- Tapa blanda: 528 páginas
- Editor: Vintage Books; Edición: Vintage Books (1 de mayo de 2000)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0375700455
- ISBN-13: 978-0375700453
- Valoración media de los clientes: 1 opinión de cliente
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº32.033 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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The First World War (Inglés) Tapa blanda – may 2000
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"Eloquent.... Mr. Keegan captures the anamolous, even surreal quality of the war." -The New York Times"The best one-volume account there is." -Civilization "Elegantly written, clear, detailed, and omniscient.... Keegan is ...perhaps the best military historian of our day." -The New York Times Book Review "Undoubtedly the world's most accessible and popular military historian." -Los Angeles Times Book Review "Magisterial.... A miracle of concision." -The Weekly Standard "An epic tale.... Makes us keenly aware of how battles are fought, won, and lost." -Fortune
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I picked up a few facts of which I was unaware: that Emperor Franz Joseph was initially against the war, that French generals had ordered the Eifel Tower be prepared for demolition in the event of imminent capture, the sickening enthusiasm in the armies and that the Marines were the most professional part of the Doughboy forces, but any Marine would have told me that. This book puts things into perspective by comparing the death rates among the belligerents and pointing out that, on the whole, relatively little damage was done to Europe by the War.
Battles that were just places to me, Ypres, Tannenberg, Verdun, The Somme, Vimy Ridge, San Mihiel became pieces in the great puzzle of the Great War. Mere names: Joffre and Petain, French and Haig. Ludendorff and Hindenburg became people. Trench life and the nature of gas attacks were described in comprehensible terms. By the time I reached the end I had a much greater understanding of the Great War as a whole, its origins, its flow and its conclusion. I highly recommend it as a starting point for any Great war study.
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He talked about what some of the counties experienced in previous wars. So, every country seemed to think it would last a few months with little risks and more territories to gain. He talked some about the large number of French generals fired after a few months of war. Were they all inept or did folks have too high of expectations on them?
He also talked about battle strategy of coordinating artillery and troops. How the battle strategy evolved, how the trench systems evolved, and the problems the commanders had of getting real time info. There are details about pre-war battle plans and how logistics drove them. Population unrest, food shortages, office politics of the generals.
I enjoyed the book and am gonna read more of his. Just ordered another one.
As always, I was much impressed by how Keegan handled the complex sequence of events in the short compass of a book not intended to be a complete day to day, mini-battle to mini-battle, detailed accounting of events.
But with the end in sight (at least the Germans thought so), the war takes a different shape as it hardens into trench warfare. Keegan explains how the tactics and strategy for trench warfare evolved throughout the war. He discusses the uses of new technologies like chemical warfare, indirect artillery, machine guns, aerial combat, and tanks. Keegan also explains that all these new technological advances only serve to stack the body count without delivering the knockout blow so desired. He shows over and over again how the lack of development in communications prevented breakouts from sustaining their momentum. In fact, it would take another war to hone these techniques even after the technology was available. Even in Normandy during WWII, the allies found it difficult to coordinate infantry with armor formations and close air support. Keegan also explores the expansion of the war as a European war grows to consume most of the world. He covers the war at sea which results in the near annihilation of the German High Seas Fleet.
But the book is not perfect. There could be more maps to reflect the narrative. Keegan does allow national pride to color his discussion of British actions. The end of the war lacks the coverage it deserves. Others have pointed out the gripes. But, it is hard to please everyone. Keegan still delivers an excellent overview of the "Great War". I recommend this book highly to anyone interested in history. Understanding WWI is fundamental in appreciating the history of the last century. The lessons of the world wars should be understood by anyone interested in foreign policy.