"Did anyone really care whether Alsace-Lorraine was French or German?" Using those words, British history professor Nick Lloyd summed up German thoughts at the end of the "Great War" as the German government considered surrendering to the Allied forces in Fall, 1918, in his new book, "Hundred Days".
August 1914 - young men from Britain to Austro-Hungary marched gaily off to war. They'd be home by Christmas, these fearless young men told themselves - and each other. But as the years went by with battles gaining literally inches and men living - and dying - in hideous trenches in France and Belgium, by summer of 1918, the war was finally creaking to an end. The American entry into the war in 1917 on the Allied side had given the French, British, and Dominion troops an added boost to those armies who had been fighting for three years, often to a standoff with the Germans on the Western Front, in a war of attrition.
Nick LLoyd, a senior lecturer of Defense Studies, at Kings College, London, lost a great-uncle at the French village of Gouzeaucourt, just six weeks or so before the Armistice. Lloyd has written an amazingly readable book about those last hundred days of WW1. He looks at the war from British, German, French, and American sides and examines both the military battles at the Front and the political battles behind the scenes. He includes maps at the front of the book which detail the battles fought and military lines that had to be crossed by the advancing Allies and defended by the Germans.
One of the most interesting parts of the book deals with the political situation in Germany as the war caused the collapse of the Kaiser's government. Lloyd looks at the cries of "betrayal by the Communists/Bolshevics/Jews/Defeatists" that lasted well into the 1920's and '30's. Nick LLoyd has done a wonderful job looking at a smallish slice of time in a much larger conflict. Great book for WW1 history readers.