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All About History Book Of The First World War

All About History Book Of The First World War

All About History Book of the First World War
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There is no doubt that the First World War shaped the modern world. In 2016 we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme with this brand new edition. Through amazing articles, vivid images and historical artefacts, we’ll explore the key events, significant battles and influential figures of the First World War. Featuring: Influential events - Discover the key actions and influential people who defined the First World War. Impact at home - Get an insight into the knock-on effect the great war had on civilian life and social order. Amazing images - Witness historic moments through moving photos and artistic impressions. Historical artefacts - Uncover the documents, maps and letters drafted and dispatched from 1914-1918.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd

in this issue

2 min.

The single event that more than any other can be said to have shaped the world we live in is the First World War. The Second World War grew out of the First. It was not a “given” that a second great war would occur, but there was sufficient unfinished business from 1914–18 to make it likely. The global spread of the First World War was such that almost no part was left untouched, either directly or indirectly. The resources of great empires were mobilized to fight a total war. Soldiers came from tropical North Queensland and West Africa to fight for Britain and France against Germany in Belgium. Labourers from South Africa, China and Vietnam were sent to work on the Western Front. Men from the far reaches of…

5 min.
slide towards conflict

SUN 28 JUN 1914 - TUE 04 AUG 1914 The events that plunged Europe into war in 1914 moved with speed. On 28 June, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary was assassinated by a young Serb, Gavrilo Princip. A month later, Austria declared war on Serbia, which Vienna blamed for the murder, and by 5 August the major states of Europe were at war. The immediate trigger for the First World War was thus rivalry between states in the Balkans. Russia backed Serbia, the latter state posing as the protector of the Serbs in the polyglot Habsburg Empire. Austria risked war with Russia to preserve its influence in the Balkans, having received on 5 July a promise of support from its ally Germany. Russia, alarmed by the threat to its security and…

5 min.

SAT 25 JUL 1914 - TUE 28 JUL 1914 For years before 1914, general staffs in Europe had prepared elaborate plans for mobilization in the event of war. During the nineteenth century, most states had adopted a system of conscripting men into the army for a set, often fairly short, period of time, then sending them back to civilian life. These reservists were then recalled to the colours in time of emergency. This arrangement allowed armies to put vast numbers of men into the field. Germany’s field army of 82 infantry divisions included 31 reserve formations; the French had 73 divisions, 25 of which were composed of reservists. The major exception was Britain, which relied on a long-service regular army backed up by a volunteer part-time Territorial Force, rather than on…

5 min.
battle of the frontiers

WED 29 JUL 1914 - SAT 22 AUG 1914 The first shots of the war were fired by the Austrians against the Serbs on 29 July, but the outbreak of fighting in Western Europe was not long delayed. The first major clash came on 5 August with the German attack on the Belgian fortress of Liège, which held out until 13 August. This was highly significant, because the longer the Belgians could impede the German advance, the further behind schedule the Schlieffen Plan would fall. The Belgian Army held the line of the River Gette before retreating into the fortress of Antwerp on 20 August, and the Belgian capital, Brussels, was lost the same day. The Germans continued to advance, capturing the fortress of Huy (on the River Meuse) and beginning…

5 min.
mons and le cateau

FRI 21 AUG 1914 - WED 26 AUG 1914 The Kaiser, in an order of 19 August, referred to “General French’s insignificant little army”. The word “insignificant” was translated into English as “contemptible”. Revelling in the insult, the BEF of 1914 acquired its nickname: the “Old Contemptibles”. Wilhelm II’s order illustrated how casually the German High Command regarded the British Army’s presence on the Continent. In fact, Moltke welcomed the opportunity to defeat the BEF as well as the French Army. Given the disarray of the Allies, it seemed that this was a distinct possibility. Lanrezac’s French Fifth Army pushed into Belgium with Sir John French’s BEF on its left. But as French Third and Fourth Armies fell back, the flank of Lanrezac’s Fifth Army was uncovered, and it found itself…

5 min.
the marne and the aisne

SAT 29 AUG 1914 - THU 15 OCT 1914 By the end of August, Joffre had decided his force should go onto the defensive, and formed a new Army (the Sixth, under General Maunoury) to plug the gap on the left of the BEF. However, local offensives continued. At Guise on 29 August, French Fifth Army mauled the flank of German Second Army, which caused Bülow to halt his advance for two days. Lanrezac, shortly to be replaced by Franchet d’Esperey, had pulled back after the battle. Kluck, believing that Fifth Army was vulnerable and that the BEF no longer posed a threat, decided to wheel his army in front of Paris, rather than adhering to the letter of the Schlieffen plan and encircling the French capital. On 3 September, Allied…