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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Jan 19, 2015 07:00PM) (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
This may be of help to some who are trying to get their bearings. It helps with a chronology which was lacking in Keegan's book. What was the chronology of World War I? This thread discusses this timeline.

The History Book Club did discuss Keegan's book previously as well.

The First World War by John Keegan by John Keegan John Keegan

message 3: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) This book covers the first year in the timeline of WWI and offers some interesting scenarios about what could have happened to derail the conflict. Somewhat controversial.

The Lost History of 1914: Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began

The Lost History of 1914 Reconsidering the Year the Great War Began by Jack Beatty by Jack Beatty (no photo)


In The Lost History of 1914, Jack Beatty offers a highly original view of World War I, testing against fresh evidence the long-dominant assumption that it was inevitable. "Most books set in 1914 map the path leading to war," Beatty writes. "This one maps the multiple paths that led away from it."

Chronicling largely forgotten events faced by each of the belligerent countries in the months before the war started in August, Beatty shows how any one of them-a possible military coup in Germany; an imminent civil war in Britain; the murder trial of the wife of the likely next premier of France, who sought détente with Germany-might have derailed the war or brought it to a different end. In Beatty's hands, these stories open into epiphanies of national character, and offer dramatic portraits of the year's major actors-Kaiser Wilhelm, Tsar Nicholas II , Woodrow Wilson, along with forgotten or overlooked characters such as Pancho Villa, Rasputin, and Herbert Hoover. Europe's ruling classes, Beatty shows, were so haunted by fear of those below that they mistook democratization for revolution, and were tempted to "escape forward" into war to head it off. Beatty's powerful rendering of the combat between August 1914 and January 1915 which killed more than one million men, restores lost history, revealing how trench warfare, long depicted as death's victory, was actually a life-saving strategy.

Beatty's deeply insightful book-as elegantly written as it is thought-provoking and probing-lights a lost world about to blow itself up in what George Kennan called "the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century." It also arms readers against narratives of historical inevitability in today's world.

message 4: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Jill for shaking the dust off of World War I and getting things back on track.

message 5: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) As you know, it is one of my favorite subjects.

message 6: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
I know.

message 7: by Jill (last edited Mar 10, 2015 09:07PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the second year of the WWI timeline, 1915, came the infamous and deadly battle at Gallipoli. Here is the book which will give an insider's looks at that fiasco.


Gallipoli 1915 by Tim Travers by Tim Travers (no photo)


Why was the Allied naval assault of February 1915 so unsuccessful? Did the Ottoman Turks have knowledge of the Allied landings of April 25, 1915? And did Sir Ian Hamilton, the overall commander of the Allied forces at Gallipoli, really make a mistake in his intervention at Suvla? These questions and the key issue of why the Ottoman Turks won the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, or why the Allies lost it, have never been satisfactorily answered. This new history of the Gallipoli campaign finally answers these questions, while also telling the story of what actually happened through the voices of British, Australian, and Turkish soldiers.

message 8: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Good post

message 9: by Jill (last edited Apr 26, 2015 08:58PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the third year of the WWI timeline, 1916.

Death of an Army - The Siege of Kut 1915-1916

Death of an Army - The Siege of Kut 1915-1916 by Ronald Millar by Ronald Millar (no photo)


Described by one historian as "the most abject capitulation in Britain’s military history", British Empire forces surrender to Turkish forces at Kut in Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq). Of the 13,000 soldiers captured, less than half would survive the Turkish jails.

message 10: by Jill (last edited Jul 03, 2015 09:52PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the third year of the WWI timeline, 1917, the Allies broke through the Hindenburg (Siegfried) Line at the Battle of Arras.

Bullecourt 1917: Breaching the Hindenburg Line

Bullecourt 1917 Breaching the Hindenburg Line by Paul Kendall by Paul Kendall(no photo)


In the spring of 1917 the Arras offensive was begun to break the stalemate of the Western Front by piercing the formidable German defenses of the Hindenburg Line. The village of Bullecourt lay at the southern end of the battle front, and the fighting there over a period of six weeks from 11 April until late May 1917, epitomized the awful trench warfare of World War I. In Bullecourt 1917, Paul Kendall tells the stories of the fierce battles fought by three British and three Australian divisions in an attempt to aid Allenby's Third Army break out from Arras. Approximately 10,000 Australian and 7,000 British soldiers died, many of whom were listed as missing and have no known grave. The battle caused much consternation due to the failure of British tanks in supporting Australian infantry on April 11th, but despite the lack of tank and artillery support the Australian infantry valiantly fought their way into the German trenches. It took a further six weeks for British and Australian infantry to capture the village. This book tells the story of this bitter battle and pays tribute to the men who took part. Crucially, Paul Kendall has contacted as many of the surviving relatives of the combatants as he could, to gain new insight into those terrible events on the Hindenburg Line.

message 11: by Jill (last edited Jul 03, 2015 10:02PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the third year of the timeline, 1917, came the Battle of Flanders (where poppies blow, between the crosses row on row).

