I have been looking for an audiobook that explains the Napoleonic period. So I tried Andrew Roberts’s epic, Napoleon the Great.
Forgotten voices of the Great War is a collection of fascinating real life stories. Coming from a time of great upheaval, so different from our own. Well unless Covid gets much worse. The stories span the course of the First World War, from the home front to the front line. They are nicely weaved into a continuous chronological narrative.1
The Forgotten voices of the Great War is really good for students looking for primary sources on the First World War. As the book is simply made up of first-hand accounts.1
In the audiobook version of The Forgotten voices of the Great War, the stories are only around a couple of minutes each. Keeping things interesting and allowing for a surprising amount of detail. With each story focusing on a particular aspect of someone’s life. They have probably been told over and over again throughout one’s lifetime. They are to the point and nicely follow on from one another. With the author, Max Arthur, adding the occasional bit of useful information on broader events affecting the stories.1
The Forgotten voices of the Great War, is primarily focused on Trench Warfare on the Western Front and Gallipoli. With accounts coming from most participants, excluding the Turks. This focus on the Western allies allows the narrative to maintain its focus and narrative structure.1
Therefore, there are no accounts from the Eastern Front, Middle East with Lawrence of Arabia or Naval War. The air war is only mentioned as far as it relates to the ground fighting on the Western Front. As such, Germany’s bombing of London and submarine attacks on coveys and many other events are left out.1
This does leave the door open for another author to come along and tell the stories of the other theatres of war.1
The audiobook is even better, containing the original interviews. So just, like with any good documentary, you get to hear the story first hand. With the emphases and passions of the speaker left in. However, unlike most documentaries you get to hear their full story, not just soundbites.1
The front cover of The Forgotten voices of the Great War, eludes perhaps unintentionally to the Napoleonic Wars. As it shows two British and one German soldier walking side-by-side away from the frontline. As the British and Prussians had been allied against Napoleon’s France, in the century prior. Prussia later became a part of Germany following German unification.1
Britain in effect abounded its old ally of Germany, in favour of her old enemy France. This was done to maintain the balance of power in Europe. The idea of preventing one power from becoming powerful enough to dominate Europe. Therefore, with the rise of Germany causing Britain to change its alliances to compensate.1
If you want to understand, what it was like to live through the First World War? From munition factory to dug outs in no man’s land. Then look, no further than Forgotten voices of the Great War.1
A book of numerous authors1
By Arran Wilkins © 2021 (text only)
(1) Arthur, Max. (Author), Bebb, Richard (Narrator). Forgotten Voices of the Great War (Random House Audiobooks, 2014) Amazon Audible, Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Forgotten-Voices-of-the-Great-War-Audiobook/B00IDEJDN0 [Accessed on 11st May 2021].
Arthur, Max. Forgotten Voices of the Great War: A New History of WWI in the Words of the Men and Women Who Were There (London, Ebury Press, 2002).
(Image One) Henryk Niestrój. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/the-military-infantry-the-army-1819855/ [Accessed 13rd May 2021].
(Image Two) Krzysztof Czuchra. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/the-first-world-war-flight-england-3878066/ [Accessed 10th May 2021].
(Image Three) Mariusz Matuszewski. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/soldier-horse-helmet-rider-man-1850365/ [Accessed 10th May 2021].