Official History of
The Great War

Military Operations France & Belgium
Transportation on The Western Front &
occupation of the Rhineland

The Volumes Included on the DVD-ROM

Below is a list of the 20 volumes included on the Official History of The Great War DVD-ROM.

France And Belgium 1914 Vol I. Official History Of The Great War.

Describes the opening weeks of the War, the Battle of Mons, the retreat to the Seine, the Marne, the Aisne and the transfer of the BEF to Flanders August-October 1914. Appendices contain organisation and Order of Battle details of opposing forces, operation orders and correspondence between Kitchener and French.

France And Belgium 1914 Vol II. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume covers operations at Antwerp, the arrival of the BEF in Flanders, La Bassˇe, Armenti¸res, Messines and Ypres October-November 1914. There is an introductory chapter which describes the expansion of the army; control of War Policy; the munitions situation; housing, equipment and supply of the Army and New Armies and provides a summary of expeditions against the German colonies in 1914.

France And Belgium 1915 Vol I. Winter 1914-15: Battle Of Neuve Chapelle: Battles Of Ypres.Official History Of The Great War.

This volume covers the first five months of 1915, a year that brought little comfort to the BEF. In this account we read of the affairs of Cuinchy, Givenchy and St Eloi, costly actions with little or no result. The major operations were the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, and the battles of Ypres (Second Ypres) Gravenstafel Ridge, St Julien (during which gas was used for the first time on the Western Front), Frezenberg Ridge and Bellewaarde Ridge. The two other major British attacks in May, Aubers Ridge and Festubert are covered in the next volume. There are 36 appendices, giving order of battle details and various Operation Orders and samples of correspondence.

France And Belgium 1915.Vol II. Battles Of Aubers Ridge, Festubert, And Loos. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume completes the unhappy (for the BEF) year of 1915, one described with good reason as a year of disappointment. Its special interest is that it records the first employment of the Territorial and New Army divisions as complete formations in a major offensive and the first British employment of gas. It describes the Battles of Aubers Ridge, a disaster that cost 11,500 casualties in a day; Festubert in which initial success could not be exploited; and Loos (including the Hohenzollern Redoubt) in which we first used gas, with mixed results, and in which we failed to make progress. Our casualties in the battle (25 September-16 October) amounted to nearly 50,400. Total battle losses for 1915 were 285,000 compared with 90,000 for the five months of 1914.

France And Belgium 1916. Vol I. Sir Douglas Haig' S Command To The 1St July: Battle Of The Somme. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume covers the first six and a half months of Haig's command of the BEF, culminating with the opening day of the Somme. Prior to that it gives a comprehensive account of the expansion and reorganization of the BEF from August 1914 to July 1916 as well as details of the bitter fighting on the British front from 19 December 1915 to 13 June 1916. The description of each action is followed by the German account. After discussion of the plans and preparations for the offensive the history devotes the remaining 180 plus pages to the 1st July, a corps by corps, division by division account of that first day beginning on the right with XIII Corps which achieved the only British success on that fearful day. German accounts are given and appendices provide order of battle details.

France And Belgium 1916. Vol II. 2Nd July 1916 To The End Of The Battles Of The Somme. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume covers the whole Somme Offensive from the day after the opening attacks on 1st July to its conclusion in November 1916. Apart from detailed analysis of the battles - including the subsidiary but catastrophic attack at Fromelles - other subjects treated are the Chantilly Conference, operations elsewhere on the British front, transportation problems and tactics employed during the battles. A very comprehensive account of a grim 4 months.

France And Belgium 1917. Vol I. The German Retreat To The Hindenburg Line And The Battle Of Arras. Official History Of The Great War.

Held to be the best written of all the official histories of operations on the Western Front begins with a review of the allied prospects for 1917 as discussed at the Chantilly Conference and then covers the first five months of 1917: the operations on the Ancre in Jan/Feb, the German withdrawal and the British Arras Offensive April - May 1917 Vimy, the battles of the Scarpe (3), of Bullecourt (2), and of Arleux.

France And Belgium 1917. Vol II. Messines And Third Ypres (Passchendaele). Official History Of The Great War.

Messines opened on the morning of 7 June 1917 with the tremendous explosion of nineteen mines, nearly one million pounds of explosive. It was the preliminary to Third Ypres which began on 31 July and finally came to a halt on November 10th in the appalling conditions forever associated with the name Passchendaele. The preparation of this volume caused much ill will between Edmonds and Capt G.C. Wynne, one of the team of authors who had been responsible for the first draft. Edmonds redrafted it as he felt Wynne had been too critical of Haig. For his part Wynne requested his name should be withdrawn from any connection with the final version Š which came out under Edmonds's name.

France And Belgium 1917.Vol III. The Battle Of Cambrai. Official History Of The Great War.

One of the best of the Official History volumes. Cambrai, where tanks were first used en masse, was initially a great victory; the church bells rang out in celebration. Within a few days the Germans had struck back and victory turned to ashes and Douglas Haig ordered an enquiry into the disaster. A very readable account of a most important battle.

France And Belgium 1918 Vol I. The German March Offensive And Its Preliminaries. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume gives an account of the great German Offensive, which began on 21st March, with its preliminaries from both sides point of view, and covers events up to and including 26th March. That was the date of the Doullens Conference when General Foch, Chief of Staff of the French Army was given the task of co-ordinating Allied operations on the Western Front. The first few chapters review the preliminaries including the failure of the Government to be prepared for Russia's withdrawal from the war, despite warnings; Allied plans for 1918; the situation in Italy following the Italian defeat at Caporetto; the creation of the Versailles Supreme War Council, and, most important, the reduction of the infantry in the division from twelve to nine battalions, the lack of reinforcements combined with the removal of Sir William Robertson as CIGS. German plans are discussed and then follows the account of the fighting which takes up ten of the eleven remaining chapters. The final chapter deals with the Doullens Conference.