British Flanders Offensive

7 June - 10 November 1917

Battlefield area:

Ypres Salient (West-Flanders)

On 7th June 1917 the British Commander-in-Chief, General Haig, launched the first phase of an offensive which had the objective to break out of the Ypres Salient and also to relieve the pressure on the weakened French Army after the Nivelle Offensive. This was the Battle of Messines (7th - 14th June 1917). The launch of the infantry assault was preceded by the explosion of 19 huge mines under the German Front Line along the ridge of high ground, the Wyteschaete Ridge, south of Ypres. Preparations for an attack on the ridge had been carried out since early in 1916. German senior commanders did not heed warnings by some commanders in the field that the British might be carrying out significant mining operations, and, fortunately for the British, the German Front Line was not withdrawn to the eastern part of the ridge. The attack was successful in pushing the German Front Line off the Wyteschaete Ridge.

The next phase of the British Flanders offensive was the launch of the Third Battle of Ypres (31st July - 6th November 1917). Bouyed up by the success of the Battle of Messines, the British Commander-in-Chief, General Haig, was of the belief that the German Army was weak and would not withstand an attempted breakthrough in the north-east of the Ypres Salient. Once a breakthough of the German Front Line had been achieved, the British would be able to possess the dominant views of the high ground of the Passchendaele Ridge. They would then be in a good position to continue to the German-held ports of Ostend and Zeebrugge on the Belgian coast. Not only were both ports being used by the Germans for light shipping traffic, but Zeebrugge was the location of pens for German submarines, which were attacking Allied shipping.

The preliminary bombardment before the battle lasted for 10 days, during which time 3,000 guns fired 4.25 million artillery shells. Along an 11 mile front the infantry attack comprised a corps of the French First Army on the left, the British Fifth Army in the centre and a corps of the British Second Army on the right of the attack. The German Fourth Army held off the attackers in most places. Within hours of the start of the battle rain began to fall and crucially did not stop, carrying on into the following weeks. The constant rain produced conditions completely unsuitable for the continued movement of men, animals and heavy equipment, such as artillery pieces and tanks. The battle, however, continued to grind on in short phases for several weeks throughout the late summer, the autumn and into the winter until the eventual capture of the crest of the Passchendaele Ridge and Passchendaele village on 6th November. The final phase of the battle, called The Battle of Passchendaele, was a name which became synonymous to the British nation with the mud, blood, horror and terrible human loss that was the trench warfare of the Great War of 1914-1918. The British Expeditionary Force sustained over 300,000 casualties.


message 12: by Jill (last edited Aug 25, 2015 09:32PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In 1916 of the WWI timeline came the controversial battle of Jutland in which a victor still cannot be named.

May 31, 1916 - The main German and British naval fleets clash in the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea, as both sides try, but fail, to score a decisive victory. Forward battle cruisers from the British Grand Fleet are initially lured southward toward the German High Seas Fleet, but then turn completely around, luring the entire German fleet northward. As they get near, the British blast away at the German forward ships. The Germans return fire and the two fleets fire furiously at each other. However, the Germans, aware they are outgunned by the larger British fleet, disengage by abruptly turning away. In the dead of the night the Germans withdraw entirely. The British do not risk a pursuit and instead head home. Both sides claim victory. Although the Germans sink 14 of the 151 British ships while losing 11 of 99 ships, the British Navy retains its dominance of the North Sea and the naval blockade of Germany will remain intact for the war's duration.
(Source: The History Place)

The HMS Queen Mary blowing up at the Battle of Jutland
(Source: Wikipedia)

message 13: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Thank you Jill for all of the adds.

message 14: by Jill (last edited Nov 19, 2015 05:02PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the 1917 timeline of WWI, the United States entered the war.

US Enters WWI: April 6, 1917

Two days after the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 to declare war against Germany, the U.S. House of Representatives endorses the declaration by a vote of 373 to 50, and America formally enters World War I.

