The following introduction is as provided by Pen and Sword:
This book documents the experiences of the Central Powers, specifically Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire during 1917, as they fought on land, at sea and in the air.
Drawing on hundreds of contemporary photographs, many of them never previously published, this book examines the experiences of these three nations, spotlighting not only the events that occurred throughout the year, but the lives of those individuals fighting and dying to defend their homelands, families and friends. Each chapter includes a succinct overview of a single front or theatre of operation, complimenting the hundreds of professional and amateur photographs contained within.
Though many of the images are of the German and Austro-Hungarian armies on the Westfront and Ostfront, several additional chapters also explore the fighting across other, lesser-known fronts, including the Südwest Front and in Sinai and Palestine, and Mesopotamia.
This book is an excellent pictorial guide that would be of benefit to anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of what life was like from the perspective of the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman armies, and their peoples during the fourth year of the First World War.
This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Germany in the Great War book series is a soft backed book. The author of this release is Joshua Bilton who has authored three other books in the series. The card cover protects 176 pages of a satin paper and judging by other titles in my collection does the job well. The contents of this title are presented as follows:
Chapter 1 - Westfront
Chapter 2 - Ostfront
Chapter 3 – Sudwest Front
Chapter 4 - Turkei
Chapter 5 – Luftstreitkrafte
Chapter 6 – Kaiserliche Marine
Chapter 7 – Heim Front
This offering from Pen and Sword does a fantastic job of providing the reader with a very good overview of the German forces and her Allies during 1917. The author does a very good job of providing a written background to the various fronts including in the air and at sea. It must be remembered that these books are not designed to be chapter and verse of the situation but a general look at the situation as the Germans saw it and their actions in relation to that.
The photographs are where this title comes into its own by providing a very good look at the conditions faced by the men fighting at the various locations. At a time in history when I do not believe any veterans of this conflict are alive it provides a visual demonstration of the early stages of what war was like with industry feeding it and the use of machine guns become normal. Images that struck me include an Italian soldier being reduced to bones in 7 days due to high numbers of rats. The aerial images of the battlefields look more like the surface of the moon than the earth.
These period pictures provide some excellent visual information for modellers who have become attracted to model this period of war following the centenary of the end of World War One. And if it’s not modelling that has attracted you this images brought together here will make you think about what it was like to be there. The photographs in the title are only one aspect as they have no context beyond what the image depicts; it is the job of the captions to provide that context. These are well written and provide information to various degrees from simple to involved and for me make this book better than it would otherwise have been.
With those that fought and in many cases died long gone it is the job of titles such as this to tell their stories. Through a selection of photographs brought together here you are given a look at what live and death looked like in the dark days of 2017 in Europe as World War One ground on. War can never be civilised regardless of what is said and the images in this title help to make every reader and viewer aware of the sacrifices this war caused.