Title: The White War
Author: Mark Thompson
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Spartacus Website: Italy and the First World War
In May 1915, Italy declared war on the Habsburg Empire, hoping to seize its ‘lost’ territories of Trieste and Tyrol. The result was one of the most hopeless and senseless modern wars - and one that inspired great cruelty and destruction. Nearly three-quarters of a million Italians - and half as many Austro-Hungarian troops - were killed. Most of the deaths occurred on the bare grey hills north of Trieste, and in the snows of the Dolomite Alps. Outsiders who witnessed these battles were awestruck by the difficulty of attacking on such terrain. General Luigi Cadorna, most ruthless of all the Great War commanders, restored the Roman practice of ‘decimation’, executing random members of units that retreated or rebelled. Italy sank into chaos and, eventually, fascism. Its liberal traditions did not recover for a quarter of a century - some would say they have never recovered. Mark Thompson relates this nearly incredible saga with great skill and pathos. Much more than a history of terrible violence, the book tells the whole story of the war: the nationalist frenzy that led up to it, the decisions that shaped it, the poetry it inspired, its haunting landscapes and political intrigues; the personalities of its statesmen and generals; and also the experience of ordinary soldiers - among them some of modern Italy’s greatest writers.
Title: Zeppelin over Suffolk
Author: Mark Mower
Publisher: Pen & Sword
Spartacus Website: Zeppelin Raids
Zeppelin Over Suffolk tells the remarkable story of the destruction of a German airship over East Anglia in 1917. The drama is set against the backdrop of Germany's aerial bombing campaign on Britain in the First World War, using a terrifying new weapon, the Zeppelin. The course of the raid on that summer night is reconstructed in vivid detail, moment by moment - the Zeppelin's take off from northern Germany, its slow journey across the North Sea, the bombing run along the East Anglian coast, the pursuit by British fighters high over Suffolk, and the airship's final moments as it fell to earth in flames near the village of Theberton in the early morning of 17 June 1917. Mark Mower gives a gripping account of a pivotal episode in the pioneering days of the air war over England.