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World War I

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  274 ratings  ·  26 reviews
From the animosity-filled years prior to 1914 through the Treaty of Versailles and from the European campaigns to naval battles, this book explains the causes of the war, the course the war followed, and what made it the most costly and destructive war in the world's history.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by DK (first published 2003)
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4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  274 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am endlessly fascinated by WWI. This book has a ton of information, and lots of well-chosen photos. Nice lay-out.
Jan 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
In general, this is a very good introduction to the first world war. It is certainly worth the read. It is very thorough, and the pictures and quotes throughout really serve to give you an idea of what was going on. It did, however, have the problem of getting lost in the details. I am not familiar enough with either military tactics or the geography of France for the detailed descriptions of each major battle to mean much to me. I would have liked to know, for example, why the Eastern Front was ...more
Timons Esaias
Feb 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up in one of the Smithsonian museums (the 2009 edition), thinking they probably wouldn't be offering it if it were too cheesy, and because of the wonderful selection of well-reproduced photographs and illustrations. I had rather low expectations for the text, which was secondary for me. This being the hundredth anniversary of the last year of the War, I decided to read it, ten pages a day, to refresh my memory.

I was pleasantly surprised. I found a few typos, but I wasn't finding ob
Ralph Ford
Print is small making reading difficult. Extremely detailed as to maps and troop movements.
Shyamali Mandal
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent illustrated overview on the Big War. Covers basics of backgrounds, events and aftermath. Enjoyed every page! Can recommend to anyone interested in WW1.
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So far I've found this is a great book describing the battles and events of World War I. It opens with a good summation of the events leading to the outbreak of war and then leads into descriptions of the battles and good/bad decisions made from all sides - each one explained in chronological order and in good concise detail. Plus it's got a lot of great insights into the equipment each army used down to the uniforms and standard issued armaments and a myriad of other details plus great maps and ...more
I picked this up when I heard a story about Harry Patch, the last veteran of WWI, and realized that I only knew the basics about the war. Sadly, he passed away before I finished the book (it was not a quick read - think textbook with extra pictures). The book was a good overview of all theaters of the conflict and major political events. Someone who is not familiar with history will likely find this book too deep and someone very familiar with WWI will likely find it too simplistic, but it was a ...more
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Von diesem Buch hätte sich mein Geschichtslehrer mal eine Scheibe abschneiden können. Ich kann mich noch an endlose öde Stunden erinnern, in denen es um die Gründe für den Kriegsausbruch ging und später dann um den Abschluss des Vertrags von Versailles. Doch was während der vier Kriegsjahre passiert ist, darüber haben wir kaum gesprochen.
Ich bin jedenfalls sehr froh, dass ich mich für den Dorling Kindersley Bildband entschieden habe und nicht nur ein kleines Buch aus der Beck'schen Reihe genomme
Gary Brecht
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Owning this book is like having access to a museum. Photos, maps, and illustrations accompany an excellent narrative on the major events and battles of the Great War. This book does more than simply recount the battles. It informs us of the cultural changes that resulted as a consequence of the 4-year conflict. For example, the role of women, the effects on civilian populations due to the naval blockade, the disastrous appearance of the Spanish flu, and other tangential matters are touched upon. ...more
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwi, photographs, history
Very well written with excellent graphic design. I'm putting it right up there with Keegan's book as the best single-volume summary of WWI. No one book can cover everything or go into enough depth on any discrete topic when covering an event as vast and complex as the Great War, but this book is quite good at covering most topics of importance at a meaningful depth.

I bought this book from a close out bargain table at B&N. I wish I'd bought several copies to give to friends.
Kristinn Valdimarsson
Feb 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Einar Snorri Einarsson
Þessi bók er góð sem inngangsrit fyrir þá sem hafa litla þekkingu á WWI og einnig má nota hana sem handbók því henni er skipt niður í skýr tímabil og í henni eru nokkuð góð kort (þó þau séu einföld). Meira gagn gerir hún hins vegar ekki því þó textinn flæði vel þá er aldrei farið djúpt í neina atburði. Líkt og með aðrar bækur frá DK sem ég hef lesið þá er bókin skemmtilega uppsett og myndræn nokkuð sem gerir hana aðlaðandi fyrir lestrarhesta.
Kerry Johanson
I wanted to read a book about WWI because I really knew nothing about it. This was well done and had many fascinating pictures but like another reviewer I don't have enough understanding of military manuevers to understand the details about any of that. There were a number of other things I learned that were also fascinating that were affected by the war.
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-i
I love this book from a visual standpoint. In true DK Publishing fashion, the photographs and graphics take center stage making this a very visually appealing read. It is not a quintessential reference book, but rather a good introduction to WWI that shows some of the small details that are overlooked in typical reference books.
Mark Tuminello
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As others have said, this is a great intro/summary of the events leading up to and during the first world war. What I think is missing is more of the human element. I suppose Dan Carlin has ruined me for dryer books like this.
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww1
I'm a little wary of books in this format, but after reading an Amazon review of this, I ordered it together with the WW2 volume by Willmott and very glad I did too. Both are superb overviews and certainly not a trace of 'dumbing-down'. So much more to read now, so little time and money!
Todd Stockslager
Typical of DK books, good graphics that sometimes overwhelm the text, which is adequate senior-high level textbook style, not inspiring, but sturdy. Some proofreading goofs discourage trust in the veracity of the data at some points.
May 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good illustrated overview of WWI, with more about the theaters outside Europe proper than surveys used to consider. Also some on politics and culture as well as military technology. Good starting point or reminder for those who haven't looked at this conflagration in a while.
Brendan Jure
There isn't much to say about this.

It's your standard DK book full of graphics, short summaries and cool battle maps.

Bought this at a school book fair as a kid (probably 12) and probably read it a good few times then. Decided to read it while on Christmas break for a quick read.
Was very thorough, which wasn't always a good thing but I guess if you don't want to know about certain things you can just skip that section. A great book to get a little knowledge on a war that nobody seems to know anything about.
R.G. Ziemer
May 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent - comprehensive, detailed, great maps and photos, sidebars on related subjects.
Jun 15, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: erste-weltkrieg
It was good; lots of pictures, enjoyed it
Kleon Chan
Oct 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
A really cool book with tons and tons of information about World War I, it goes to detail to standard uniforms and accounts of attles and tons of pictures in every page.
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, great-war
So well designed, a little museum.
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: norsk, non-fiction
Både tyngre og mer omfattende enn det jeg trodde den skulle være. Men jeg har lært mye nytt.
Jan 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent, high level overview of WWI. Not much depth but good for general information. Lots of maps and photos.
Thomas Brandenstein
rated it really liked it
Aug 17, 2019
Dean Vancaeyzeele
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2016
James T.
rated it really liked it
Dec 15, 2012
Bjp Sara
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Aug 23, 2019
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Hedley Paul Willmott (H.P Willmott) is a widely published military historian, author, former Senior Lecturer at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He has written extensively on modern naval and military history.

He is retired and lives in Surrey, England.

(source: &
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