The Great War 1914-1918 YPRES SOMME Grand Fleet BALKANS Mesopotamia DARDANELLES

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Seller: Top-Rated Seller dilapsus (6,859) 100%, Location: Flamborough, Bridlington, Ships to: Americas, Europe, Asia, AU, Item: 381880393018 The Great War 1914-1918 A Brief Sketch by C. R. L. Fletcher (Charles Robert Leslie Fletcher) Formerly fellow of All Souls’ and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford This is the 1920 First Edition A good general overview of the Great War, written within months of the Armistice, by a former fellow of All Souls’ and Magdalen Colleges, Oxford and with assistance from J. Fortescue and C. T. Atkinson, both well known World War I writers and covering naval matters and the “sideshows” in addition to the Western Front. “So Germany, you see, had Austria and Turkey in her pocket, Bulgaria (through her German king) more or less in her pocket; King Constantine of Greece, though only indirectly of German blood, was wholly German in sympathy; perhaps some day we shall learn what part he took in the planning of the great crime of 1914. Only Serbia blocked the way.” Front cover and spine Further images of this book are shown below Publisher and place of publication Dimensions in inches (to the nearest quarter-inch) London: John Murray 5 inches wide x 7½ inches tall Edition Length 1920 First Edition [xiii] + 199 pages Condition of covers Internal condition Original cloth blocked in black on the spine. The covers are rubbed and dull, particularly the spine, and there is some variation in colour. The spine ends and corners are bumped. There are no internal markings and the text is clean throughout. The second front free end-paper is browned and discoloured. The paper has tanned with age and the edge of the text block is dust-stained. Dust-jacket present? Other comments No Overall, some age-related wear notwithstanding, a clean and presentable example of what is now a reasonably scarce title in the First Edition. Illustrations, maps, etc Contents No Illustrations are called for; there are two maps (shown below). There are no chapter titles. Post & shipping information Payment options The packed weight is approximately 500 grams. Full shipping/postage information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. Payment options : UK bidders: cheque (in GBP), debit card, credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal International bidders: credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal Full payment information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. The Great War 1914-1918 Excerpts: The British force at Mons was thus ' left in the air,' and in imminent danger of being cut off ; indeed, on the 23rd Bulow's Germans were actually to the south of our right flank. Kluck alone was two and a half times in men, and twice in guns, as strong as our force ; that he did not overwhelm us at Mons was mainly due to his faulty tactics of attacking in successive waves of men, massed closely together, which our excellent rifle-shooting simply mowed down as fast as they came on. Sir John French was thus able to fall back from Mons next morning in good order, having given the Germans such a lesson in British stubbornness as effectually damped Kluck's ardour for effective pursuit. But while Haig, who led our right corps, escaped unmolested, Smith-Dorrien on the left had on the 24th a very hard fight, and only their splendid resistance of a tiny flank-guard at Audregnies saved him from being cut off. So the famous ' Retreat from Mons ' had now begun, and for the first three days it was, especially to the British forces, hazardous in the extreme : no one knew where his neighbour was, where his own transport was (indeed much of it was abandoned), by what roads he was supposed to fall back, nor where, if at all, he was to get his rations. A man who had ' carried his pack all through the retreat ' was apt afterwards to become a legendary hero among his comrades. The weight each British soldier was supposed to carry was indeed considerable : great-coat, mackintosh sheet, spare boots and socks, rifle, and 150 rounds of ammunition. “We have known what it is not to sleep for several nights, and to go on a biscuit or two for a whole day : a column of sleepless, foodless men staggering along mile after mile, hour after hour, is a mighty different thing from a route-march of the Guards at home.' The pace would get slower and slower as the fierce sun poured down on the limping columns which were only sheltered from that blaze by the cloud of dust the men themselves made ; every now and then a man staggered out of the ranks and fell forward on his face by the roadside. The want of sleep was probably worse than the want of food : “I have learned not to care whether one sleeps wet or dry, to dispense with washing, to sleep whenever and wherever possible.' Some were more powerfully affected by the horrible sights and still more horrible smells ; ' the sight of horse lines after being surprised by artillery fire, or the sight of the road from the firing line to the rear during a big battle -- these are things not sung of by Homer or by Scott or by anyone else.' One of the most tragic of all the sights was that of the French villagers abandoning their homes and fleeing towards Paris, old men with the memories of 1870 revived, women wheeling their children and scraps of their household goods in barrows. German aeroplanes whizzed over the retreating British, very low down, and with perfect impunity ; ' we hardly saw any of our own ' -- indeed there were at first but forty-six with the whole British Expeditionary Force. All the way the gunners guarded the rear, firing till the last moment, then limbering up and moving on to a fresh