Yesterday was the centennial anniversary of the United States’ entry in to World War I, so this weekend we’re inspired to brush up on our Great War history. Check out our four #FridayReads picks!
The Day the World Was Shocked
By far the most controversial sinking during the First World War was that of the Lusitania. As opposed to the loss of the Titanic several years earlier, which could be attributed to nature, the destruction of the passenger-liner Lusitania came at the hands of a German U-boat, one of many which infested the Atlantic at the time seeking destruction.
Over 1,200 people perished in this attack, including citizens from the then neutral United States of America. Although America did not declare war over this incident, the repulsion over needless loss of life put the country in psychological terms on an inexorable path toward intervention in Europe.
Many questions, however, rage to this day. Was the liner armed? Did she carry contraband (munitions) in a secret effort to aid the Allies? Did the Germans set out from the start to sink this ship? Was the Lusitania deliberately allowed to be sunk (by the supposedly protective Royal Navy) in order to draw the United States into the war?
This book answers these and other questions surrounding this emotionally charged sinking. It traces the story from the time of the vessel’s construction to her demise, while providing a real-time look at the chaos on board once German torpedoes had shattered the ship. And what of the U-boat commander, who may either have made the greatest mistake in history, or had just been performing his duty? This account deals with the diplomatic repercussions of the sinking while at the same time examines the human side of the story.
John Protasio, author of three previous books on maritime disasters, has here provided an expert account and analysis of the sinking that swayed a nation—in fact, the world—into a new era, as the United States finally found that it could no longer hide behind its oceans, and instead felt compelled to assert itself as a global power.
The Battles of World War I: Everything You Need to Know
Our understanding of the twentieth century and beyond hinges upon the First World War. In this new and comprehensive book, the fascinating facts are presented in an accessible way, allowing anyone to brush up on the devastating conflict that changed the world we live in.
Discover everything you need to know about:
•The battle of Ypres
•The forgotten wars between Italy, Austria and Russia
•The invention of the tank and how it changed the war
•The role of the USA
•The siege of Kut
•The battle the Germans won
and much more.
Cupid’s War is the moving and inspiring true story of a war horse, one of many thousands that were shipped across the English Channel a hundred years ago to play their part on the Western Front during the First World War. They did not all return.
Cupid had been a father’s gift to his 15-year-old son, and when war broke out father, son and horse found themselves facing the horrors of the conflict together. Martin Laurie is the grandson of the young man who owned Cupid and rode her to war. With the aid of his grandfather’s letters and family documents and photographs, he has pieced together an astonishing story.
Tracing Your First World War Ancestors
As the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War approaches, there is a huge surge of interest in the men and women who took part in it. This book is a timely guide if you are researching the soldiers, sailors or airmen. It is an accessible, up-to-date and expert introduction to get you on your way and to answer those questions that might crop up during your researches. In a straightforward, easy-to-follow style it introduces readers to the multitude of sources they can use to explore the history of the war for themselves.
Anyone who is eager to piece together the wartime career and likely experiences of an ancestor who was involved in any aspect the conflict, at home or overseas, will find his book to be an indispensable source of information and advice. In a series of short, instructive chapters Simon Fowler takes the reader through the process of researching ancestors who served in the armed forces, providing short cuts and background information as required.