Book Review: The Great War

I’ve been watching a lot of Storm of Steel for TooFatLardies related content. Alex does a lot of First World War scenarios which led me to realise I didn’t actually know much about the period. Secondary school history covered some of the lead up and the aftermath (knowing Woodrow Wilson’s Fourteen Points were definitely worth a few marks in exams) but not a lot else.

The Great War

There’s a lot of chat about Lions Led By Donkeys which is a position I’d been aware of but not held because frankly I didn’t know enough to have a stance. The Great War by Peter Hart puts a lot of evidence forward to dissuade you from such a position.

There’s a lot of background into why the war started and then a very detailed description of how it progressed. Turns out I really knew nothing about how trench warfare arose and developed. I also didn’t know the half of the Mesopotamian campaign.

Peter Hart does not shy away from the horrors either. It’s not a hagiography of the Entente powers. There are some truly grim descriptions in here. Not one for the faint hearted.

Would I recommend it? Yes. Especially if you’re doing a crash course of 20th century history like me.