Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 [Audiobook]

Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 [Audiobook]
Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 [Audiobook] by Max Hastings, read by Nigel Harrington
2015 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 28 hrs 58 mins | 789.39MB

The Amazon History Book of the Year 2013 is a magisterial chronicle of the calamity that befell Europe in 1914 as the continent shifted from the glamour of the Edwardian era to the tragedy of total war.

Nineteen fourteen was a year of unparalleled change. The year that diplomacy failed, imperial Europe was thrown into its first modernised warfare and white-gloved soldiers rode in their masses across pastoral landscapes into the blaze of machine guns. What followed were the costliest days of the entire war. But how had it happened?

In Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914, Max Hastings, best-selling author of the acclaimed All Hell Let Loose, answers at last how World War I could ever have begun.

Ranging across Europe, from Paris to St. Petersberg, from Kings to corporals, Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 traces how tensions across the continent kindled into a blaze of battles - not the stalemates of later trench-warfare but battles of movement and dash where Napoleonic tactics met with weapons from a newly industrialised age. A searing analysis of the power brokering, vanity and bluff in the diplomatic maelstrom reveals who was responsible for the birth of this catastrophic world in arms. Mingling the experiences of humbler folk with the statesmen on whom their lives depended, Hastings asks: whose actions were justified? From the outbreak of war through to its terrible making and the bloody gambles in Sarajevo and Mons, Le Cateau, Marne and Tannenberg, this is the international story of World War I in its most severe and influential period.

Published to coincide with its 100th Anniversary, Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 explains how and why this war, which shattered and changed the Western world for ever, was fought.

Tommy's War: The Western Front in Soldiers' Words [Audiobook]

Tommy's War: The Western Front in Soldiers' Words [Audiobook]
Tommy's War: The Western Front in Soldiers' Words [Audiobook] by Richard van Emden, read by Richard Dadd
2014 | M4B@64 kbps + EPUB | 13 hrs 23 mins | 364.67MB

Conventional histories of the Great War have tended to focus on the terrible attritional battles of Ypres, of Arras and of the Somme. What they do not tell us is what life was like for the ordinary soldier, what mattered to him, and how he survived, both physically and mentally.

Now for the first time, one of Britain's leading military historians, Richard van Emden tells the story of the Great War exclusively through the words and images of soldiers on the ground.

In Tommy's War, he gathers some of the very best first-hand material written about the War, some of it published at the time and forgotten, some of it previously unpublished, but all of it wonderfully descriptive and immediate, and often wickedly funny. Tommy humor, frequently very dark, played a vital part in men's mental survival, particularly in times of great stress. Until now its critical role in victory has been overlooked. Richard van Emden restores the balance, giving weight to the soldiers' natural inclination to laugh during their darkest moments.

Illustrating these eyewitness accounts with soldiers' own photographs taken on privately owned cameras, often tiny Vest Pocket Kodaks - the smart phones of their day - van Emden has created an entirely new and fresh history of the Great War, giving us a glimpse of 'Tommy Atkins' as he has never been seen before.

One Man's War: The WWII Saga of Tommy LaMore [Audiobook]

One Man's War: The WWII Saga of Tommy LaMore [Audiobook]
One Man's War: The WWII Saga of Tommy LaMore [Audiobook] by Tommy LaMore, Dan A Baker, read by Patrick G Lawlor
2005 | M4B@64 kbps | 9 hrs 35 mins | 268.94MB

Escaping certain death, not once but several times, lies at the core of this riveting, real-life story of an American soldier during World War II. In One Man's War: The WW II Saga of Tommy LaMore, a B-17 airman vividly details his experiences in war-ravaged Europe, from the horrific to the romantic and beyond.

He tells what it was like to be among the first airmen in the B-17s, to prepare oneself for long missions over enemy territory, to be in heavy aerial bombardment by German fighters, to be shot down, finding oneself first in friendly hands and then in enemy hands, to be at the mercy of merciless German guards, to be one of the few American to enter, much less escape, an infamous death camp.

He tells of the relationships formed, not only with fellow crewmen but also with French Resistance fighters, with Polish prisoners, with a young and pretty survivor of a women's camp, and, surprisingly, with a bigger-than-life Russian officer with a heart set on revenge. There are fascinating descriptions of the bloodthirsty Mongols on horseback who accompanied the Russians and who struck fear into the hearts of even the most hardened German SS men.

Balancing the tales of despair and loneliness are images of a girl with an orange on a train, an intuitively companionable little dog, and brilliant scenes of Paris overflowing with flowers, food, love, and exuberance in the first weeks after the war.

The listener ends up thinking it would have been a pleasure to have known this man, Tommy LaMore, and humbly certain that the West's freedom was assured by the sacrifices of men like him.

Intrigue, passion, and sacrifice imbue One Man's War in a compelling story not only for history aficionados and WWII scholars but also for those who are fascinated by the bittersweet nature of love in times of war.

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