Happy Veterans Day, formerly called Armistice Day since it marked the end of World War One on “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. Here are six books on that often neglected conflict. (I will omit Barbara Tuchman’s Guns of August because of how well-known it already is.)
THE HAT IN THE RING GANG: THE COMBAT HISTORY OF THE 94th AERO SQUADRON IN WORLD WAR ONE – Written by Charles Woolley, this excellent book covers America’s 94th Aero Squadron aka The Hat in the Ring Gang.
When it comes to Flying Aces of World War One the Americans in the Lafayette Escadrille get the lion’s share of the attention. That’s ironic since Eddie Rickenbacker, America’s greatest ace of the war, served in the Hat in the Ring Gang along with many other famous paladins of the skies. To buy it click HERE
DOUGHBOY WAR: THE AMERICAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE IN WORLD WAR I – Written/ edited by James H Hallas. I feel this book is perfect for people who are just diving into World War One and don’t want inundated with all of the overwhelming details of more involved works. Doughboy War covers every aspect of American soldiers’ experiences in the Great War, often in their own words.
Follow them from enlistment, training and crossing the Atlantic to facing action in Europe, including accounts of the ordeals faced by wounded Doughboys. To buy it click HERE
THE GREAT WAR IN AFRICA: 1914-1918 – By Byron Farwell. If, like me, you fell in love with Queen Victoria’s Little Wars, Farwell’s book on the monumentally misnamed Pax Britannica, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy this book of his, too.
Long-overlooked military campaigns of World War One come to life as the author treats readers to assorted clashes which involved comparatively small armies but enormous chunks of territory. Tired of trenches and men being fed into machine guns on the Western Front? This book is ideal for you and goes WAY beyond just Lettow-Vorbeck. Click HERE
THE ARAB REVOLT: 1916-1918 – By David Murphy. As the previous book looked far beyond the well-covered Lettow-Vorbeck this one looks far beyond the well-covered Lawrence of Arabia.
Long overlooked aspects of the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire take center stage here. For my fellow obsessive World War One geeks this work is pure heaven as it lets you have a fuller picture of the larger military and political developments on the Arabian Peninsula and vicinity. To buy this book click HERE
THE BATTLE OF THE OTRANTO STRAITS: CONTROLLING THE GATEWAY TO THE ADRIATIC IN WORLD WAR I – By Paul G Halpern. If you’re as tired as I was of Jutland Peninsula and Coronel then hunker down with this baby.
Halpern’s book reads almost like a novel in some sections as he immerses you in the Spring of 1917, culminating at the Otranto Straits in May. As you may have gathered I much prefer works that don’t leave the reader mired in the Western Front’s mud, blood and rats. I genuinely think that focus is what drives away most newcomers to World War One history. To buy this book click HERE
BAND OF BRIGANDS: THE FIRST MEN IN TANKS – By Christy Campbell. If you absolutely HAVE to start your World War One reading with the Western Front then you can at least start with the first tanks in warfare.
The Diesel-Punk appearance of some of the early prototypes will amuse you as you’re led along in the development of these motorized weapons. At length tanks go on to provide an end to the stupefying deadlock on the Western Front by restoring mobility to the military forces. To buy this book click HERE