Fight to the Finish: The First World War – Month by Month

Written by Allan Mallinson
Review by Alan Cassady-Bishop

There have been many books written about the Great War. This one, I’d suggest, be made a textbook for secondary schools discussing this bleak period of world history. It’s well-researched, well-written and, above all, balanced. Not only does it lead into the causes of the conflict, but it takes in all aspects, such as the surface naval stand-off but also the war in Russia, Africa, the Balkan and Greek areas, the tragedy that was Gallipoli, North Africa and even in the Pacific. As a month-by-month commentary, it highlights the fact that over the years there was always something going on, and it couldn’t be summarised only over the blood-soaked mud of the Western Front. It discusses briefly the politics both before and after the horrendous war, as well as the repercussions. It has a fine bibliography for further study and a clear index. It’s not over-detailed, but it includes personal accounts. It is also not biased (which is easy in retrospect) but it’s critical. I wish this book had been available at school.