Spartacus Review

Volume 5: 4th November, 2007

First World War

Title: War Girls

Author: Janet Lee


Publisher: Manchester University Press

Price: £30.00

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: First Aid Nursing Yeomanry


The fascinating story of the British women who volunteered for service in the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry during the First World War; Accessible and enjoyable to read history of an interesting, quirky, audacious and pioneering sisterhood of women; Analyses the relationship between gender and war in the early twentieth century; The first full length book on the subject; The author's passion and enthusiasm for her subject are palpable; Includes personal testimonies e.g. diaries, letters and memoirs from the women themselves.

Title: Hard as Nails

Author: Michael Foley


Publisher: Spellmount

Price: £18.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Sport and the First World War


This is the history of the Sportsmen's Battalion, Royal Fusiliers 23rd service battalion, which consisted almost entirely of men from the world of sport or entertainment. The battalion was privately raised and took men up to the age of 45. The battalion included a champion boxer, cricketers, footballers, MPs and the author John Chessire. They were men who did not need to serve in the First World War but had an unquestioning sense of duty. The history is enhanced by the letters and drawings by John Chessire, giving a first-hand account of their experiences. A man from the upper classes, a writer, poet and artist, he chose to serve as a private so he could do his duty, even when it conflicted with his religious beliefs and love for his family. The book covers the battalion's beginnings in London and progression to Hornchurch, France and then Germany. It includes their time at Vimy Ridge, at the Somme and at the Battle for Deville Wood.

Title: The US Army of World War I

Author: Mark R. Henry


Publisher: Osprey

Price: £9.50

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: US Army in the First World War


Before the mid-1916 National Defense Act the US Army had a few tens of thousands of men, but by November 1918 there were nearly a million and a half American combat troops in France. General Pershing's American Expeditionary Force arrived in 1917 short of weapons, equipment, and experience of modern warfare; but it proved itself in the fighting on the Argonne, and played a major part in stopping Germany's last offensive in spring 1918, and in the final advance through the Hindenburg Line. This book details the organisation, uniforms, equipment and campaigns of the US Army in World War I.