Cover image for The First World War
The First World War
Prior, Robin.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London : Cassell, 1999.
Physical Description:
224 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 27 cm.
General Note:
Series statement on jacket.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
D521 .P75 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Industrial and ironclad power reached its culmination in the war that engulfed Europe. As events would prove, however, the products of the industrial system of the 20th century, including the capacity of the system to transfer vast reserves of manpower from civilian to military employment at short notice, much more greatly favoured strategies of defence than offence. The outcome was a war of attrition and immobile fronts, eventually to be unlocked only when a second wave of industrial innovation yielded means - the tank, the aeroplane - to break the stalemate. This is a complete history of World War I. It is illustrated throughout and incorporates computer-generated cartography to bring the battlefields to life.

Author Notes

Robin Prior is with the history department of the Australian Defense Force in Canberra
Trevor Wilson, a professor of history at Adelaide University in Australia

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

It is fitting at the close of the 20th century that some thought be given to the initial calamity that set the century upon its destructive course. The First World War by Prior (history, Australian Defense Force Acad.) and Wilson (history, emeritus, Univ. of Adelaide) provides a fine narration of the military course of the war on land (a companion volume in Cassell's "History of Warfare" series will treat the war at sea). It concentrates on the European fronts, East and West, and on the strategy and outcomes of the battles between the major participants. The authors show a decidedly pro-British perspective, giving less-than-equal treatment to French and American contributions to victory. Although there is a good chronology, the battlefield maps contain more detail than needed for such a general narrative. This strictly military history provides some debatable conclusions on the war's genesis and a paean to the justness of the Allied cause. It may be in answer, intended or not, to Niall Ferguson's provocative The Pity of War (LJ 3/15/99) or even John Keegan's stark The First World War (LJ 4/15/99). Roze, a classical literature professor in France, has produced a more thoughtful work in her Fields of Memory. True to its title, it is a testament in words and images to those who suffered and died in the Great War. Its fluid story is extensively illustrated with period photographs as well as recent ones of the French and Belgian countryside, still littered with ruins. Personal narratives of French participants are frequently cited to give life to the dead and help individualize the war experience. It is not scholarly like Jay Winter's Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning (Cambrige Univ., 1995), but it has much more to offer than its coffee-table exterior would lead one to expect. Both books are recommended for public and academic libraries.--James Tasato Mellone, Hofstra Univ., Hempstead, New York (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. 5
Map listp. 9
Chronologyp. 10
Introduction: The Coming of Warp. 16
1 1914p. 36
2 1915p. 58
3 Peripheriesp. 88
4 1916p. 110
5 1917p. 140
6 1918p. 166
Conclusion: The Peace Settlement and Beyondp. 202
Biographical detailsp. 218
Further readingp. 227
Indexp. 231
Picture creditsp. 240