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Edmonds, Brigadier Sir James E., MILITARY OPERATIONS, FRANCE AND BELGIUM, 1914-1918. Originally published as the British official history of ground operations in World War I, a multiple-volume set, including appendices, available now only in individual volumes. NEW copies, direct from publisher. Battery Press. Originally published in the 1930s, reprinted in full by Battlery Press 1991-96.

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Horne, John & Alan Kramer. GERMAN ATROCITIES, 1914: A History of Denial. VG. Trade paperback. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2002). 624 pages.

~~~ From Publishers Weekly: "The German invasion of France and Belgium was from the beginning linked with stories of atrocities committed against civilians. These stories became grist for Allied propaganda, in turn were denounced as lies by Germany, and eventually were submerged in the far more hideous atrocities that accompanied WWII. But as Horne and Kramer, historians at Dublin's Trinity College, demonstrate in this seminal book, German behavior in the first weeks of the Great War was more than a passing episode. Using a remarkable range of printed and unpublished sources, many of the latter only recently available, the authors show that the German army killed over 6,500 French and Belgian civilians between August and November 1914. The atrocities began when poorly trained and poorly disciplined troops reacted to the shock and anxiety of battle by interpreting the rear-guard resistance of French and Belgian soldiers, and their own uncontrolled firing, as the acts of guerrillas. Instead of restoring order in their own ranks, junior officers themselves succumbed to delusion and authorized near-random large-scale shootings of civilians. Since German army policy imposed draconian collective penalties for insurgency, senior officers receiving reports of large-scale partisan activity responded by ordering its ruthless repression. The partisan myth thus took on a life of its own, independent of a reality that consisted of no more than a few isolated acts of civilian resistance. As time and rhetoric blurred memories, politics and the need to heal the wider wounds inflicted by the Great War were responsible for downplaying or dismissing charges of atrocities. The facts, however, remained stubborn. Brought to light here, stripped of their penumbras, they offer fresh perspectives on the German army, the First World War and, by extension, the nature of war itself: the province of horror, confusion and lies."
~~~ From Library Journal: "From the outset of the German invasion of Belgium in 1914, there were reports of atrocities against civilians. While not denying that incidents occurred, recent historians have been skeptical of the extent of such events, crediting some reports to wartime propaganda. Horne and Kramer, history faculty members at Trinity College, Dublin, spent several years researching atrocities and conclude that they did indeed occur. As they explain, the Germans had a deep fear of francs-tireurs (snipers), a term from the Franco-Prussian War. As a result, a myth complex was generated in the German army that led to a mass delusion of civilian resistance when there was none. In fact, German units were more frequently the victims of friendly fire than of snipers. This, along with experiences in colonial wars, rumors of German wounded being mutilated, Prussian distaste for civilians, and anger at the impertinence of the Belgians in resisting, formed a deadly combination for the civilians caught in the German onslaught. This is the first English-language text to examine this issue so closely. While extensively detailed, it presents a compelling case and is highly recommended . . . "


Kramer, Alan. DYNAMIC OF DESTRUCTION: Culture and Mass Killing in the First World War. VG/VG. Hardcover with dust jacket. (Oxford University Press, 2009). Maps, photographs, appendix, notes, bibliography, index, 448 pages.
~~~ On 26 August 1914 the world-famous university library in the Belgian town of Louvain was looted and destroyed by German troops. The international community reacted in horror and the behavior of the Germans at Louvain came to be seen as the beginning of a different style of war, without the rules that had governed military conflict up to that point--a more total war, in which enemy civilians and their entire culture were now legitimate targets.
~~~ As award-winning historian Alan Kramer shows in this gripping and insightful volume, the destruction at Louvain was simply one symbolic moment in a vast wave of cultural destruction and mass killing that swept across the map of Europe at the time of the First World War. Using a wide range of examples and striking eye-witness accounts from England, France, Germany, and elsewhere, Kramer brings home the reality of the Great War, painting a picture of an entire continent plunging into a chilling new world of mass mobilization, total warfare, and the celebration of nationalist or ethnic violence--often directed expressly at the enemy's civilian population. Kramer examines the psychological impact of trench warfare, addresses the question of German atrocities (were the Germans particularly barbaric, or was savage behavior common on all sides?), and offers a disturbing summation of the war's impact on European culture.
~~~ From the Western Front to the Balkans, from Italy to the war in the East, the First World War was the most apocalyptic the world had ever known. This book tells you how and why the civilized nations of Europe descended into unprecedented orgy of destruction.


Lipkes, Jeff. REHEARSALS: The German Army in Belgium, August 1914. NEW copy. Trade paperback. (Leuven University Press, 2007). Photographs, appendix, notes, bibliography, index, 815 pages.
~~~ Rehearsals is the first book to provide a detailed narrative history of the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914 as it affected civilians. Based on extensive eyewitness testimony, the book chronicles events in and around the towns of Liège, Aarschot, Andenne, Tamines, Dinant, and Leuven, where the worst of the German depredations occurred. Without any legitimate pretext, German soldiers killed nearly 6,000 non-combatants, including women and children (the equivalent of about 230,000 Americans today), and burned some 25,000 homes and other buildings.
~~~ Down to the present, accounts of the killing, looting, and arson have been dismissed as "atrocity propaganda," particularly in the U.K. and U.S. Rehearsals examines the "revisionist" campaign that was able to discredit voluminous and compelling testimony about German war crimes.
~~~ Recently, the case has been made that the violence, which crescendoed between August 19th and 26th, was the result of a spontaneous outbreak of German paranoia about francs-tireurs (civilian sharpshooters). Rehearsals offers evidence that the executions were in fact part of a deliberate campaign of terrorism ordered by military authorities.


click to enlarge Wharton, Edith. THE BOOK OF THE HOMELESS. NEW hardcover. 8.6x11.2. (Calla Editions, 2015). Liberally illustrated. 272 pages.

