The Great War Handbook: A Guide for Family Historians and Students of the Conflict

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 240 pages
Author: G. Bridger
Year: 2013
ISBN: 978183461769
Other: b&w photos, sketches, bibliog, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

Geoff Bridger's 'The Great War Handbook' answers many of the basic questions newcomers ask when confronted by this enormous and challenging subject - not only what happened and why, but what was the Great War like for ordinary soldiers who were caught up in it. He describes the conditions the soldiers
endured, the deadly risks they ran, their daily routines and the small roles they played in the complex military machine they were part of.

This, a seriously comprehensive survey covering every aspect of a soldier's life, from recruitment and training, through the experience of battle and its
appalling aftermath, is an essential guide for students, family historians, teachers and anyone who is eager to gain an all-round understanding of the
nature of the conflict. Anything and everything you wanted to know about a British Soldier in World War One (in general) is likely to be covered in this

His authoritative handbook gives a fascinating insight into the world of the British in the Great War - it is a basic reference book that no student of the subject can afford to be without.

List of Tables
1. Prologue and Overview of the War
- Prelude to War
- The Western Front - Plans
- The Western Front - War
- Other Theatres Involving British Forces
- Other Areas Note Involving British Forces
- Royal Navy
- Merchant Navy
- The Air Services (RFC, RNAS and RAF)
- Attacks on Britain
- Armistice Details
- The Aftermath
2. The Army
- Structure of the British Army in 1914
- Army Command
- Going to War
- Enlistment
- Definition of Army Formations
- Medals
- Regimental Numbers
3. The New Soldier
- Why Enlist?
- Attestation
- Over/Under Age and Aliases
- Pay and Allotment
- Training
- Embarkation
- Wills
- Uniforms and Accoutrements
- Marching: Time and Distances
- Identity Discs
- Home Leave
4. The Trench
- Trenches: Summary
- Defence in Depth
- Elements of a Trench of Trench System
5. A Soldier's Life
- A Summary
- Infantry and its Specialists
- Getting to the Front
- Kit
- Battles and Trench Raids
- Artillery Formation
- Rotation from Front to Rear
- Trench life
- Letters and Parcels
- Rations
- Pay
- Battle Hardening
- Discipline
- Desertion
- Billets
- Estaminets
- Religious Services and Padres
- Prisoners of War
- Leaving the Army - Honourably and Alive
6. Weapons of War
- Introduction
- Rifles and Bayonets
- Pistols
- Machine Guns
- Hand Grenades
- Artillery
- Mortars
- Landmines
- Explosives
- Chemical Weapons - Gas
- Miscellaneous Weapons
- Improvised Weapons
7. Death in the Many Forms
- Casualty
- Categories of Death
- Instantaneously
- Causes of Death
- Daily Attrition and Truces
- Accidents and Disease
- Executions
- Morale and Courage
8. Army Corps
- Royal Army Medical Corps
- Royal Flying Corps
- Royal Regiment of Artillery
- Machine Gun Corps
- Royal Engineers
- Tank Corps
- Army Service Corps
- Labour Service Corps
- Royal Defence Corps
- Other Corps
9. Medical Matters
- Wounds
- Initial Treatment
- Evacuation
- Ailments
- Various Notes and Medical Statistics
- War Pensions
10. Interesting Facts, Definitions and Statistics
- First Casualties
- First British Rifle Shots in Anger
- First Royal Flying Aircraft Shot Down
- Armistice Day Fatalities
- Duration of the War
- Theatres of War
- Strategies and Tactics
- Flak
- Calibre
- Parachutes
- Pyrotechnics
- France
- German Spies and their Fate
- British Army Ranks 1914-1918
- Stores
- Women on the Western Front
- Boring but Important Statistics
- Attrition
11. A Guide to Visiting the Western Front Battlefields
- Getting There
- Suggested Kit List
- Useful Telephone Numbers
- Language
- Recommended Guidebooks
- Maps
- Visiting the Battlefields
- Museums
- Metal Detectors
- Munitions Seen on the Battlefield
- Battles and Engagements of the British Army on the Western Front
12. Research Sources and Tips
- Preamble
- What do you Already Have?
- Photographs
- Visible Insignia
- The National Archives
- Imperial War Museum
- Regimental Museums
- Army Lists
- Postmarks
- Red Cross Lists of Missing
- Voluntary Aid Detachments
- Country Record Offices
- Prisoners of War
- Soldiers (and Officers) Died in the Great War
- Royal Naval Division
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Published Sources
- War Memorials
- Internet Family History Sites
- What's Left?
- Postscript

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