10 books like Caporetto 1917

By Cyril Falls,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Caporetto 1917. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Blood on the Snow

By Graydon A. Tunstall,

Book cover of Blood on the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915

The book is a stunning tale of death and disaster. In February 1915 one Austro-Hungarian army and one German army tried to relieve the Russian-besieged Habsburg fortress of Przemyśl and its 120,000-man garrison. The Austro-Hungarian troops advanced along the 1,200-meter high ridges of the Carpathian Mountains in snowstorms and dense fog. Intermittent sleet, snow, wind, and ice battered the men. Temperatures plummeted to -25 degrees Celsius. Sudden thaws turned the battlefields into seas of mud. Men either froze to death or drowned in the ooze. Hunger, starvation, disease (typhus and cholera), frostbite, and wolves took their toll. Horses and dogs became a dietary staple. Life expectancy was down to five or six weeks. Countless troopers committed suicide.

The butcher’s bill was astronomical: 800,000 casualties, more men than would fall at Verdun or the Somme one year later. Despite the deadly relief effort, the Przemyśl garrison surrendered to the Russians on…

Blood on the Snow

By Graydon A. Tunstall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Blood on the Snow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Carpathian campaign of 1915, described by some as the ""Stalingrad of the First World War,"" engaged the million-man armies of Austria-Hungary and Russia in fierce winter combat that drove them to the brink of annihilation. Habsburg forces fought to rescue 130,000 Austro-Hungarian soldiers trapped by Russian troops in Fortress Przemysl, but the campaign was waged under such adverse circumstances that it produced six times as many casualties as the number besieged. It remains one of the least understood and most devastating chapters of the war-a horrific episode only glimpsed previously but now vividly restored to the annals of history…


The Price of Glory

By Alistair Horne,

Book cover of The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916

Although originally published almost 60 years ago, this work remains a classic account of the longest battle of the war, a battle that still stands as the most symbolic of the war for France. The only book on my list that is not focused on an individual’s experiences, or those of a few people, this broader account of the huge battle nonetheless captures the many ways individuals experienced its horrors. Horne is a vivid writer and skilled historian, and this work has stood the test of time as a key work not only about the Great War but also about the modern French nation as a whole.

The Price of Glory

By Alistair Horne,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Price of Glory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Price of Glory: Verdun 1916 is the second book of Alistair Horne's trilogy, which includes The Fall of Paris and To Lose a Battle and tells the story of the great crises of the rivalry between France and Germany.

The battle of Verdun lasted ten months. It was a battle in which at least 700,000 men fell, along a front of fifteen miles. Its aim was less to defeat the enemy than bleed him to death and a battleground whose once fertile terrain is even now a haunted wilderness.

Alistair Horne's classic work, continuously in print for over fifty…


Jutland

By Nicholas Jellicoe,

Book cover of Jutland: The Unfinished Battle

On 31 May 1916, the greatest naval battle in history took place at the Skagerrak, the waters between Denmark and Norway. John Jellicoe commanded 28 battleships and 8 battle cruisers of the British Grand Fleet; opposing him were Reinhard Scheer’s 16 battleships and 5 battle cruisers of the German High Sea Fleet. There were four distinct phases of the battle: first, Franz Hipper attempted to lure David Beatty’s battle cruisers onto the High Sea Fleet; Beatty then turned north and sought to lure the High Sea Fleet onto Jellicoe’s Grand Fleet; next, Jellicoe attempted to cut Scheer’s battleships off from their home base; and finally, a confused night engagement between light craft brought the battle to an end. The British had lost 3 battle cruisers and 6,784 men, the Germans 1 battle cruiser and 3,039 men. Almost fifty warships had been damaged. The next morning Scheer limped home.

