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[BOOK] Catastrophe - Europe Goes to War 1914



Catastrophe - Europe Goes to War 1914
by Max Hastings

A Great introduction to the causes and course of the first year of the War to "End all Wars", "The Great War" or the First World War. Mixes politics, command, strategy and operational details from start to finish.

Max Hastings has a pleasant writing style that makes his works easy to read and encourages you to bite off big chunks of this book. the book is well assembled and the chapters are dense in info but well laid out to prevent confusion. The action is centered around the European zone of operations but unlike many books about this period does not concentrate wholly on the western front. There are plenty of details of the campaigns in Eastern Europe and some on the Serbian campaign.

The author writes as a historian and as such is quite happy to express opinions on what the evidence suggests eg. Over whose fault the war was and whether any commander was saat fault. It is especially refreshing top see a British writer who accepts that the BEF performed extrordinarily poorly in the first weeks/months and emphasises the perobnlems this cuased the French. It's nice to see the detail on the Austria-Hungary politics and how relations between them and the Germans affected the course of the war.

An Excellent Intro to the War for anyone - Grognard to newcomer.
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