WW1 Centenary

Great War Centenary 2014-2018 website by Paul Reed

New WW1 Books From Amberley

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Amberley Books are proving to be a prolific publisher during the WW1 Centenary and their latest batch of titles include the following.

477209808397Fighting Fit 1914 Edited by Adam Culling (Amberley 2014, ISBN 978 1 4456 3759 4, 318pp, paperback, £9.99)

This is an unusual book in that it is a reprint of extracts from several contemporary physical training manuals, collated by the Royal Army Physical Training Corps museum curator. It includes the manual for bayonet fighting which is fascinating and brings to mind Siegfried Sassoon’s account of bayonet training in 1915. The section on unarmed combat was also an eye-opener as it is not something generally associated with the Great War soldier. A fascinating insight into a lesser known side of the war.

The book is available from the Amberley website.

603743595489First World War Curiosities by Terry Breveraton (Amberley 2014, ISBN 978 1 4456 3341 1,319pp, paperback, £9.99)

Another unusual book from Amberley that is a sort of compendium of Great War facts, some of them well known, some obscure and some very odd! The book is packed with over 300 pages of all sort of information and while it is not a title you could read from cover to cover; it is great to dip into. Because it covers such a wide brief it is really hard to say what the book is but certainly a very different title and I suspect a good Christmas gift for the WW1 enthusiast.

The book is available from the Amberley website.

105987485092The First World War In Photographs: 1915 by John Christopher & Campbell McCutcheon (Amberley 2014,ISBN 978 1 4456 2205 7, 160pp, fully illustrated, paperback, £15.99)

For a series of photographic histories of the war following it year by year these books have to offer a good range of images, some perhaps rarely seen, and they have to stay focussed on the year in question. I reviewed a 1914 title in this series and enjoyed it but was dismayed from the start with this one which features a cover illustration showing three men of the American Expeditionary Force wearing gas masks: the AEF did not exist until 1917 and the image is from much later in the way. The next image on the contents page also shows AEF officers wearing gas masks introduced in 1916 and wearing steel helmets. Not a great start. The book then follows a month by month theme and there are many great inclusions and interesting information but I have to confess it was spoilt by the initial images and many others included which do not date from 1915. I also did not understand why photos of Gallipoli were included under March 1915 when the landings there began in April. Disappointing.

The book is available from the Amberley website.

260899850615Blighty’s Railways: Britain’s Railways in the First World War by Alexander J. Mullay (Amberley 2014, ISBN 978 1 4456 3857 1, 160pp. illustrated, £17.99)

Having watched Michael Portillo’s recent BBC series on railways in the Great War my interest in the role of railways in the conflict was rekindled so I was pleased to receive this title which has proven to be an interesting and fascinating book accompanied with some superb illustrations. The book looks at the expansion of military railways, the types of engines and equipment used, and focusses on the Somme campaign to illustrate how they were used. Well written, this is a decent study of railways in the war and highly recommended. Essential to understand that 1914-1918 was not all about trenches and much went on beyond the battlefield.

The book is available from the Amberley website.


Author: ww1centenary

Military Historian & author who works in Television: visiting & interpreting battlefields all over the world. Currently working on WW1 projects for 2014-18.

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