World War I was a bloodletting so vast and unprecedented that for a generation it was known simply as the Great War. Casualty lists reached unimagined proportions as the same ground — places like Ypres and the Somme — was fought over again and again. Other major bloody battles remain vivid in memory to this day: Gallipoli and the Battle of Jutland are but two examples. Europe was at war with itself, and the effect on Western civilization was profound, its repercussions felt even today.
World War I saw the introduction of modern technology into the military arena: The tank, airplane, machine gun, submarine, and — most lethal of all — poison gas, all received their first widespread use. Professor Stokesbury analyzes these technological innovations and the war’s complex military campaigns in lucid detail. At the same time he discusses the great political events that unfolded during the war, such as the Russian Revolution and the end of the Hapsburg dynasty, putting the social and political side of the war into the context of modern European history.
A Short History of World War I is the first history of this war to be written in twenty years. It incorporates recent research and current thinking about the war in a highly readable and lively style.