Paris 1919

Paris 1919

Six Months That Changed the World

Book - 2003
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This is the story of a unique gun called, by the Germans, the Pariskanone and mistakenly referred to by our troops as Big Bertha. The gun was 210mm calibre with a barrel length of 130 feet, an overall weight of 142 tons and a maximum range of about 80 miles. It was designed to fire on Paris bringing alarm and despondency to a population which, though subject to air bombardment had no reason to suppose they were threatened by enemy artillery. The design, manufacture, the training of the crews and the preparation of the firing sites are all described, but the main aim of the book is to describe the four bombardments that were carried out by this weapon and the effects, material and morale wise. The use of the Paris Gun was incorporated in the planning of the major German offensives of the first half of 1918. March 21st was the first day of the assault and at 7.20 am on 23rd March the first shot was fired. The four periods during which the gun was in action were 23 April-1 May; 27 May-11 June; 15-19 July and 5-9August on which day the last round was fired. The author, a Lt Col in the US Ordnance, describes each of these bombardments against a background of the ongoing German offensive and the progress of the ground forces. There are differing figures as to the total number of rounds fired but it was at least 300 and according to The Times Diary and Index of the War thetotal casualty figures were 196 killed 417 wounded though how accurate these figures are may be open to question; the author doesn t give any that could be found. On the whole he appears to admire the Germans in their achievements; the last sentence in the book reads:And events of the years since the Armistice only prove how wise the Germans have been in refusing ever to admit defeat.
Publisher: New York: Random House, c2003.
ISBN: 9781843426813
Characteristics: xxxi, 570 p. : [16] pages of plates, illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.

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zipread
Feb 11, 2016

Paris 1919 --- by --- Margaret Macmillan.
Ordinarily I am a frequent reader of history. Ordinarily it doesn’t matter if the history is Roman, medieval, or modern. I even read historical fiction with great delight. Ordinarily, once a work of history gets its talons into me I don’t stop until the entire book has been devoured. Ordinarily. But not so with this book. It barely passed the 50 test. In my opinion, this book progressed much too slowly, concerned itself with such a level of detail as to border on tedium. Ordinarily I wouldn’t abandon a book like this. Ordinarily.

c
cadet578
Mar 13, 2015

i find it interesting. i think if you wanted to you could read it in one night if you were determined enough and liked it.

g
gloryb
Sep 09, 2014

MacMillan shows the process of writing up the peace treaty of 1919. She thoroughly gives the views of each country...what was wanted, the arguments given, and the gains or losses for a land bid. She accomplishes this goal by giving a chapter for each country that was involved. This book, therefore, would be useful when a history student needs to defend or present the views of a particular country on the Peace of Versailles, especially the Eastern European countries as history books on these countries are not widely available to students. MacMillan includes maps of the disputed areas and Wilson's 14 Points, but to read the Treaty of Versailles or even portions of it, look elsewhere. She does, however, embed in the chapters some wordings/phrases/sentences from the first draft of the Treaty, but, because the bickering amongst the 4 leaders resulted in changes to these statements, it requires much reading to pull out the final "draft" of the Treaty from these chapters. Good bibliography and notes should students wish to pursue these works. This book is very readable. MacMillan makes the political leaders come alive with their descriptions, quirks, opinions, and quotes. Her concluding chapter is an interesting one given how all the countries felt about the Treaty. I am glad I read it.

h
HROPERTZ
Feb 14, 2014

I was disappointed with this book given all the rewards it won. There is evidence of an anti German and anti Serbian bias. For example Ms. MacMillan quotes Churchill "the Balkans produce more History they can consume." This reference could easily apply to Britain as well given how it conquered so many countries. Reinforcing stereotypes in a History book is neither helpful nor informative.

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elliducky
Nov 05, 2012

While I'm reading this for my History class, and am not finished at this point I must say- very readable, and almost enjoyable. Even with my hate for history. She's able to take the history of it all and be a story teller. However, it's not an all in one night book, or even a few nights. Each page takes a while to read in itself.

gregan_ca Jul 27, 2011

A very readable history. I would advise readers to make sure they know their geography before begining. Macmillan assumea that you arefamiliar with terms like Balkans, Baltics, Caucasus, Crimea, Ottoman Empire, and Prussia for examples, as well as countries and major cities.

unreg_69578584 Feb 18, 2010

very insightful look at post colonial european relations

neko Dec 23, 2009

proposed title for October 2010

2
21288004246712
Oct 20, 2008

workman like

a
AnamCara
Nov 22, 2007

This gives a different insight into the end of the first world war. It shows what all sides were trying to get for themselves out of the peace talks and what they did actually get.

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