Germany in the Great War: Verdun & Somme written by Joshua Bilton and published by Pen & Sword Books – £19.99 – Softcover – Pages 240

For the Central Powers, 1916 was a year of trial and error, of successes and failures, of innovation and of drastic changes. Tactics developed, while war aims mutated to suit the inertia of trench warfare. Advances were effectively countered with the development of new weaponry, or indeed aided by their inclusion.

Across all fronts, whether at home or in Poland, citizens and soldiers alike stood fast against Entente forces. On the Western Front, bitter fighting continued apace. To the east the armies of Austro-Hungary, Germany and Bulgaria battled Entente forces. Meanwhile at sea, the German High Seas Fleet ambushed the Royal Navy off the coast of Denmark. On the Home Front, the poor harvest of 1916, coupled with a lack of transport, led to a winter of stark deprivation. As a consequence, the German government introduced what was effectively a system of rationing entitled, ‘sharing scarcity.’ While to the south, Ottoman forces fought Allied soldiers for control of Kut and Erzurum, a fortified trading port in eastern Turkey.

Germany in the Great War: Verdun, Somme is the third publication in a five-part series. In addition to the Author’s introduction and a chronology of events, five hundred contemporary photographs, many of which have never before been published in this country, are included.

This is a book that looks at the German side of how they dealt, lived with and survived the Great War from their viewpoint. This is very much like an Images of War version of the Great War like it is to the Second World War. Each chapter focuses on a specific subject connected with the battles at Verdun and Somme. You have the Home Front, Italy, Turkey, the Navy, the Airforce, the Western Front etc. Now this book is a chunky book absolutely packed with photographs and images, some of them are familiar to us now but some are extraordinary in their connotations. While I loved pretty much all the photos, I found the ones from the Home Front really revealing and fascinating. They show how life is more or less normal and people are working in their daily jobs, only most of the factories and workplaces are aimed at supporting all parts of the war effort. A really fascinating book, this book is brilliant. The book has an excellent Bibliography, Timeline, Notes and Endnotes section to it, really comprehensive. I hope this is a WWI version of the Images of War Series because from this book, only books can only be a huge success. This book certainly has my highest recommendation.

By Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.