1916: A Global History
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So much of the literature on the First World War centers on the trench warfare of the Western Front, and these were essential battlegrounds. But the war was in fact truly a global conflict, and by focusing on a sequence of events in 1916 across many continents, historian Keith Jeffery's magisterial work casts new light on the Great War.
Starting in January with the end of the catastrophic Gallipoli campaign, Jeffery recounts the massive struggle for Verdun over February and March; the Easter Rising in Ireland in April; dramatic events in Russia in June on the eastern front; the familiar story of the war in East Africa, where some 200,000 Africans may have died; and the November U.S. presidential race in which Woodrow Wilson was re-elected on a platform of keeping the United States out of the war--a position he reversed within five months.
Incorporating the stories of civilians in all countries, both participants in and victims of the war, 1916: A Global History is a major addition to the literature and the Great War by a historian at the height of his powers.
Private Joseph Carey, a Dubliner with the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers, was executed by firing squad on 15 September, having been convicted by court martial of desertion. Carey was one of the 300 British soldiers ‘shot at dawn’ during the war for desertion and other offences. His is a particularly distressing case. Aged thirty-five when he enlisted in April 1915, he was in the line during the attack at Hulluch in April 1916. On 4 May he went absent without leave, was quickly apprehended and given
Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian leaders, including politicians, journalists, lawyers and soldiers. A Francophile Lebanese Maronite priest, Yusuf Hayek, was publicly hanged in Damascus on 22 March 1915. On 21 August eleven more victims – ten Muslim and one Christian – were hanged together, again in public, in the central square in Beirut. A further series of public executions occurred in 1916. On 5 April, a Christian Beiruti, Joseph Hani, was hanged, and on 6 May twenty-one more were executed,
of the offensive at about ‘800,000, viz., 320,000 prisoners, 360,000 wounded and 120,000 killed’. Knox reckoned this to be an overestimate, with the real figure being nearer 600,000 in total, but either way the figures were impressive. General Nikolai Dukhonin, Brusilov’s ‘General Quartermaster’, calculated that the Russian losses over the same period had been 450,000. At the beginning of June the Russians had had 400,000 men in reserve, but this figure had now been reduced to 100,000 ‘and men
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employment of U-boats ‘was of fundamental importance for our warfare against England’. They could be used both against British maritime trade and British warships, though Scheer tended to favour the former as having the greater potential to damage the enemy. But this could only really be successful if their use was unrestricted, which, in turn, was a political decision. In February 1915 the Germans declared the seas around the British Isles to be a war zone in which enemy commercial shipping