Images of War: The Central Powers on the Russian Front 1914-1918, David Bilton

Images of War: The Central Powers on the Russian Front 1914-1918, David Bilton

The Eastern Front of the First World War was very different from the more familiar Western Front. The front was much longer, and troop densities were much lower. The front lines were rarely as close together as in the west, and also often less strongly fortified. As a result the war of movement lasted for much longer in the east, and even when things did begin to settle down it was still possible for either side to make significant advances.

This book looks at the Central Powers - Germany and Austro-Hungary. These armies were rather different in character and ability - the German army was much more of a united force and much more efficient, while the multi-national Austro-Hungarian army suffered from an increasing unwillingness to fight on the part of the non Austrian and Hungarian populations of the Empire.

This book follows a simple year-by-year format. Each chapter begins with a history of the war for that year, followed by a collection of photographs, each supported by a caption varying in size from a single sentence to a full paragraph. 

Many of these pictures help illustrate the different nature of the war in the east. There are some showing trenches that wouldn’t be out of place in the west, but many more showing a far more open front line. These include places where guards on the front line were standing in the open - something that could never have happened in the west. We also cavalry playing a active part in the fighting throughout the conflict, especially in the final period after the Russian Revolution and military collapse.

This is an interesting selection of photographs that show us a very different aspect of the First World War, from a front where movement remained possible for most of the war. 

1 - 1914 The opening moves
2 - 1915 The ever-changing front
3 - 1916 Helping the Western Front
4 - 1917 Mutiny and Revolution
5 - 1918 Peace in War
Day-by-Day chronology

Author: David Bilton
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 208
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2014

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