position. Behind us the burning villages marked the track of the pursuing Huns. One of the saving clauses in the situation was that the French fortress of Maubeuge on the Sambre held out (till September 7) and held up a large number of Billow's troops; it also covered the retirement of our right, as Allenby's glorious cavalry, overmatched by four to one, covered that of our left. When Maubeuge was left behind and Kluck had again failed on the 25th to envelop either Haig or Smith-Dorrien, though these had to separate and march one each side of the impenetrable Mormal Forest, Haig had only to stand a sharp night attack at Landrecies and was able to continue his retreat to the River Oise, while Smith-Dorrien, acting on his own responsibility, made early on the 26th his immortal stand at Le Cateau. He had three to one in artillery and seven to three in men against him. Some of his divisions (he had the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, the 19th Infantry Brigade, and one cavalry division) had suffered severely in the previous fighting, so we may perhaps allow him 60,000 fighting men with which to hold up 130,000. If Mons had proved the marvellous accuracy of our rifle fire, Le Cateau was the birthday of our new field artillery. The enemy from the first had shown himself astounded and horrified at both, as well as at our cohesion and discipline during a sullen, prolonged, and unwilling retreat for which our men could see no cause. We lost perhaps 8,000 men in that battle, but we made Kluck pay two for one in losses, and most marvellous of all was the way in which Smith-Dorrien, early in the afternoon, drew off in reasonably good order to continue his retreat towards Saint- Quentin. This was a feat of tactics hitherto believed to be impossible, and reflects the highest credit on the general who dared and did it. After the battle our men ' walked till 1 a.m., slept in the rain till 3 a.m., and then walked on most of the next day ' ; the victors of Le Cateau (for it had the effect of a British victory) marched 25 miles before dawn of the 27th, and early on the 28th reached the Oise at Noyon ; Haig had just reached the same river at La Fere. Both corps were safely across the Aisne by the 31st. The head of the Persian Gulf does not seem at first sight a very vital part of her vast Asiatic Empire to tackle, and we should probably not have thought of doing anything there had not our Admiralty owned a large pipe which brought mineral oil (fuel for our fleet) from the oil-bearing district of Persia to the head of the Gulf. It was necessary to protect this pipe from Casual Arab or Turkish raiders, and so the Indian Government was asked in October 1914 to send an expedition to occupy Basra, an important point halfway between the open Gulf and the confluence of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. It was out of this occupation of Basra that grew our campaign in those famous Bible lands which we know as ' Mesopotamia.' The Indian Government ' thought contemptuous ' of Turks quite as much as did the British Cabinet, and sent the same sort of expedition which it was accustomed to send to its north-west frontier to punish a tribe of Pathans, to wit the 6th Indian Division of about 10,000 fighting men (a bare 3,000 of whom were British) with 3,000 or 4,000 camp-followers. It was an expedition grossly deficient in stores, aeroplanes, bridging material, and medical service. It was, however, assisted by a few small steam-vessels of very light draught, and by long strings of barges, most of which learned to know what it was to stick for a few days in the shallow, sandbank-strewn waters of the Tigris. This river is liable to terrible floods in the late winter and spring, and to terrible droughts in the summer and autumn. Yet our troops could never operate at any serious distance from it, as there was no drinkable water to be obtained elsewhere in the derelict ' Garden of Eden.' Basra was occupied without difficulty and the oil-pipe was saved. Then it occurred to someone, ' Why not go on up the river ? Why not, eventually, to Bagdad ? ' a mere trifle of 300 miles as the crow flies from Basra, and by the windings of the river about 500 miles from open sea. The Russians would surely come and assist us from the Caucasus; and the Russians, with the best intentions in the world, promised to do so. Early in 1915 their Caucasian divisions were already holding up large bodies of Turks round Lake Van in Armenia. It did not, apparently, occur to anyone to ask how a single Indian division could hold one of the largest cities of the East, nor what would happen to it in the event of the Turks not being so badly defeated as we expected them to be in the Dardanelles; or again, in the not impossible contingency of the failure of the Russian help to materialize. At first all went well; for nearly a year the finest Turkish troops were still being held on the defensive in Gallipoli. In every one of the earlier Mesopotamian engagements large bodies of inferior Turkish troops were easily defeated. Kurna, at the confluence of Tigris and Euphrates, was occupied in December 1914, and every sort of preparation which tireless industry, and that uncanny British knack of making a shillingsworth do the work of a poundsworth, could devise for the prolonged advance, was made. One thing was not forgotten but denied to the gallant fellows toiling there; a sufficient number of troops both to reinforce the fighters and to hold the steadily lengthening line of communication. In April 1915 the Turks were thoroughly routed, though at considerable cost to ourselves, in a three-days battle at Shaiba—it was the first real counter-attack they had made. In June Amara was occupied, a big town with a large population of Arabs, friendly, no doubt, as