholarship, Jutland serves as an essential reappraisal of this seminal event in twentieth-century naval history.

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Kentucky Marine

Major General Logan Feland and the Making of the Modern USMC

David J. Bettez

A native of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, Major General Logan Feland (1869--1936) played a major role in the development of the modern Marine Corps. Highly decorated for his heroic actions during the battle of Belleau Wood in World War I, Feland led the hunt for rebel leader Augusto C�sar Sandino during the Nicaraguan revolution from 1927 to 1929 -- an operation that helped to establish the Marines' reputation in guerrilla warfare and search-and-capture missions. Yet, despite rising to become one of the USMC's most highly ranked and regarded officers, Feland has been largely ignored in the historical record.

In Kentucky Marine, David J. Bettez uncovers the forgotten story of this influential soldier of the sea. During Feland's tenure as an officer, the Corps expanded exponentially in power and prestige. Not only did his command in Nicaragua set the stage for similar twenty-first-century operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Feland was one of the first instructors in the USMC's Advanced Base Force, which served as the forerunner of the amphibious assault force mission the Marines adopted in World War II.

Kentucky Marine also illuminates Feland's private life, including his marriage to successful soprano singer and socialite Katherine Cordner Feland, and details his disappointment at being twice passed over for the position of commandant. Drawing from personal letters, contemporary news articles, official communications, and confidential correspondence, this long-overdue biography fills a significant gap in twentieth-century American military history.

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