In the course of fund-raising for Belgian refugees, Edith Wharton assembled this monumental benefit volume by drawing upon her connections to the era's leading authors and artists. The unique compilation forms a "Who's Who" of early 20th century culture, featuring poetry, stories, illustrations, and other contributions from scores of luminaries. Much of the text is presented in both English and French. Includes an Introduction by former U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt.

~~~ Poetry and prose by Marice Barres, Sarah Bernhardt, Laurence Binyon, Paul Bourget, Rupert Brooke, Paul Claudel, Jean Cocteau, Joseph Conrad, Vincent D’Indy, Eleonora Duse, John Galsworthy, Edmund Gosse, Robert Grant, Thomas Hardy, Paul Hervieu, William Dean Howells, General Humbert, Henry James, Francis Jammes, General Joffre, Maurice Maeterlinck, Edward Sandford Martin, Alice Meynell, Paul Elmer More, Comtesse De Noailles, Josephine Preston Peabody, Lilla Cabot Perry, Agnes Repplier, Henri De Regnier, Theodore Roosevelt, Edmond Rostand, George Santayana, Igor Stravinsky, Andre Suares, Edith M. Thomas, Herbert Trench, Emile Verhaeren, Mrs. Humphry Ward, Barrett Wendell, Edith Wharton, Margaret L. Woods, W.B. Y eats
~~~ Illustrations by Leon Bakst, Max Beerbohm, Jacques-Emile Blanche, Edwin Howland Blashfield, Leon Bonnat, P.A.J. Dagnan-Bouveret, Walter Gay, J.L. Gerome, Charles Dana Gibson, Emile-Rene Menard, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin, Theo Van Rysselberghe, John Singer Sargent.


[Wharton] Alan Price, THE END OF THE AGE OF INNOCENCE: Edith Wharton and the First World War. NEW copy, hardcover with dust jacket. (St Martin's Press, 1996). Photographs, notes, bibliography, index, 416 pages.
~~~ Thoughts of Edith Wharton conjure images of upper-class life in turn-of-the-century New York City: hansom cabs wait curbside in front of Washington Square townhouses; chandeliers glow above the heads of waltzing couples. What does not come to mind immediately is the tough-mindedness of Wharton herself and the efforts she put forth on behalf of others. Alan Price illuminates this side of Wharton in The End of the Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton and the First World War. During World War I, Wharton saved the lives of thousands of Belgian and French refugees. When the war began, the expatriated Wharton and Henry James saw any possible German victory as "the crash of civilization," thus prompting their early involvement in the allied cause. In the opening weeks of the conflict, Wharton wrote war reportage at the front and organized relief efforts in Paris. Before the first year was over, she had created organizations and raised funds for three major war charities that bore her name. As the war sank into a stalemate of trench warfare, Wharton continued to write magazine and newspaper articles, organize fundraising schemes, and rally famous painters, composers, and writers to help sway American popular opinion and raise money for refugees. The End of the Age of Innocence tells the dramatic story of Wharton's heroic crusade to save the lives of displaced Belgians and the suffering citizens of her adopted France.
~~~ Currently in print at $59.95.


Zuckerman, Larry. THE RAPE OF BELGIUM: The Untold Story of World War I. NEW copy. Hardcover with dust jacket. (NYU Press, 2004). Map, photographs, notes, bibliography, index, 339 pages.
~~~ In August 1914, the German Army invaded the neutral nation of Belgium, violating a treaty that the German chancellor dismissed as a "scrap of paper." The invaders terrorized the Belgians, shooting thousands of civilians and looting and burning scores of towns, including Louvain, which housed the country's preeminent university.
~~~ The Rape of Belgium recalls the bloodshed and destruction of the 1914 invasion, and the outrage it inspired abroad. Yet Larry Zuckerman does not stop there, and takes us on a harrowing journey over the next fifty months, vividly documenting Germany's occupation of Belgium. The occupiers plundered the country, looting its rich supply of natural resources; deporting Belgians en masse to Germany and northern France as forced laborers; and jailing thousands on contrived charges, including the failure to inform on family or neighbors. Despite the duration of the siege and the destruction left in its wake, in considering Belgium, neither the Allies nor the history books focused on the occupation, and instead cast their attention almost wholly on the invasion.
~~~ Now, The Rape of Belgium draws on a little-known story to remind us of the horrors of war. Further, Zuckerman shows why the Allies refrained from punishing the Germans for the occupation and controversially suggests that had the victors followed through, Europe's reaction to the rise of Nazi Germany might have taken a very different course.
~~~ "Belgium's occupation by the Imperial German army between 1914 and 1918, Larry Zuckerman's important new book shows, provided a blueprint for the Nazi occupation of Europe 25 years later. With compelling evidence and compassion, he has drawn our attention back to a moment when total war began, and when everybody came to see that when military hostilities begin, no one-man, woman or child-is safe. Modern war and atrocity are now interchangeable terms; as this book demonstrates, they became inextricably tied together in Belgium a century ago, and the world has never been the same again." ~~Jay Winter,Yale University


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