long as we were successful, but certain to turn against us at the least hint of failure. In July and August the news, magnified tenfold by rumour, of our failing fortunes in Gallipoli, began to trickle through. At the end of September the Turks were already reinforced from the West, and put up a very fine fight at Es Sin for the defence of the city of Kut. They were defeated, but saved their guns and transport and fell back, getting stronger every day. We occupied Kut and pushed on to Azizieh, half-way between Kut and Bagdad ; small reinforcements from India were actually beginning to reach the lower Tigris. The great heat of summer (occasionally reaching 120° in the shade) was over, and the bitter cold, which was to be experienced on the retreat, had not begun. Milton's description of the region in ' Paradise Lost' could only have been intended to apply to its autumnal season, and must even then be pronounced to be too favourable. General Townshend, who was in command of the advanced force, was not personally responsible for the decision to make a dash on Bagdad from Azizieh, but he most gallantly undertook the task; he had to face a new and very able Turkish General, who had constructed triple lines of defence to the south of the great city. If there are two things at which Turkish soldiers are excellent, they are (1) digging, and (2) defending what they have dug. Our famous attack, then, at the Battle of Ctesiphon (November 22-25) was one °f the most daring deeds of the whole war. We broke through the first Turkish line of defence, but actually had not enough men or enough cartridges to hold it when it had been occupied. Of the 11,000 British and Indian troops who went into action on those days 4,200 were killed, wounded, or missing. The retreat that necessarily followed was a terrible business. The river was at its lowest, and probably every one of the barges and launches stuck at least once. Then they were instantly sniped by Arabs or by advanced guards of the pursuing Turks from the banks. Much material and ammunition, including all the bridging pontoons, had to be abandoned. Townshend turned once and gave the pursuers a good taste of British quality at very close quarters, and thereby secured safety for his last marches into Kut. On the retreat he had picked up the Seventh Hussars, who were advancing to reinforce him. The town of Kut he decided to hold to the last, but he had to create afresh all his defensive positions at it, for no preparation for such an unexpected event as a retreat had been made by the Higher Authorities. Hold Kut he did for almost five heroic months (December 3,1915, to April 29, 1916), vainly hoping for relief from the south. Indeed one wonders, not so much that relief did not come, as that the enemy did not push much further down the river and attack Basra itself. Some of the fiercest fighting in the whole war took place in those months in the successive attempts made by Generals Aylmer and Gorringe to relieve Kut. The total loss in their attempts (for both the Indian and British Governments were now thoroughly awake to the necessity of pouring in troops) has been reckoned at 23,000 men. Once, in March, Aylmer got within twelve miles, and the roar of his guns across the flooded flats could be plainly heard by the besieged. The siege itself was timidly conducted; the Turks were ill provided with guns, though they were never (as we were) short of ammunition. The spring floods, which nearly drowned out the besieged, did not make the trenches of the besiegers comfortable. By February the Turks had 30,000 men round the town, while the little force within was daily diminished by battle, disease, and famine. Yet every attempt at storm (and there were many) was beaten off with great loss to the stormers. Their bodies lay unburied just outside our positions, and the smell of them was terrible. There were 19,000 ' civilian' Arabs within the town, all more or less hostile to us, but all needing food (the ' efficient' German soldier, in a similar plight, would have driven out or starved these useless mouths, or perhaps would have utilised them in some still more gruesome fashion). Before the end of January the British were eating their few horses ; our Indian troops were forbidden by their religion . . . It will be convenient in this place to take up the tale of the Mesopotamian campaign from the fall of Kut, and to bring it into line with our advance in Palestine and Syria. We shall then have disposed of the principal ' subsidiary' operations— each, be it remembered, in itself a war on a really great scale, with many alternations of reverse and victory, but all converging to the months of September and October 1918, in the latter of which the Turks were finally ' knocked out.' More in this war than in any previous wars since civilization began, the great object of each combatant was to kill men, to destroy whole armies so that they should be incapable of recovery. And it seems as if the Turkish Army was in the end to be the most completely destroyed of all. The Dardanelles campaign had begun this process. Moreover, badly wounded Turks seldom recovered, for Turkish surgery is as clumsy as it is cruel; our wounded, except in the first Mesopotamian campaign, very often did recover. In this campaign also we had taken a heavy toll of Turks in spite of our defeat. Perhaps this was the reason why the enemy was so unaccountably unwilling to push on against those battered remains of our forces that had been attempting the relief of Kut in March and April 1916. The British Government was awakened by the disaster of Kut, took the whole organization of Mesopotamia out of the hands of the Indian Government, superseded the Commander-in-Chief in India, and chose Sir Stanley Maude, who had already