When World War I erupted in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson pledged neutrality for the United States, a position that the vast majority of Americans favored. Britain, however, was one of America’s closest trading partners, and tension soon arose between the United States and Germany over the latter’s attempted quarantine of the British Isles. Several U.S. ships traveling to Britain were damaged or sunk by German mines, and in February 1915 Germany announced unrestricted warfare against all ships, neutral or otherwise, that entered the war zone around Britain. One month later, Germany announced that a German cruiser had sunk the William P. Frye, a private American vessel. President Wilson was outraged, but the German government apologized and called the attack an unfortunate mistake.

On May 7, the British-owned Lusitania ocean liner was torpedoed without warning just off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,959 passengers, 1,198 were killed, including 128 Americans. The German government maintained that the Lusitania was carrying munitions, but the U.S. demanded reparations and an end to German attacks on unarmed passenger and merchant ships. In August, Germany pledged to see to the safety of passengers before sinking unarmed vessels, but in November sunk an Italian liner without warning, killing 272 people, including 27 Americans. With these attacks, public opinion in the United States began to turn irrevocably against Germany.

In 1917, Germany, determined to win its war of attrition against the Allies, announced the resumption of unrestricted warfare in war-zone waters. Three days later, the United States broke diplomatic relations with Germany, and just hours after that the American liner Housatonic was sunk by a German U-boat. On February 22, Congress passed a $250 million arms appropriations bill intended to make the United States ready for war. In late March, Germany sunk four more U.S. merchant ships, and on April 2 President Wilson appeared before Congress and called for a declaration of war against Germany. Four days later, his request was granted.

On June 26, the first 14,000 U.S. infantry troops landed in France to begin training for combat. After four years of bloody stalemate along the western front, the entrance of America’s well-supplied forces into the conflict marked a major turning point in the war and helped the Allies to victory. When the war finally ended, on November 11, 1918, more than two million American soldiers had served on the battlefields of Western Europe, and some 50,000 of them had lost their lives.

message 15: by Jill (last edited May 21, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the first year of the WWI timeline, the unthinkable happened.....neutral little Belgium was invaded by the Germans.

Ten Days in August

Ten Days in August The Siege of Liège 1914 by Terence Zuber by Terence Zuber (No photo)


In August 1914 the German main attack was conducted by the 2nd Army. It had the missions of taking the vital fortresses of Liège and Namur, and then defeating the Anglo-French-Belgian forces in the open plains of northern Belgium. The German attack on the Belgian fortress at Liège had tremendous political and military importance. Nevertheless, there has never been a complete account of the siege. The German and Belgian sources are fragmentary and biased. The short descriptions in English are general, use a few Belgian sources, and are filled with inaccuracies. Making use of both German and Belgian sources, this book for the first time describes and evaluates the construction of the fortress, its military purpose, the German plan, and the conduct of the German attack. Previous accounts emphasize the importance of the huge German "Big Bertha" cannon, to the virtual exclusion of everything else: the Siege of Liège shows that the effect of this gun was a myth, and shows how the Germans really took the fortress.

message 16: by Jill (last edited Jul 17, 2016 09:33PM) (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The final year of the timeline, 1918, is thoroughly dissected in this book and the author asks some penetrating questions.

Victory: 1918

Victory 1918 by Alan Warwick Palmer by Alan Warwick Palmer (no photo)


Almost a century after the battles of the First World War ended, their consequences remain imprinted on the political maps of Europe and much of the Middle East.

Did events justify Lloyd George's claim in 1914 that the Kaiser could fall `by knocking away the props'; isolating Germany by defeating her partners?

When Italy joined the Allies who was propping up whom?

Were sideshows in the Balkans, Iraq and Palestine integral to the war's general strategy, or were they simply old imperial rivalries resumed by other means?

A hundred years on, that moment in November 1918 when the fighting ceased on the Western Front is still remembered across nations: that symbolic eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

'Victory 1918' examines the background to the Allied triumph and its aftermath. Might the Armistice in the forest of Compiegne have come sooner? Did American intervention have won the war and compromised the peace? How near did Germany come to denouncing the Armistice and resuming fighting in 1919?

But 'Victory 1918' is not only concerned with what happened in France and Flanders. There were four armistices that autumn. The Great War was a global conflict, with battlefronts on three continents. Retracing the path to Compiegne through the four-year struggle allows the reader to consider if a broader strategic vision might have brought an earlier victory.

'Victory 1918' is a masterful survey of one of history's great turning points, and offers a fresh interpretation of the war which, more than any other, determined the character of the twentieth century.

message 17: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) In the first year of the WWI timeline, countries were stumbling into war like sleepwalkers.

