World War I

Couldn’t sleep last night and caught a few episodes of Apocalypse WWI on tv and was embarrassed as to how little I know about this conflict as opposed to others. Any good books/media to recommend to get me to a reasonable legitimate knowledge base of what truly transpired?

As far as I know we entered The war late in fact very late maybe 1917 bc we considered it a European conflict. However if it wasn’t for us it would have dragged on further. Its why the French hate us bc we entered late but if it wasn’t for us it would have continued for yrs more.

I watched this series and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys history.

Which streaming service is it on?

I don’t think the French hate us. I think they laugh at us when we come up with things like “freedom fries.”

Re WWI, I don’t think many people realize the destruction the European allies, especially France, suffered during WWI. When people crack jokes about how quickly France folded in WWII, I think one must take into account the untold suffering from WWI. It pretty much lost a generation of men.

I read an excellent book a couple of years ago. I’ll have to think about that to come up with the title.

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Best general histories of the war would probably be those by Hew Strachan and John Keegan. Keegan wrote several impressive military histories. For more specialized works, off the top of my head I’d recommend The Guns of August, The Great War and Modern Memory, and Goodbye to All That. Many others as well.


I caught it on AHC (1259) U-verse. It’s a Discovery Channel spin-off

Awesome overarching series for listening is the podcast Blueprint for Armageddon on Hardcore History.

Early part of the war, and the run up Guns of August by Barbara Tuckman

Peter Hart has about 20 books on WWI, the definitive one The Great War and I personally like Voices from the Front for added humanization of such a massive conflict. It is important is important to note that it’s from a very British perspective


The Guns of August is a great history. I also highly recommend War Ended The Peace by Margaret MacMillan, as well as its sequel Paris 1919. Both are superb books.

Finally BBC did a docudrama titled 37 Days on the events in the last 37 days before war is declared. Worth watching.

I actually find reading the history of events leading up to WWI more interesting that those leading up to WWII. The former are like reading a nuanced thriller comedic tragedy, the latter is a lot more cut, dried, and straightforward.


Nobody here mentioned “All Quiet on the Western Front?”

They Shall Not Grow Old
is also a great film on WWI

If you have Roku, there is a documentary on the Roku Channel called simply World War I. 10 episodes. I would say it’s one of the best I’ve seen. Lots of info on the events of 1914 that started it all plus info tjat I hadn’t seen in any other documentary.

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France still had the worlds foremost army leading into WWII, but they didn’t really think Germany would invade, and they also relied that Germany would use the same routes as in WWI. Because of the first point, France’s forces were scattered around the globe rather than prepared to fend off the Germans. And the Germans Blitzkrieged right though Belgium and the Netherlands rather than through the French impervious Maginot line. The French couldn’t move their defense fast enough and they had to surrender without much of a fight.

Thanks everyone, this should keep me busy for a while!

Germany had the best weapons overall minus us having a semi automatic rifle vs their bolt action. They did have machine guns also. They did rely on blitzkreig bc they didn’t want to get bogged down into a prolonged war like WWI where no one was advancing. Their weakness was in their military command bc Hitler wanted increasing control and so he undermined his own good generals who prob wouldn’t have advised on invading Russia.

Great movie, but I think the discussion here is about non-fiction works.

I meant the novel, not its movie adaptions. True, it’s fiction, but it was written by someone with first hand WWI combat experience in the Imperial German Army as a conscript, who was wounded in action by shrapnel.

The book was later banned in Nazi Germany; that should make it worthwhile in and of itself, right? Its author had to flee Germany, and later became a naturalized US citizen.

I think a war between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia was inevitable for much the same reasons it happened in WWI.

Russia was rearming and modernizing its armed forces very fast. Stalin and Hitler saw each other as a natural enemies. If Germany hadn’t attacked Russia, it is almost certain Russia would have attacked Germany by 1944 at the latest.

Second on the Hardcore History series Blueprint for Armageddon. Super in depth and helps get into the mindset of the time, plus develops reference points to really appreciate the scale of destruction.

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History has great podcasts. Currently listening to Super Nova in the East about the Pacific theater in WWII, that’s available free.

Blueprint for Armageddon is unfortunately no longer free.

I would also recommend this YouTube lectures.

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