France And Belgium 1918. Vol II. March-April: Continuation Of The German Offensives. Official History Of The Great War.

This second volume of the events of 1918 takes the story from 27th March up to and including 30th April. During these five weeks the German offensive on the Somme was brought to a halt in front of Amiens on 4th April. At this point Ludendorff switched his main effort to the Lys in an endeavour to seize Hazebrouck, the hub of the BEF communications. This attack, too, failed and Ludendorff broke it off on 30th April. The volume concludes with a very useful chapter of reflections in which the momentous events are analysed in some detail, including an account of the supersession of General Sir Hubert Gough, the commander of Fifth Army which bore the brunt of the first days of the enemy offensive. There are also very full notes on casualties and on ammunition receipts and expenditure.

France And Belgium 1918. Vol III. May-July: The German Diversion Offensives And First Allied Counter-Attack. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume covers the period 1 May-6 August 1918 and is principally concerned with the German offensives in the French sector and the French counter-attack - Battle of the Aisne (27th May-6th June) involving the British IX Corps under French command; Battles of the Marne (20th July-2nd August) with XXII Corps and 15th and 34th Divisions under French command. In between were minor BEF operations in Flanders and round Villers Bretonneux. The volume ends on the eve of the Allied offensive at Amiens on 8th August. Appendices contain order of battle details and directives, operation orders (French and British), letters and instructions and other communications between the senior commanders.

France And Belgium 1918. Vol IV. 8Th August - 26Th September. The Franco-British Offensive. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume opens with "the black day of the German Army", 8th August, the Battle of Amiens, the beginning of the last hundred days, and takes the story up to 26 September when the British Armies were lined up opposite the main Hindenburg position. It includes the preparations for Fourth Army's assault at Amiens; the entry of First and Third Armies into the battle on 21 August; the Australian Corps' amazing feat of arms in the capture of Mont St Quentin and that of the Canadian Corps in the breaking of the Drocourt-Queant Line. Second and Fifth Armies' advance in Northern France and Flanders is also covered. This was a period of steady advance and relentless pressure on the German Army.

France And Belgium 1918. Vol V. 26Th September - 11Th November. The Advance To Victory. Official History Of The Great War.

This volume covers the final phase of the war on the Western Front. The British Army operations can be divided into three main parts: Fourth and Third Armies and the right wing of the First in the south - Canal du Nord, Selle, Sambre; Second Army's separate offensive in Flanders; and the advance of Fifth Army and the left of First which formed the connecting link between the other two, co-operating from time to time in the battles of its neighbours. To complete the picture the activities of the American, Belgian and French Armies are described briefly in notes at the end of various chapters.

France And Belgium 1916. Vol I. Appendices. Official History Of The Great War.

Twenty-six appendices of documents concerning Allied plans for 1916; plan and preparations for the Somme offensive, including tactical instructions; orders for the brilliant raid carried out by 5th and 7th Canadian Infantry Battalions on La Petite Douve Farm in November 1915; and examples of corps, divisional and brigade operation orders as well as instructions for artillery fire support.

France And Belgium 1918. Vol I. Appendices. Official History Of The Great War.

Thirty-two appendices with documents referring to problems and intentions of the Allies at the beginning of 1918; German plans for an offensive; British defensive measures taken on the British Third and Fifth Army fronts; and certain operation orders issued during the fighting 21st-26th March.

France And Belgium 1916. Vol II Appendices. Official History Of The Great War.

Thirty-three appendices containing various GHQ and Army instructions issued during the Battles of the Somme (from 2 July onwards); examples of operation orders from corps, division and artillery; operation orders for the dawn attack on 14 July and for Flers-Courcelette with special instructions for the tanks, going into action for the first time; certain artillery and gun ammunition statistics; British and German orders of battle.

France And Belgium 1917. Vol I. Appendices. Official History Of The Great War.

Volume I of 1917 covers the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and the Battles of Arras, and this volume of appendices contains a selection of relevant material such as operational orders and plans, correspondence, conference records and resolutions, texts of agreements, etc which would otherwise `clutter' up the main volume. There is a wealth of information here which is extremely revealing as to the amount of detail involved in staff work from army down to brigade level.

Transportation On The Western Front 1914-18. Official History Of The Great War.

A most important contribution to the history of the war on the Western Front, describing the vital part played by transportation - railways, roads, clocks and canals. It reveals some of the main transport questions that arose and the organisation that was set up to deal with them, an organisation that combined a number of services into one single one called Transportation, under a Director General the first and best known of whom was a civilian railway manager sent out to France and given the honorary rank of Major General, Sir Eric Geddes.

The Occupation Of The Rhineland 1918-1929. Official History Of The Great War.

Originally published in a restricted edition of 100 copies - ironically in 1945, as another British occupation of Germany was beginning - this final volume of the official history of the Great War covers in great detail the ten-year occupation of the area of the Rhineland, centred on the cities of Aachan and Cologne. It describes how, under the terms of the Armistice, the British armies moved slowly forward from the line they had reached at the Armistice on November 11th 1918 to occupy and administer the area - a task that continued for the next decade.

British Trench Maps

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