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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiouser and curiouser!
I came to this book in the hope of finding some further information about the battleship HMS Russell lost off Malta in 1916. The full title does, after all, include the words `The Mediterranean Front 1914-1923.' Whereas Russell is not mentioned, I did find it curious to find a brief inclusion of the loss of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the Falklands. Another...
Published 5 months ago by Ned Middleton

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The First World War
This book is primarily a military history. For those who like sentences such as "Haig failed to consolidate his gains in the first hour because he had positioned poorly trained troops on his left flank" will find this book interesting. Those who do not will find it less so. It may make a useful textbook for officer cadets at Sandhurst but those who like conventional...
Published 2 months ago by M. McClure


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Curiouser and curiouser!, 20 Nov 2013
By 
Ned Middleton (British professional underwater photo-journalist & author) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The First World War: The War to End All Wars (Hardcover)
I came to this book in the hope of finding some further information about the battleship HMS Russell lost off Malta in 1916. The full title does, after all, include the words `The Mediterranean Front 1914-1923.' Whereas Russell is not mentioned, I did find it curious to find a brief inclusion of the loss of the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau off the Falklands. Another curiosity is that the book shows three titles on the front. Firstly, the work is part of an `Essential Histories series' and, being called `The First World War (4)' shows it to be the fourth in that series with this particular work being devoted to the aforementioned `Mediterranean Front 1914-1923.' As I am quire certain others will also have noticed, that particular war ended in 1918 but everything really does become much less confusing once you start to read and thoroughly enjoy the content.

In a war which was eventually won on the Western Front - with the advent of the tank being a crucial factor, one should never lose sight of the fact that the German U Boat campaign so very nearly created a victory for Germany as early as 1917! That, however, was not to be and eventually led to the end to both the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires.

What I had not previously considered, however, was the simple statistic that, by including all peripheral smaller seas - such as the Adriatic, Aegean etc, the Mediterranean covers a million square miles of water. That is a huge area for any country to attempt to control and this book provides an entertaining overview of the military and naval operations which took place both at sea and on the shores surrounding this huge expanse of water throughout the years in question. Notwithstanding the fact that I do not believe many serious historians will learn anything either new or of outstanding significance, I really do recommend the work for two very good reasons. Firstly, it is an excellent view of one theatre of operations (i.e. the Mediterranean) throughout WW1 and in the years following. Secondly, it really is well constructed and, therefore, an excellent read.

All the more curious is the author's selection of historic photographs which are often set at the periphery of what was going on rather than being central to whatever campaigns or battles were taking place. In the former category, we see King George V on horseback on the last occasion when a Division of the `old army' was reviewed by their monarch, a fascinating photograph depicting a British military band welcoming Russian troops arriving in Salonika and (my favourite) a Rolls Royce armoured car of the Duke of Westminster's squadron at Sollum in April 1916. Nevertheless, in the latter there are photographs such as the battleship Svent István settling in the water prior to sinking and the final moments of the French battleship Bouvet as she also slips beneath the waves.

Altogether, whilst my description of `curiouser and curiouser' remains apt, once you start to read the work itself all that curiosity unfolds into a rather compelling work which is very well written. All of which is well supported by photographs of the highest calibre.

NM
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One happy husband, 23 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The First World War: The War to End All Wars (Hardcover)
I bought this for my husband as he kept dropping hints. He says its excellent and is really enjoying it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book., 23 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The First World War: The War to End All Wars (Hardcover)
This is a fantastic book and a great read. I am actually doing an online course on the History of WW1 and this book is extremely helpful. It is also a beautiful edition.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really well presented history, 5 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The First World War: The War to End All Wars (Hardcover)
This is an impressive presentation including maps, photographs, quotations and clear text giving a rich account of this complicated conflict.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the first world war, 28 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The First World War: The War to End All Wars (Hardcover)
It gave me plenty of detail about the first world war enjoyed reading it, good value, will recommend this book to other people
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The First World War, 7 Feb 2014
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This book is primarily a military history. For those who like sentences such as "Haig failed to consolidate his gains in the first hour because he had positioned poorly trained troops on his left flank" will find this book interesting. Those who do not will find it less so. It may make a useful textbook for officer cadets at Sandhurst but those who like conventional history books with in depth political, social and, of course, military commentary it will prove a plodding read, not particularly enlivened by decent if not enlightening mini-biographies and military maps which do not clarify the text much. I did not find out much about the First World War that I did not know already. Stick to AJP Taylor or Max Hastings if you want a good holiday read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WW1 More than just the Western Front, 27 Jan 2014
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A very informative and inciteful into the origins, tactics and outcomes from many aspects of the the First World War covering all the theatres of war not just the Western Front.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 20 Jan 2014
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From a historical and thriller point of view things brings all the realities of this war to life. Would recommend
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars death in the early 20th century, 19 Jan 2014
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An important addition to anyone's library no one should be in any doubt how important this carnage was and the effects it caused
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift, 9 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The First World War: The War to End All Wars (Hardcover)
Can't really make a comment as this is a gift for a friend's 65th Birthday in May but he loves anything to do with WWI so am sure it will be a great hit.
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The First World War: The War to End All Wars
The First World War: The War to End All Wars by Hew Strachan (Hardcover - 20 Jun 2013)
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