The Great War Illustrated 1915, William Langford and Jack Holroyd

The Great War Illustrated 1915, William Langford and Jack Holroyd

The photographs in this book came from the collection of Peter N. Taylor, a military collector and medals dealer who had collected a vast array of photographs. This book contains over one thousand of those pictures, covering the main events and battles of 1915. This includes Gallipoli, the battle of Neuve Chapelle, the introduction of poisoned gas by the Germans at the Second Battle of Ypres and the Battle of Loos,

Away from the main front lines we also have a chapter on the war at sea (this was the year of the sinking of the Lusitania), and one that covers the Zeppelin attacks and the execution of Nurse Edith Cavell, one of the most ill judged German acts of the year, causing outrage in the United States and other neutral powers, as well as acting as an excellent recruiting tool in Britain. On the British Home Front we see the formation of Kitchener’s New Armies, and the increase in scale of munitions production,

One unusual feature of this book is that all of the pictures are available to be licensed for commercial use. Where needed they have been touched up to allow their use at high resolution, and each comes with a reference number allowing publishers to order exactly the picture they want.

A key strength of this book is that the pictures come from both sides in each battle, so we get Turkish pictures from Gallipoli, showing the view from the defenders point of view, as well as an impressive collection of pictures from the Allied side, which include excellent coverage of the initial landings as well as the brutal fighting on land.

Another strength of this book is that we get good historical explanations of the main events being covered, supported by more of the excellent photographs and selected contemporary maps. The pictures are supported by good captions, which often include snippets of contemporary text – either the original captions or related comments, with give an interesting feel of the times.

Overall this is an excellent selection of photographs, supported by good captions and useful explanations of the events they cover.

1 - Losses and Gains - Fighting at Sea
2 - Middle East and the Gallipoli Failure
3 - The Battle of Neuve Chapelle
4 - The Second Battle of Ypres - Hill 60 - Gas
5 - Zeppelin Attack - Incentives to Join The Colours
6 - The New Army - The Armaments
7 - The Battle of Loos

Author: William Langford and Jack Holroyd
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2015

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