Audiobook: History of the Great War, Volume One

History of the Great War, Volume One cover

History of the Great War, Volume One

1 - Preface


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This is the first of a four-volume history of the First World War, covering the period from its outbreak in the summer of 1914 to the campaign in Neuve Chapelle of March 1915. The author, John Buchan, was most widely known as the writer of the spy-thriller, The Thirty-Nine Steps; and he was also a politician and a diplomat. According to the writer in his preface, this work appeared originally in twenty-four volumes between February 1915 and July 1919, and was thus partially contemporaneous with the war itself. The volume starts with the triggering event, i.e., the assassination of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand; then the author gave a general background of the world's political and social situations that contributed to the more deep-rooted cause to the final showdown between the antagonistic powers. For the rest of the volume, the author narrated, in a chronological fashion, the major individual battles that had been fought; and the gradual escalation of the armed conflicts that were to spread ultimately to almost every part of the world. Details were given to the relative power and military preparation of each belligerent in an emerging battle, the topography of the battle theatre, a blow-by-blow account of the actual fighting, and the strategical significance of its aftermath. There are also interluding chapters to take stock of the overall situation after a series of major campaigns had been played out. In general, the author took a rather formal approach by describing the war from a more macroscopic level, packed with factual details, but from the perspective of a patriotic British national. (DavidReader)

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