War of attrition Fighting the First World War

William James Philpott

Book - 2014

The Great War of 1914-1918 was the first mass conflict to fully mobilize the resources of industrial powers against one another, resulting in a brutal, bloody, protracted war of attrition between the world's great economies. Now, one hundred years after the first guns of August rang out on the Western front, historian William Philpott reexamines the causes and lingering effects of the first truly modern war. Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians, a...nd diplomats, War of Attrition explains for the first time why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought; and how the attitudes and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, stamped the twentieth century with unprecedented carnage on--and behind--the battlefield. War of Attrition also establishes link between the bloody ground war in Europe and political situation in the wider world, particularly the United States. America did not enter the war until 1917, but, as Philpott demonstrates, the war came to America as early as 1914. By 1916, long before the Woodrow Wilson's impassioned speech to Congress advocating for war, the United States was firmly aligned with the Allies, lending dollars and selling guns and opposing German attempts to spread submarine warfare. War of Attrition skillfully argues that the emergence of the United States on the world stage is directly related to her support for the conflagration that consumed so many European lives and livelihoods. In short, the war that ruined Europe enabled the rise of America.

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : The Overlook Press 2014.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xvi, 400 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9781468302684
146830268X
Main Author
William James Philpott (-)
  • Introduction: 'the war is everything'
  • Ready and willing
  • Into battle
  • Stalemate
  • A people's war
  • Mobilizing manpower
  • Waging war
  • War machines
  • Controlling the seas
  • Attack
  • Counterattack
  • Allied hopes
  • The will to victory
  • Germany's last cards
  • Victory on all fronts
  • Epilogue: 'the Great War for civilization'?
Review by Choice Reviews

Readers looking for books about WW I that do not discuss battles will appreciate this title.  Philpott (King's College London) contends that this was a war of attrition on five fronts: battle, maritime, home, diplomatic, and "united" (forming a cohesive alliance).  In all five, the Allies had far more resources than did the Central Powers and used them more effectively.  Given the book's title, one would expect a substantial number of statistics.  How did the Allies and Central Powers match up in 1914 in terms of human resources, agricultural output, manufacturing capacity, raw materials, and other categories?  How were these resources enhanced as the war progressed?  When did they start to degrade for the different powers?  When did attrition speed up, and what was the point at which it turned against the home front?  Some of the answers are in the book, but they can be hard to find.  This is a history of the war in general terms rather than about attrition.  Although the book was written for general readers, they need to know details about the war to appreciate it fully. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. --K. A. Roider, Louisiana State University Karl A. Roider Louisiana State University http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/CHOICE.188210 Copyright 2014 American Library Association.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians and diplomats, a prominent historian reexamines the causes and lingering effects of The Great War of 1914-1918, which is considered to be the war that ruined Europe and enabled the rise of America.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, and politicians, reexamines the causes and effects of "The Great War," which is considered to be the war that ruined Europe and enabled the rise of America.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Now, one hundred years after the first guns of August rang out on the Western front, historian William Philpott reexamines the causes and lingering effects of the first truly modern war. Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians, and diplomats, War of Attrition explains for the first time why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought; and how the attitudes and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, stamped the twentieth century with unprecedented carnage on—and behind—the battlefield. War of Attrition also establishes link between the bloody ground war in Europe and political situation in the wider world, particularly the United States. America did not enter the war until 1917, but, as Philpott demonstrates, the war came to America as early as 1914. By 1916, long before the Woodrow Wilson’s impassioned speech to Congress advocating for war, the United States was firmly aligned with the Allies, lending dollars and selling guns and opposing German attempts to spread submarine warfare. War of Attrition skillfully argues that the emergence of the United States on the world stage is directly related to her support for the conflagration that consumed so many European lives and livelihoods. In short, the war that ruined Europe enabled the rise of America.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

The Great War of 1914–1918 was the first mass conflict to fully mobilize the resources of industrial powers against one another, resulting in a brutal, bloody, protracted war of attrition between the world’s great economies.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Now, one hundred years after the first guns of August rang out on the Western front, historian William Philpott reexamines the causes and lingering effects of the first truly modern war.Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians, and diplomats, War of Attrition explains for the first time why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought; and how the attitudes and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, stamped the twentieth century with unprecedented carnage on—and behind—the battlefield.War of Attrition also establishes link between the bloody ground war in Europe and political situation in the wider world, particularly the United States. America did not enter the war until 1917, but, as Philpott demonstrates, the war came to America as early as 1914. By 1916, long before the Woodrow Wilson’s impassioned speech to Congress advocating for war, the United States was firmly aligned with the Allies, lending dollars and selling guns and opposing German attempts to spread submarine warfare. War of Attrition skillfully argues that the emergence of the United States on the world stage is directly related to her support for the conflagration that consumed so many European lives and livelihoods. In short, the war that ruined Europe enabled the rise of America.