Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

The Great War Illustrated 1915

By Jack Holroyd and William Langford
Pen & Sword Military. 2015, 2021
Bruce G. Sloan, Reviewer

The Great War Illustrated 1915 is the second in a series of five books covering each year of World War I. The more than 1,000 selected photographs are from the private archive of military collector and medals dealer Peter N. Taylor of Barnsley, in South Yorkshire, England. This is not just a collection of pictures, but 379 pages of corrected images, maps, and a brief explanation of their content. The photos shown here are from the book. Also included with each subject, action, or campaign is a very comprehensive explanation. The book is divided into seven chapters:

Chapter 1: Losses and Gains - Fighting at Sea, includes Naval and Marine action at Dogger Bank and Gallipoli, the Lusitania, and many other associated photos. 

Chapter 2: Middle East and the Gallipoli Failure, includes the Suez Canal, ANZAC participation, Turkish units, and the Gallipoli campaign itself. 

Chapter 3: The Battle of Neuve Chapelle, includes Indian troops, extensive order of battle, German photos and the aftermath.

Chapter 4: The Second Battle of Ypres – Hill 60 – Gas; trench warfare, destruction of Ypres, No Man’s Land, the use of poison gas and the efforts to minimize its effect. 

Chapter 5: Zeppelin Attack – Incentives to Join the Colours; background starts with LZ1 in 1900, then the bombing of Yarmouth and other sites in 1915, the different types of bombs used, British defenses, and the execution of Edith Cavell. 

Chapter 6: The New Army – The Armaments; recruiting, equipping, training, the manufacture of the tons of ammunition, barbed wire, etc. 

Chapter 7: The Battle of Loos; The first British use of gas, conferences of Allies, aerial photography and devastation.

Each photo is numbered in the Taylor Library Archive for use by editors and authors. As can be seen from chapter titles, the book covers the Gallipoli campaign and the western front for 1915. Do not expect to see the war in Africa or other theaters. There are many photos of British, Indian, and ANZAC troops and their adversaries; however, there are few photos of the rest of the Entente. This collection is notably a British collection.

Bruce G. Sloan

1 comment:

  1. I have this book. Fantastic collection of photos.