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on 25 November 2003
the book is very well presented and contains many photographs, plans and illustrations. it has been written by leading authorities on the subject in a form which makes it easy to read and understand. a must for anyone having an interest in the origins and progress of the first global conflict. high quality paper has been used (unusually for a paper back) and, at the price, i rate this a real bargain.
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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 quite 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.

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on 23 January 2014
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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on 26 October 2015
A real outlook in excellent detail of the First World War.

The only problem is looking at the actual maps of the Battle fronts on a kindle compared with a large book where the complete map is on one page
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on 5 November 2013
This is an impressive presentation including maps, photographs, quotations and clear text giving a rich account of this complicated conflict.
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on 13 July 2015
This book provides a very in-depth look at the Great War from all nations involved.
A very interesting read on past history
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on 5 September 2014
very interesting book
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on 22 November 2010
The book begins with the situation prior to the beginning of hostilities: the different alliances and agreements made by the super-powers of the time; the ethnical difficulties in the region which lead to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the battle-plans made before the war and so forth. It then moves on to the beginning of the war in the west; there lies my only real comment about the book. It's almost divided into two separate books, one dealing with the west front and the other dealing with the east front. A shame because a lot of what's going to happen during these bloody 4 years is interwoven (the russian revolution and consequent peace treaty with Germany for instance).
Nonetheless, I enjoyed the book as it gives a general overview of the engagement (mayby a bit focused on the british exploits during the war).
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on 29 April 2015
First class book. Well written and gives information about the wider war. Good photos
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on 4 March 2016
This book is unreadable. It is jubberish
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