greatly distinguished himself on the Tigris, to take over the task of avenging Ctesiphon and Kut. Completely new stores, equipment, guns, and transport were provided, including a fleet of river steamers; and a railway was begun from Basra upwards. The fertile districts were sown with corn and vegetables, and embankments were built against floods. All this went on at an amazing rate through the summer and autumn of 1916, and Maude made no move till the end of the year. When he did move it was in a series of fierce little jumps forward, always with one foot ready to leap back if he thought too great losses would be incurred by advance. He was not only a fine tactician, but exceptionally clever at all the administrative work of his profession and immensely economical of his men's lives. The Turks, or the German officers who directed them, were not so economical, and it looks as if they were often compelled by their tutors to throw away men in offensive movements, for which their troops were less suited than they were for dogged defence of trenches. Still, once he was awake to what Maude was doing, the Turk put up a very fine defence of Kut, December 13,1916—February 24,1917 ; it fell on the latter day. By March 6 Maude was on the old battlefield of Ctesiphon, and a three days' battle, 8th to nth, had to be fought before we got into Bagdad—we had made no miles of advance in fifteen days. By the end of April we held the railway north from Bagdad as far as Samarra, seventy more miles up the Tigris. Maude wisely refused to expose his men too much during the heat of summer, but he kept the Turks awake by small raids, both towards the Russian frontier and towards the Euphrates. In that summer a German soldier, Falkenhayn, took over the command of the Turkish armies and fixed his headquarters at Aleppo, ready to strike either against Maude or against a new danger that was threatening him from Egypt via Palestine and Syria. He finally decided to contest the latter advance in greater force than the former. Maude and Allenby (who took command of the Palestine force in June), though widely separated by difficult deserts, could more or less play into each other's hands; and the Turks in front of Maude rapidly degenerated into a rabble that knew itself beaten. They had no reinforcements nearer than Mosul, 130 miles away. Maude made his last leap, on Tekrit beyond Samarra, in November, and died of cholera on the 18th of that month. He had strictly prohibited his troops from drinking the milk of the country; but, being invited to take tea in a schoolroom at Bagdad, he drank the milk, which he well knew might be infected, rather than offend his host, and so died, a victim to his own sweet courtesy. Can you imagine a German risking his life in order to show himself such a perfect gentleman ? Sir William Marshall succeeded to the command, and put in action a similar series of swift and yet cautious leaps, both up the Tigris towards Mosul, and on the road to Aleppo, which road, though mostly desert, touches the Euphrates occasionally. Much of the latter advance was made in armoured motor-cars, which made light of desert difficulties. In March 1918 Marshall won a great victory at Khan Bagdadyieh (which means ' The Inn on the Bagdad road') and his left chased the Turks for 130 miles up the Euphrates. His right had not quite reached Mosul when, seven months later, the Turks begged for peace. It will not, then, be wholly wrong if we look on Maude and Marshall as the right wing of a great converging attack in the direction of Aleppo, and we must now turn to the progress of the left wing of the same attack; that is, the British thrust from Egypt through Palestine and Syria. Until the Dardanelles business was at an end Egypt was mainly a feeding and training ground for that campaign, and for the Salonica campaign it remained so to the end. The Australian, New Zealand, and Indian troops were usually landed in Egyptian ports, and made a longer or shorter stay in Alexandria or Cairo, to whichever (if any) of the Eastern spheres they were to be sent. The defence of the Canal from Port Said to Suez became therefore of extreme importance; we have already seen a Turkish attack on this beaten back in February 1915. Early in 1916 the Turks were still wholly in possession of the Sinai peninsula; it is about 125 miles by the shortest road from the Canal to Rafa, the first town in Palestine (and a hundred of this is sheer desert), but the track runs close to the sea and so might be under fire from British ships. Sir Archibald Murray took over the sole command in March 1916; he at once started to build a railway, and soon a fresh-water pipe alongside of it, eastwards from the Canal. A great advantage for us lay in the fact that, by midsummer, nearly all Arabia was in revolt against the Turks, with the ' Shereef' of Mecca, who claimed to be a true descendant of the Prophet, at its head. In spite of this the Turks made in August fierce onslaught on Murray's positions east of the Canal, and were only beaten off after hard fighting. By the end of the year 1916 railway, pipe, and British force had reached the oasis of El Arish; this is at least three-quarters of the way to Rafa, which town we took on January 8. The next place of importance is Gaza, which had evidently replaced the gates once carried away by Samson, for the Turks held us up outside them for a very long while. Murray made two attempts to storm Gaza (March and April 1917) and was beaten off with great loss ; he1 did not improve matters by calling his reverses a victory, and evidently his tactics had been faulty. In June he was replaced by the great cavalry leader, Sir Edmund Allenby, who was reinforced by three Divisions from India and Salonica. Allenby found that the Turks still had 150,000 