The end of the Great War and the shaping of history
Editor: Ashley Ekins
1918 – Year of Victory is an original and very readable account of one of the most significant and often misunderstood events of the last century. With an historian’s eye for clear headed analysis combined with incredible attention to detail and narrative, the Australian War Memorial’s Ashley Ekins presents a compelling account of the world’s first ‘great war’ and its legacy.
The Great War of 1914–1918 casts a long shadow. It is over 90 years since the last shots were fired, ending a global conflict that consumed the lives and hopes of so many of its generation. The catastrophic scale of the war and its immense human cost haunted the survivors and in just over a decade, the victory of 1918 was eroded by the apparent failure of the Versailles peace settlement, the rise of Nazism and the approach of the Second World War. Many believe the Great War set the pattern for the large-scale violence, devastation and genocide witnessed throughout the wars of the 20th century.
The recent deaths of the last remaining survivors of the First World War have revived poignant memories and re-established a vigorous debate as to what, in the end, it all meant. Was the war, in effect, a futile 1561 days of incredible carnage paving the way for yet more misery, death and destruction with the Second World War? Or did the end of the war create the modern world, shaping our era’s attitudes, social relations, art and culture?
The Australian War Memorial is leading this global reassessment of the First World War. The chapters in this book had their origins in an international conference, 1918: Year of Victory, convened by the AWM in Canberra in November 2008 to mark the ninetieth anniversary of the end of the Great War. Lively, authoritative and wide-ranging presentations were made by the world’s leading scholars, comprehensively revealing new thinking and challenging many of the assumptions and common perceptions surrounding the conflict.
Jay Winter, Yale University, USA
Robin Prior, University of Adelaide, Australia
Gary Sheffield, University of Birmingham, UK
Robert Foley, University of Liverpool, UK
Elizabeth Greenhalgh, University of New South Wales, Australia
Meleah Ward, University of Adelaide, Australia
Ashley Ekins, Australian War Memorial
Peter Pedersen, Australian War Memorial
Glyn Harper, Massey University, New Zealand
Tim Cook, Canadian War Museum, Canada
David Stevens, Defence Sea Power Centre, Australia
James Goldrick, Australian Defence College
Peter Hart, Imperial War Museum, London, UK
Trevor Wilson, University of Adelaide, Australia
Martin Crotty, University of Queensland, Australia
Stephen Badsey, University of Wolverhampton, UK
Notes on contributors
1. 1918: The road to victory
2. Stabbed in the front: The German defeat in 1918
3. Finest hour? British forces on the Western Front in 1918: An overview
4. From victory to defeat: The German army in 1918
Robert T. Foley
5. A French victory, 1918
6. The cost of inexperience: Americans on the Western Front, 1918
7. Fighting to exhaustion: Morale, discipline and 111 combat effectiveness in the armies of 1918
8. Maintaining the advance: Monash, battle procedure 130 and the Australian Corps in 1918
9. Bloody Bapaume: New Zealand soldiers battle for the town, August-September 1918
10. Bloody victory: The Canadian Corps in the Hundred Days campaign
11. Victory at sea, 1918
David Stevens and James Goldrick
12. Victory in the air, 1918
13. The peace settlement of 1919 and its aftermath
14. The veterans’ voice: The Returned Sailors’ and 226 Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia, 1916–19
15. Ninety years on: Recent and changing views 243 on the military history of the First World War
Suggested further reading
The Western Front, 1914–18 18 The advance to the Hindenburg Line, 1918 136
Name: 1918: Year of Victory
Editor: Ashley Ekins
Size: 234 x 153mm or 9¼ X 6 in
Pages: 312 pages, with approximately 40 photographs
ISBN: 978 1 921497 42 1
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