The First World War, Second Edition: A Complete History

Front Cover
Macmillan, 2004 - History - 615 pages
At 11:15 on the morning of June 28, 1914, in an outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire called Sarajevo, the twentieth century could be said to have been born. The repercussions of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand -- Emperor Franz Josef's nephew and heir apparent -- by a Bosnian Serb are with us to this day. The immediate aftermath of that act was war. Global in extent, it would last almost five years and leave five million civilian casualties and more than nine million military dead. On both the Allied and Central Powers sides, losses -- missing, wounded, dead -- were enormous. After the war, barely a town or village in Europe was without its monument to the dead. The war also left us with new technologies of death: tanks, planes, and submarines; reliable rapid-fire machine guns and artillery; motorized cavalry. It ushered in new tactics of warfare: shipping convoys and U-boat packs, dog fights and reconnaissance air support. And it bequeathed to us terrors we still cannot control: poison gas and chemical warfare, strategic bombing of civilian targets, massacres and atrocities against entire population groups. But most of all, it changed our world. In its wake, empires toppled, monarchies fell, whole political systems realigned. Instabilities became institutionalized, enmities enshrined. Revolution swept to power ideologies of the left and right. And the social order shifted seismically. Manners, mores, codes of behavior; literature and the arts; education and class distinctions: all underwent a vast sea change. In all these ways, the twentieth century could be said to have been born on the morning of June 28, 1914. Now, in a companion volume to his acclaimed The Second World War, Martin Gilbert weaves together all of these elements to create a stunning, dramatic, and informative narrative. The First World War is everything we have come to expect from the scholar the Times Literary Supplement placed "in the first rank of contemporary historians."
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

On page 459 Gilbert writes "On entering Thiaucourt that evening the Americans captured Professor Otto Schmeneernkase, described in a French communique as 'the German gas specialist and the exploiter of chlorine gas as a form of civilised torture."
No more information is given in the book about him. . It looks like the Professor was captured. In fact, the spelling was Schmierkase, in German,Cottage Cheese. In Barbara Tuchman's book Stilwell and the American Experience in China on pages 70-71 she said, "...in a moment of inspiration known as the Schmeercase Affair." Joseph W Stilwell was upset with a Colonel Sherman Miles calling him every hour for news...when Stilwell (Who knew German) said, "Yes, the great Otto Schmierkase, the German bichloride gas expert, has been captured!" "Dr. Otto Cottage Cheese was a hoax.
Stilwell had to keep Dr. Cottage Cheese one step ahead of Colonel Miles. The story was even in the newspapers in Paris, London and New York.
It looks like even today the hoax lives. Stilwell weote to his wife , "Otto is my own creation and I am getting more proud of him every day...Everybody in AEF knows Otto now." 1.
1. Stilwell and tha American Experience in China. PP 70-71 & 254
Bantam Books 1971 Barbara W. Tuchman
 

Contents

Prelude to war
1
REGIONS
7
z Wild with joy
16
Europe in 1914 556
27
The Mediterranean 557
31
The opening struggle 3 5
36
The United States and Canada 557
38
From Mons to the Marne 5 5
58
The collapse of the Central Powers
473
The Ottoman Empire 561
484
The final armistice
497
to the memory of that great company
525
Bibliography
544
Bulgaria the Black Sea and the Aegean 562
8
The War Fronts 563
9
The Western Front 122 August 1914 564
10

the start of trench warfare
78
mud and slime and vermin
100
Stalemate and the search for breakthroughs
124
The Gallipoli landings
146
The Entente in danger
154
The Central Powers in the ascendant
176
The continuing failure of the Entente
196
This war will end at Verdun
224
Europe is mad The world is mad
244
It is going to be a bloody holocaust
258
War on every front
282
The intensification of the war
301
War desertion mutiny
324
Stalemate in the west turmoil in the east
343
Battle at Passchendaele Revolution in Russia
363
The Central Powers on the verge of triumph
393
Germanys last great onslaught
406
AustriaHungary 560
413
The Allied counterattack
431
The turn of the tide
454
The Western Front 1914 from Mons to the Marne 565
11
The Eastern Front 191416 567
13
The Dardanelles and Gallipoli 568
14
The Italian Front 5 69
15
Serbia 570
16
Verdun 571
17
The Somme 572
18
Bukovina Transylvania Roumania 573
19
The Western Front 191617 574
20
Palestine and Syria 575
21
Mesopotamia 576
21
The Eastern Front 191718 577
21
The Western Front 1918 578
21
The Western Front the last three months 579
21
Siberia 580
21
German losses overseas 581
21
The disintegration of the Ottoman Empire 582
22
Index 583
23
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Sir Martin Gilbert was knighted in 1995 "for services to British history and international relations." Among his many books are The Righteous (0-8050-6260-2), The Holocaust (0-8050-0348-7), The Day the War Ended (0-8050-4735-2), and Churchill: A Life (0-8050-2396-8). He lives in London, England.

Bibliographic information