The British…

Jutland

By Nicholas Jellicoe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Jutland as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than one hundred years after the battle of Jutland, the first and largest engagement of Dreadnoughts in the twentieth century, historians are still fighting this controversial and misunderstood battle. What was in fact a strategic victory stands out starkly against the background of bitter public disappointment in the Royal Navy and decades of divisive acrimony and very public infighting between the camps supporting the two most senior commanders, Jellicoe and Beatty.

This book not only re-tells the story of the battle from both a British and German perspective based on the latest research, but it also helps clarify the…


Gallipoli

By Robin Prior,

Book cover of Gallipoli: The End of the Myth

Gallipoli occupies an infamous place in the history of amphibious operations. The British and Allies hoped in 1915 to wrest control of the Gallipoli peninsula from Turkish forces, then aligned with the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. This attack in turn would open the way for the defeat of Turkey, link up with friendly Russian forces, and ultimately defeat the Central Powers. However, as Robin Pryor explains, the British amphibious assault suffered from poor planning, incompetent leadership, ineffective logistics, and inadequate weapons and vehicles. The Turks enjoyed the advantages of high ground and good leadership. Following the assault in April 1915, ground operations cost 130,000 British and Allied casualties and ended in their evacuation and failure in January 1916. Pryor’s book paints Gallipoli as a cautionary tale of how not to conduct amphibious operations.  

Gallipoli

By Robin Prior,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Gallipoli as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A decisive account of the dramatic Gallipoli campaign of World War I, with a devastating assessment of its pointless losses

The Gallipoli campaign of 1915-16 was an ill-fated Allied attempt to shorten the war by eliminating Turkey, creating a Balkan alliance against the Central Powers, and securing a sea route to Russia. A failure in all respects, the operation ended in disaster, and the Allied forces suffered some 390,000 casualties. This conclusive book assesses the many myths that have emerged about Gallipoli and provides definitive answers to questions that have lingered about the operation.

Robin Prior, a renowned military historian,…


A Farewell to Arms

By Ernest Hemingway,

Book cover of A Farewell to Arms

No writer of fiction can afford to ignore Hemingway’s spare, disciplined prose, and I have been studying him since I began to write as a kid. “No writer makes us feel more alive,” wrote the critic Alfred Kazin of Hemngway, and to read him is an emotional awakening. A Farewell to Arms, which is set in Italy in World War I, is one of the world’s great love stories. 

A Farewell to Arms

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Farewell to Arms as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ernest Hemingway's classic novel of love during wartime.

Written when Ernest Hemingway was thirty years old and lauded as the best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Set against the looming horrors of the battlefield, this gripping, semiautobiographical work captures the harsh realities of war and the pain of lovers caught in its inexorable sweep.

Hemingway famously rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms thirty-nine times to get the words right. A…


The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

By Ernest Hemingway,

Book cover of The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

For my money, Hemingway is the greatest American short story writer. He is spare and direct until he isn’t. The meter and clipped phrasing and short sentences set up bigger, longer runs that are beautiful and often explain what it’s like to be a human being without being obvious or careless. They never feel false and are edited down to the bone. That’s probably what I learned most from Hemingway, the editing. Just picking a story, “On the Quai at Smyrna,” has such a staccato matter-of-factness that belies just how awful the situation there on the pier must have been. The narrator is hardened and recounts the events so matter-of-factly that you know they’ll come back later, once he is home and has time to reflect on them.  

The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The complete, authoritative collection of Ernest Hemingway's short fiction, including classic stories like "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber," along with seven previously unpublished stories.

In this definitive collection of the Nobel Prize-winning author’s short stories, readers will delight in Hemingway’s most beloved classics such as "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," "Hills Like White Elephants," and "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place," and will discover seven new tales published for the first time in this collection, totaling in sixty stories. This collection demonstrates Hemingway’s ability to write beautiful prose for each distinct story,…


The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

By Ernest Hemingway,

Book cover of The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

Hemingway understood that small things, seemingly insignificant events or (in the case of this story) a burned-out bearing can cause—in the true wild—consequences taking the characters into realms of danger and adventure they never sought nor could anticipate. Hemingway relies on the inner strength of his characters, facing the very reality they find themselves in, to bring dignity and hope to what could otherwise be a tragedy.

