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History > Military History > World War I
Explaining the Great War
Frank C. Zagare combines a deep command of historical scholarship and the sophisticated skills of an applied game theorist to develop and test a theory of why deterrence failed, catastrophically, in July 1914. . . . Zagare concludes with sage advice on how to avoid even more cataclysmic breakdowns in a nuclear world. ---Steven J. Brams, New York University "Zagare's deft study of the origins of the First World War using his perfect deterrence theory uncovers new insights into that signal event and shows the value of formal theory applied to historical events. A must-read for those interested in security studies." ---James D. Morrow, University of Michigan "Through an exemplary combination of formal theory, careful qualitative analysis, and lucid prose, The Games of July delivers important and interesting answers to key questions concerning the international political causes of World War I. Its well-formed narratives and its sustained engagement with leading works in IR and diplomatic history . . . make it a rewarding read for security scholars in general and a useful teaching tool for international security courses." ---Timothy W. Crawford, Boston College Taking advantage of recent advances in game theory and the latest historiography, Frank C. Zagare offers a new, provocative interpretation of the events that led to the outbreak of World War I. He analyzes key events from Bismarck's surprising decision in 1879 to enter into a strategic alliance with Austria-Hungary to the escalation that culminated in a full-scale global war. Zagare concludes that, while the war was most certainly unintended, it was in no sense accidental or inevitable. The Games of July serves not only as an analytical narrative but also as a work of theoretical assessment. Standard realist and liberal explanations of the Great War are evaluated along with a collection of game-theoretic models known as perfect deterrence theory. Frank C. Zagare is UB Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Cover illustration: Satirical Italian postcard from World War I. Used with permission from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries.
Battles of the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915-1916
Gardens of Hell examines the human side of one of the great tragedies of modern warfare, the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War. In February 1915, beginning with a naval attack on Turkey in the Dardanelles, a combined force of British, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, and French troops invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula only to face crushing losses and an ignominious retreat from what seemed a hopeless mission. Both sides in the battle suffered huge casualties, with a combined 127,000 servicemen killed during the action. Patrick Gariepy has pieced together the battle from combatants’ own words. Drawn from diaries and letters and from stories passed down through generations of families, these firsthand accounts offer an honest, heartfelt, and sometimes painful testimony to a doomed campaign fought by the men who lived through the fury, terror, and grief that was Gallipoli. Gardens of Hell is a sensitive acknowledgment of the enormous human cost of military folly and failure.
Unsung Architect of the U.S. Army
An exceptionally well researched and argued reappraisal of the career of Lesley J. McNair and his role in fashioning American ground forces before and during World War II. Calhoun argues convincingly that far from the ineffectual general of common lore, McNair was a crucial architect of Allied victory. A must-read for students of modern U.S. and World War II military history
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 JulyAugust 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.
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.
World War I in the Middle East
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.
American Propagandists for the Great War
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.
World War, Modern Art, and the Politics of Public Culture in Russia, 1914-1917
The World War I Diary of Pierpont L. Stackpole
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.