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Author: Ernst J?¬ľnger
Howard Fertig

A memoir of astonishing power, savagery, and ashen lyricism, Storm of Steel illuminates not only the horrors but also the fascination of total war, seen through the eyes of an ordinary German soldier. Young, tough, patriotic, but also disturbingly self-aware, Jünger exulted in the Great War, which he saw not just as a great national conflict but—more importantly—as a unique personal struggle. Leading raiding parties, defending trenches against murderous British incursions, simply enduring as shells tore his comrades apart, Jünger kept testing himself, braced for the death that will mark his failure. Published shortly after the war’s end, Storm of Steel was a worldwide bestseller.

Storm of Steel begins with Jünger as a private entering the line with the 73rd Hanoverian Regiment (7./F.R.73) in Champagne. His first taste of combat came at Les Éparges in April 1915 where he was first wounded.

After recuperating, he took an officer's course and achieved the rank of Ensign. He rejoined his regiment on the Arras sector. In 1916, with the Battle of the Somme underway, Jünger's regiment moved to Combles in August for the defence of the village of Guillemont. Here Jünger was wounded again, and fortunately absent shortly before the final British assault which captured the village—his platoon was annihilated. In 1917 Jünger saw action during the Battle of Arras in April, the Third Battle of Ypres in July and October, and the German counter-attack during the Battle of Cambrai in November. Jünger led a company of assault troops during the final German Spring Offensive, 21 March 1918 when he was wounded again. On 23 August he suffered his most severe wound when he was shot through the chest.

In total, Jünger was wounded 14 times during the war, including five bullet wounds. He was awarded the Iron Cross 1st Class and was the youngest, and last, ever recipient of the Pour le Mérite

Author: Sir Alistair Horne
Penguin Books

The "Price of Glory: Verdun 1916" is the second book of Alistair Horne's trilogy, which includes "The Fall of Paris" and "To Lose a Battle" and tells the story of the great crises of the rivalry between France and Germany. The battle of Verdun lasted ten months. It was a battle in which at least 700,000 men fell, along a front of fifteen miles. Its aim was less to defeat the enemy than bleed him to death and a battleground whose once fertile terrain is even now a haunted wilderness. Alistair Horne's classic work, continuously in print for over fifty years, is a profoundly moving, sympathetic study of the battle and the men who fought there. It shows that Verdun is a key to understanding the First World War to the minds of those who waged it, the traditions that bound them and the world that gave them the opportunity. "Verdun was the bloodiest battle in history..."The Price of Glory" is the essential book on the subject". ("Sunday Times"). "It has almost every merit...Horne sorts out complicating issues with the greatest clarity. He has a splendid gift for depicting individuals". (A.J.P. Taylor, "Observer"). "A masterpiece". ("The New York Times"). "Compellingly told...Alastair Horne uses contemporary accounts from both sides to build up a picture of heroism, mistakes, even farce". ("Sunday Telegraph"). "Brilliantly written ...very readable; almost like a historical novel - except that it is true". (Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery). One of Britain's greatest historians, Sir Alistair Horne, CBE, is the author of a trilogy on the rivalry between France and Germany, "The Price of Glory", "The Fall of Paris" and "To Lose a Battle", as well as a two-volume life of Harold Macmillan.

Author: Louis Barthas and Edward M. Strauss (Translator)
Yale University Press

Along with millions of other Frenchmen, Louis Barthas, a thirty-five-year-old barrelmaker from a small wine-growing town, was conscripted to fight the Germans in the opening days of World War I. Corporal Barthas spent the next four years in near-ceaseless combat, wherever the French army fought its fiercest battles: Artois, Flanders, Champagne, Verdun, the Somme, the Argonne. Barthas’ riveting wartime narrative, first published in France in 1978, presents the vivid, immediate experiences of a frontline soldier.
 
This excellent new translation brings Barthas’ wartime writings to English-language readers for the first time. His notebooks and letters represent the quintessential memoir of a “poilu,” or “hairy one,” as the untidy, unshaven French infantryman of the fighting trenches was familiarly known. Upon Barthas’ return home in 1919, he painstakingly transcribed his day-to-day writings into nineteen notebooks, preserving not only his own story but also the larger story of the unnumbered soldiers who never returned. Recounting bloody battles and endless exhaustion, the deaths of comrades, the infuriating incompetence and tyranny of his own officers, Barthas also describes spontaneous acts of camaraderie between French poilus and their German foes in trenches just a few paces apart. An eloquent witness and keen observer, Barthas takes his readers directly into the heart of the Great War.

Author: Ian Sumner
Pen and Sword

This graphic collection of first-hand accounts sheds new light on the experiences of the French army during the Great War. It reveals in authentic detail the perceptions and emotions of soldiers and civilians who were caught up in the most destructive conflict the world had ever seen. Their testimony gives a striking insight into the mentality of the troops and their experience of combat, their emotional ties to their relatives at home, their opinions about their commanders and their fellow soldiers, the appalling conditions and dangers they endured, and their attitude to their German enemy. In their own words, in diaries, letters, reports and memoirs - most of which have never been published in English before - they offer a fascinating inside view of the massive life-and-death struggle that took place on the Western Front. Ian Sumner provides a concise narrative of the war in order to give a clear context to the eyewitness material. In effect the reader is carried through the experience of each phase of the war on the Western Front and sees events as soldiers and civilians saw them at the time. This emphasis on eyewitness accounts provides an approach to the subject that is completely new for an English-language publication. The author's pioneering work will appeal to readers who may know something about the British and German armies on the Western Front, but little about the French army which bore the brunt of the fighting on the allied side. His book represents a milestone in publishing on the Great War.

Author: Ronald Pawly
Illustrator: Patrice Courcelle
Osprey (Elite)

Osprey's study of the German commanders of World War I (1914-1918). The turn of the 20th century saw Imperial Germany as essentially a militarist state, whose growing industrial resources and wealth were harnessed to the task of increasing German military power, at a time of aggressive expansionist diplomacy in competition with Britain and France. After her victories over Austria in the 1860s and France in 1870, Germany's General Staff enjoyed tremendous professional prestige throughout Europe, and was the model for all aspects of command and control. The German army was essentially that of Prussia, Bavaria and Saxony with smaller contingents from the lesser states. Its generals were the men who planned, initiated, and to a large extent controlled the course of World War I.

(Marsh comment: I didn't like the art—it isn't up to Osprey's
usual high standards -- kinda funky and blurry...)

Author: William McElwee
Illustrator: Michael Roffe
Osprey (Men-at-Arms)

On 1 July 1881 Viscount Cardwell's wholesale reorganisation of the British Army brought into existence Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Both had existed as separate regiments even before their official incorporation into the British Army and on the face of it, this seemed a highly improbable union, Being separated both geographically and historically - they had never even served together in the same theatre. Yet, as history has shown, this unlikely combination proved to be a tremendous success. With the help of contemporary accounts and black and white illustrations and photographs, William McElwee tells the story of this most famous of regiments, from the historical origins of both, to their amalgamation and subsequent service in two world wars and beyond. With numerous illustrations and eight superb full page colour plates by Michael Roffe.


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