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914

The Sleepwalkers How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark by Christopher Clark Christopher Clark


On the morning of 6/28/1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand & his wife, Sophie Chotek, arrived at Sarajevo railway station, Europe was at peace. 37 days later, it was at war. The conflict that resulted would kill more than 15,000,000, destroy three empires & permanently alter world history. The Sleepwalkers details how the crisis leading to WWI unfolded. Drawing on fresh sources, it traces the paths to war in a minute-by-minute, action-packed narrative that cuts among the key decision centers in Vienna, Berlin, St Petersburg, Paris, London & Belgrade. Christopher Clark examines the decades of history that informed the events of 1914 & details the mutual misunderstandings & unintended signals that drove the crisis forward in a few short weeks. How did the Balkans—a peripheral region far from Europe's centers of power & wealth—come to be the center of a drama of such magnitude? How had European nations organized themselves into opposing alliances & how did these nations manage to carry out foreign policy as a result? Clark reveals a Europe racked by chronic problems—a fractured world of instability & militancy that was, fatefully, saddled with a conspicuously ineffectual set of political leaders. These rulers, who prided themselves on their modernity & rationalism, stumbled thru crisis after crisis & finally convinced themselves that war was the only answer. Meticulously researched, The Sleepwalkers is a magisterial account of one of the most compelling dramas of modern times.

message 18: by Betsy (new)

Betsy I've read this book. It's scary how things fell into place for war, and no one seemed to realize the consequences.

message 19: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) I think the title is very appropriate......I have also read it and wondered what those people were thinking!!!!

message 20: by Betsy (new)

Betsy I thought the same about the title. You know what they say about waking a sleepwalker--what a nightmare.

message 21: by Jill (new)

Jill Hutchinson (bucs1960) The final year of the WWI timeline, 1918, when the war was ended.

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918

Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour Armistice Day, 1918  by Joseph E. Persico by Joseph E. Persico Joseph E. Persico


"November 11, 1918. The final hours pulsate with tension as every man in the trenches hopes to escape the melancholy distinction of being the last to die in World War I." "The Allied generals knew the fighting would end precisely at 11:00 A.M., yet in the final hours they flung men against an already beaten Germany. The result? Eleven thousand casualties suffered - more than during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Why? Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment, and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion." "Joseph E. Persico puts the reader in the trenches with the forgotten and the famous - among the latter, Corporal Adolf Hitler, Captain Harry Truman, and Colonels Douglas MacArthur and George Patton. Mainly, though, he follows ordinary soldiers' lives, illuminating their fate as the end approaches." Persico sets the last day of the war in historic context with a reprise of all that led up to it, from the 1914 assassination of the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, which ignited the war, to the raw racism black doughboys endured except when ordered to advance and die in the war's final hour.

message 22: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (new)

Bentley | 44207 comments Mod
Timeline of World War I

Timeline of World War I by Charlie Samuels by Charlie Samuels (no photo)


It was called the War to End War, cost over 35 million lives, and changed the scope of warfare forever. Readers discover these and many more vital facts about World War I in this absorbing history resource. A general timeline highlights the major events of the war for readers, and each chapter features an additional timeline to present further details about the dates that shaped the war. This book provides a comprehensive overview of The Great War both before and after American troops entered the fighting. Readers learn about the people, places, and technological advancements that defined this war. Historical artwork and photographs give a visual depiction of life on the front lines and in the trenches.

About the Author:

Charlie Samuels studied at the University of Oxford before beginning a career in publishing that has lasted over 20 years.

He has written hundreds of articles and dozens of books for younger readers, particularly about historical, cultural and military subjects. He has also contributed to and edited many illustrated reference encyclopedias for the British and American markets.

He lives in London, where his nephews and godchildren are happy to tell him how to be a better writer.

message 23: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 177 comments Here is a story about a brief Christmas truce between soldiers who would go back to fighting each other the next day:

message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Engle | 1411 comments Bravo, Jimmy! what an interesting post! I had heard of the Christmas Truce but never with so much scholarly detail.

message 25: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 177 comments I have heard stories about similar things happening in Vietnam between North and South soldiers, but I am not sure about that. It can be difficult to know if anything gets exaggerated or not.

I don't know why a story like that seems hopeful in the midst of slaughter, but it is.

message 26: by Jimmy (new)

Jimmy | 177 comments Here is another Christmas truce that happened on December 25, 1914, based on a letter home. Worth watching:

message 27: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Engle | 1411 comments Thanks, Jimmy, that’s a lovely, artistic rendering. Have a very healthy and prosperous New Year!

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