The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories

By Ernest Hemingway,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Men and women of passion and action live, fight, love and die in scenes of dramatic intensity. From haunting tragedy on the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro to brutal sensationalism in the bullring; from rural America with its deceptive calm to the heart of war-ravaged Europe, each of the stories in this classic collection is a feat of imagination, and a masterpiece of description. The Snows of Kilimanjaro is one of the best known and loved collections of stories by one of the greatest literary novelists of the twentieth century.


We Saw Spain Die

By Paul Preston,

Book cover of We Saw Spain Die: Foreign Correspondents in the Spanish Civil War

Paul Preston needs no introduction to readers of contemporary Spanish history. He embodies the term ‘Hispanist’ and has been writing about the country for decades, with a focus on the Spanish Civil War. Preston tells the gripping tale of those who fought to tell the story, often at risk to their own lives, namely the foreign correspondents who, in reporting the war, made every effort to reveal the truth. Preston catches this column-inch internationalism with brilliance in his survey of such notables as Ernest Hemingway and Henry Buckley. The book is absorbing, frequently moving, and sprinkled with humour. It fills a crucial gap in the historiography of the Spanish Civil War.

We Saw Spain Die

By Paul Preston,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked We Saw Spain Die as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The war in Spain and those who wrote at first hand of its horrors.

From 1936 to 1939 the eyes of the world were fixed on the devastating Spanish conflict that drew both professional war correspondents and great writers. Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Josephine Herbst, Martha Gellhorn, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Kim Philby, George Orwell, Arthur Koestler, Cyril Connolly, Andre Malraux, Antoine de Saint Exupery and others wrote eloquently about the horrors they saw at first hand.

Together with many great and now largely forgotten journalists, they put their lives on the line, discarding professionally dispassionate approaches and…


An Owl on Every Post

By Sanora Babb,

Book cover of An Owl on Every Post

Babb’s memoir recounts her years as a child of bumbling pioneers on the high plains of Colorado. Her family lived underground in a dugout and eked out existence from the drought-ravaged prairie. The book predates the Dust Bowl, but there are warning signs of what’s to come. Told in a voice of lyric precision with a memorable cast of characters, it’s a compelling story of a singular girlhood that left me marveling at how this family survived. 

An Owl on Every Post

By Sanora Babb,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Owl on Every Post as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sanora Babb experienced pioneer life in a one-room dugout, eye-level with the land that supported, tormented and beguiled her; where her family fought for their lives against drought, crop-failure, starvation, and almost unfathomless loneliness. Learning to read from newspapers that lined the dugout's dirt walls, she grew up to be a journalist, then a writer of unforgettable books about the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, most notably Whose Names Are Unknown.

The author was seven when her parents began to homestead an isolated 320-acre farm on the western plains. She tells the story through her eyes as a sensitive,…


Tommy

By Richard Holmes,

Book cover of Tommy: The British Soldier on the Western Front

What was war like for the average British soldier – ‘Tommy’ - taken from civilian life and sent into the inferno of battle? This magisterial study is the best book about British soldiers and their wartime experiences. It explores reasons for enlistment, training, tactics, life in the trenches, and experience of battle. Although vast in scope, it never loses sight of the human side of war. This book presents presents a nuanced, fascinating, and touching study of the common soldier.

Tommy

By Richard Holmes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tommy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The first history of World War I to place centre-stage the British soldier who fought in the trenches, this superb and important book tells the story of an epic and terrible war through the letters, diaries and memories of those who fought it.

Of the six million men who served in the British army, nearly one million lost their lives and over two million were wounded. This is the story of these men - epitomised by the character of Sgt Tommy Atkins - and the women they left behind.

Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs and poetry from the years…


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