men in front of him, stretched from the sea at Gaza to Beersheba or beyond it. Like Maude, he would not strike till his preparations were complete, and then he, too, would strike home. A great factor in his strokes lay in the assistance of the Arabs, so much so that these can from the first be called his right wing, and at the end they appear almost as a connecting link between him and Marshall." Young Colonel Lawrence, a scholar and explorer, had for many months been organizing the true wandering Arabs of the desert, the most independent human beings on earth. He spoke Arabic like a native, dressed and lived like one Please note: to avoid opening the book out, with the risk of damaging the spine, some of the pages were slightly raised on the inner edge when being scanned, which has resulted in some blurring to the text and a shadow on the inside edge of the final images. Colour reproduction is shown as accurately as possible but please be aware that some colours are difficult to scan and may result in a slight variation from the colour shown below to the actual colour. In line with eBay guidelines on picture sizes, some of the illustrations may be shown enlarged for greater detail and clarity. IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PROSPECTIVE BUYERS U.K. buyers: To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the postage figure. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from postage and packaging. Postage can be combined for multiple purchases. Packed weight of this item : approximately 500 grams Postage and payment options to U.K. addresses: Details of the various postage options (for example, First Class, First Class Recorded, Second Class and/or Parcel Post if the item is heavy) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above). Payment can be made by: debit card, credit card (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex), cheque (payable to "G Miller", please), or PayPal. Please contact me with name, address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item. Finally, this should be an enjoyable experience for both the buyer and seller and I hope you will find me very easy to deal with. If you have a question or query about any aspect (postage, payment, delivery options and so on), please do not hesitate to contact me, using the contact details provided at the end of this listing. International buyers: To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the shipping figure. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from shipping and handling. Shipping can usually be combined for multiple purchases (to a maximum of 5 kilograms in any one parcel with the exception of Canada, where the limit is 2 kilograms). Packed weight of this item : approximately 500 grams International Shipping options: Details of the postage options to various countries (via Air Mail) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above) and then selecting your country of residence from the drop-down list. 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This can be accomplished easily using a credit card, which I am able to accept as I have a separate, well-established business, or PayPal. Please contact me with your name and address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item. Finally, this should be an enjoyable experience for both the buyer and seller and I hope you will find me very easy to deal with. If you have a question or query about any aspect (shipping, payment, delivery options and so on), please do not hesitate to contact me, using the contact details provided at the end of this listing. Prospective international buyers should ensure that they are able to provide credit card details or pay by PayPal within 7 days from the end of the auction (or inform me that they will be sending a cheque in GBP drawn on a major British bank). Thank you. (please note that the book shown is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of this auction) Book dimensions are given in inches, to the nearest quarter-inch, in the format width x height. Please note that, to differentiate them from soft-covers and paperbacks, modern hardbacks are still invariably described as being ‘cloth’ when they are, in fact, predominantly bound in paper-covered boards pressed to resemble cloth. Fine Books for Fine Minds I value your custom (and my feedback rating) but I am also a bibliophile : I want books to arrive in the same condition in which they were dispatched. For this reason, all books are securely wrapped in tissue and a protective covering and are then posted in a cardboard container. If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund. Unless the size of the book precludes this, hardback books with a dust-jacket are usually provided with a clear film protective cover, while hardback books without a dust-jacket are usually provided with a rigid clear cover. The Royal Mail, in my experience, offers an excellent service, but things can occasionally go wrong. However, I believe it is my responsibility to guarantee delivery. If any book is lost or damaged in transit, I will offer a full refund. Thank you for looking. Please also view my other listings for a range of interesting books and feel free to contact me if you require any additional information Design and content © Geoffrey Miller Condition: A detailed description of this item's current condition is given in the listing below but please do not hesitate to contact me ( if you require any further information., Non-Fiction Subject: History & Military, Binding: Hardback, Language: English, Place of Publication: London, Year Printed: 1920, Author: Charles Robert Leslie Fletcher, Publisher: John Murray, Special Attributes: First Edition

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