Germany in the Great War, Western Front First Year...


...Neuve Chapelle, First Ypres and Loos, a new book from Pen and Sword


Title: Germany in the Great War, Western Front First Year

Author: Joshua Bilton

Publisher: Pen and Sword Books

ISBN: 978-1-47382-7-417

This is a new book from Pen and Sword done in a similar style to their Images of War series, but specifically dealing with Archive and Photographs of WW1.  It is the second in a series of 5 being prepared by author Joshua Bilton.  A soft cover book of 130 pages, it holds over 400 historical images, each provided with informative captions.

This book is divided into 6 chapters, and actually covers a wider range than just the Western Front of the title but the first full year of the war, 1915 and from the viewpoint of the Central Powers.  The opening chapter does cover the Western Front. The selection of pictures is fascinating.  Yes there are some that illustrate the destruction we often associate with the Western Front, but many others show us scenes behind the lined, dealing with rations, prisoners of war, equipment such as artillery and machine guns, and a number which illustrate some very substantial wooden defence constructions.  A number of ideas here for the modeller.  Chapter 2 moves across to the Eastern Front and there is quite a different selection of images.  Equipment like artillery and trench mortars are illustrated, and some more mountainous terrain they had to cope with.

In chapter 3 you get a useful reminder that at the time of the Great War, Germany was a colonial power with interests beyond the boundaries of Europe, and looks at events in the Pacific and Africa.  In chapter 4 it covers the story in Turkey, followed by chapter 5 which looks at the War at Sea, particularly the early work of the U-Boats.  Chapter 6 deals with the Home Front, with troop training, hospitals, factories and the like, along with the question of food supplies and the early effects of the allied blockade.  The final few pages of the book are given over to a Timeline, listing dates and particular events from January through to December 1915.  With each chapter having a couple of pages of text to introduce each one and then a selection of varied and well captioned pictures, this is nicely put together. Plenty of detail to interest the modeller with uniforms and equipment and to see it from the German viewpoint in particular.

Thanks to Pen and Sword for this review copy.