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WWI


The horrors and sacrifices of the First World War are deeply engrained in the national psyche - as we commemorate the centenary its echoes sound louder than ever. The four years between 1914 – 1918 irrevocably changed the lives of its participants and each subsequent generation, right up to the present day. One hundred years later and the themes are still familiar – unrest in the Balkans, unification of Europe, the rise and fall of nation states.

Pen & Sword Books have an unrivalled list of Great War titles covering the tragic yet often glorious events of ‘the war to end all wars’. These describe, often in the words of participants, combat on the ground, in the trenches, as well as in the air and at sea. We have a superb range battlefield guide books, memoirs and descriptive historical accounts by expert authors. Our comprehensive list of Great War titles provide an excellent insight into this most complex, and affecting, of conflicts.








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Fort Vaux

The bitter fight for Fort Vaux is one of the most famous episodes in the Battle of Verdun - it has achieved almost legendary status in French military history. The heroic resistance put up by the fort's commander, Major Raynal, and his small, isolated garrison in the face of repeated German assaults was remarkable at the time, and it is still seen… Read more...

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Tracing Your Prisoner of War Ancestors: The First World War

The experience of civilian internees and British prisoners of war in German and Turkish hands during the First World War is one of the least well-known – and least researched – aspects of the history of the conflict. The same applies to prisoners of war and internees held in the UK. Yet, as Sarah Paterson shows in this authoritative handbook, a… Read more...

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British Battleships of World War One

This superb reference book achieved the status of 'classic' soon after its first publication in 1986; it was soon out of print and is now one of the most sought-after naval reference books on the secondhand market. It presents, in one superb volume, the complete technical history of British capital ship design and construction during the dreadnought… Read more...

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Star Shell Reflections 1914-1916

As the centenary of the Great War approaches, this book offers a unique perspective told in the words and illustrations of someone who was there , on the front line. Although an American citizen, Jim Maultsaid's parents were Irish and he lived in Donegal. He joined the Young Citizen Volunteers, a group drawn from the ranks of clerical and professional… Read more...

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T. E. Lawrence and the Red Sea Patrol

Although many books have been written about T E Lawrence and the Arab Revolt, none before has fully explored the pivotal role of the Royal Navy in the Red Sea at the time. This is the first book to be written about the Navy's role in the success of the Arab Revolt in the creation of the legendary figure of Lawrence of Arabia. Following extensive and… Read more...

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Nottingham in the Great War

The years 1914-1918 cost many lives in the trenches of France and Belgium. Those trenches and the battles that were fought from them are well documented. But back home in towns and cities up and down the United Kingdom death and desperation were also apparent. Those left behind to carry on suffered from harsh winters, lack of food and fuel and flu… Read more...

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Deserters of the First World War

The story of First World War deserters who were shot at dawn, then pardoned nearly a century later has often been told, but these 306 soldiers represent a tiny proportion of deserters. More than 80,000 cases of desertion and absence were tried at courts martial on the home front but these soldiers have been ignored. Andrea Hetherington, in this thought-provoking… Read more...

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My Boy Jack?

Republished to coincide with the new ITV film, My Boy Jack? starring Daniel Radcliffe, this is the full account of the tragic life of John 'Jack' Kipling. On 27th September 1915 John Kipling, the only son of Britain's best loved poet, disappeared during the Battle of Loos. The body lay undiscovered for 77 years. Then, in a most unusual move, the Commonwealth… Read more...

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Second Ypres 1915

The Second Battle of Ypres was a battle of the First World War fought from 21 April–25 May 1915 for control of the strategic Flemish town of Ypres in western Belgium, following the First Battle of Ypres the previous autumn. It marked the first mass use by Germany of poison gas on the Western Front. For the first time a former colonial force (the… Read more...

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First Ypres 1914 and the Race to the Sea

With the Battle of the Aisne grinding to a halt as trench warfare gradually set in, both the German and Allied commanders realised the dominance of the defensive, established by quick firing artillery and the machinegun, meaning that casualties in frontal attacks on a dug-in enemy were enormously heavy. Consequently, the armies sought to outflank the… Read more...

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Mud and Bodies

Neil Weir died in 1967, but it was not until 2009 that his grandson, Mike Burns, discovered his diary and letters among some packing trunks he had been left, and learnt that his grandfather had served as an officer in the 10th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders for much of the First World War. A captain and company commander at the tender… Read more...

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Somme, 1st July 1916 DVD (northern)

This ground breaking series of military DVDs is launched here with the release of Somme, 1st July 1916 - Northern Sector. The DVD covers the events of 1st July in the areas from Gommecourt, Serre, Beaumont Hamel, Thiepval to Ovillers. It contains a visual tour of each of the key areas in the northern sector, together with maps, archive film and contemporary… Read more...