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1918 (Hardback)

The Decisive Year in Soldiers’ Own Words and Photographs

WWI Somme Photographic Books Colour Books 1918 WWI Photographic Books Military

By Richard van Emden
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Series: The National Archives
Pages: 374
Illustrations: 150
ISBN: 9781526735553
Published: 17th September 2018

in_stock

£25.00


Remembrance weekend publicity

As seen on Sunday Brunch, 11 November 2018.

As seen on BBC Breakfast, 9 November 2018. Catch up on iPlayer.

As seen on Good Morning Britain, 8 November 2018. Catch up via the ITV Hub.

Chosen by The Bookseller’s independent industry experts as Highlight of the Season in the non-fiction buyer’s guide 2018.

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1918 proved to be the Allies’ year of victory, but what a monumental effort it was! From the moment Germany launched its all-out Spring offensive to win the war, British and Empire troops fought a tenacious and often last-ditch rearguard action. The Germans gambled with their best, battle-hardened men in one desperate offensive after another, searching for a decisive breakthrough that never came.

In those dark days of March, April and May 1918, Allied troops were tested as never before, their morale placed under microscopic scrutiny, their will to win examined and re-examined. Once again, the soldiers tell their story, giving their own perceptive thoughts and profoundly moving insights while never forgetting the humour that helped them survive.

And when the tables were turned in August, there began a campaign that would throw the enemy across the old ruptured battlefields of 1916 and 1917 and beyond, into open untouched countryside in the full bloom of summer. It took a hundred days of relentless fighting to reach Mons, the Belgian town where it had all started four years before.

A century on, best-selling First World War historian Richard van Emden builds on the success of his previous books, The Somme and The Road to Passchendaele, with this next volume including an extraordinary collection of soldiers’ photographs taken on their illegally-held cameras. Utilising an unparalleled collection of memoirs, diaries and letters written by the men who fought, Richard tells the riveting story of 1918, when decisive victory was grasped from near catastrophe.

Recommended.

Stand To! Journal of the Western Front Association

The great merit of Van Emden, in addition to collecting the testimonies (between hundreds and hundreds it seems that the historian can always find those who bind to form a narrative continuous and exciting) is to have chosen photos of undoubted value.

Read the full Italian review here

Old Barbed Wire Blog

With 1918 van Emden has crafted another compelling account of the war; a soldiers’ account, rather than a comprehensive overview of the campaigns and battles of 1918, but one of the best titles on the final year of the war to have been published in the twilight of the centenary period.

Read the full review here

WW1 Geek

As featured by

History of War, issue 62

The latest in the author’s series in which he tells the story of the final year of the “War to end all Wars” based almost exclusively on the words and photographs of the fighting men on both sides who are no longer with us to tell their tale. The consequence is a gripping worm’s eye view of the final year of the War which helps today’s reader far better understand the needs, fears and expectations of the men on the ground. It is not, nor intended to be, a campaign history but provides a balanced general narrative with the experience of the individual soldier throughout the momentous final year of the War which proved to be the most costly to Britain in terms of casualties. Like his earlier volumes in the series; The Somme – The Epic Battle in the Soldiers’ Own Words and Photographs published in 2016 and The Road to Passchendaele - The Heroic Year in Soldiers’ Own Words and Photographs published in 2017, 1918 – A Decisive Year it is highly recommended.

Military Historical Society

A rejuvenating work within a niche as trite as the First World War.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

As referenced in article

Lancashire Evening Post, 19th December 2018

Article: Lest We Forget part of WWI Armistice centenary feature

Amateur Photographer, 10th November 2018 - words by Amy Davies

As featured by

The Armourer, December 2018

Featured as BOOK OF THE MONTH alongside author Q&A

History Revealed, December 2018

There will be those who buy this book for whom this is an entry into the Great War, and for those people this will be a terrific introduction: top authors, previously unseen photos, first hand veteran accounts and a skillful narrator in the shape of Van Emden. It has it all.

Read the full review here

Army Ancestry Research, Paul Nixon

'Your dedication and painstaking attention to detail are evident in all your books. They’re a pleasure to read…'

James Broome, via Twitter

As featured in

The Bookseller 8/6/18
 Richard Van Emden

About Richard van Emden

Richard van Emden interviewed 270 veterans of the Great War, has written extensively about the soldiers' lives, and has worked on many television documentaries, always concentrating on the human aspects of war, its challenge and its cost to the millions of men involved. Richard van Emden’s books have sold over 660,000 copies and have appeared in The Times’ bestseller chart on a number of occasions.


He has also worked on more than a dozen television programmes on the Great War, including the award-winning Roses of No Man’s Land, Britain’s Boy Soldiers, A Poem for Harry, War Horse: the Real Story, Teenage Tommies with Fergal Keane and most recently, Hidden Histories: WW1’s Forgotten Photographs. He lives in London.

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