Weird War One

Intriguing Items and Fascinating Feats from the First World War

Peter Taylor with Philip Dutton

Weird War One

Peter Taylor with Philip Dutton

Distributed for Imperial War Museum

160 pages | 200 color plates | 5 3/4 x 8 | © 2015  
Cloth $25.00 ISBN: 9781904897842 Published January 2016 For Sale in USA and Canada Only
“Friendly Aliens and the British Army.” “The Women Versus the Submarine.” These strange scenarios may seem to come to us straight from science fiction, but both were in fact bold and attention-getting slogans to encourage support for British involvement in the Great War. And bizarre propaganda posters are by no means the only curious or confusing memorabilia from the war. There are also pigeon parachutes, military-grade fly swatters, and tickle sticks.
           
For Weird War One, Peter Taylor has scoured the archives of Britain’s Imperial War Museum, which holds one of the leading collections of materials related to World War I, to compile this fascinating encyclopedia of eccentricities. Some of the entries are amusing, like the story of a ventriloquist’s dummy that boosted men’s morale in the trenches and, later, saved its master’s life. Others inspire awe, such as the cunning creation of a fake Paris to the city’s north to foil German bombers that might fly overhead—complete with railroad tracks, soiled factory rooftops, a replica of the Gare du Nord station, and even a phony Champs-Elysées.
           
From this motley miscellany emerges a fun and surprisingly informative sketch of the wartime experience, making the book a perfect gift as we approach the World War I centenary.
Contents
Introduction
Leaders
Soldiering On
Camouflage and Deception
Inventions and Gadgets
Flight
Communication
Spies and Secret Messages
Animals
Home Fronts
Propaganda
Food and Drink
Time Out
Picture List
Acknowledgements 
 
Review Quotes
Wall Street Journal
"History isn’t all dates and declarations. Weird War One compiles eccentric materials that reveal another side of the Great War. Among the objects: an army ration biscuit that was so hard someone turned it into a Christmas card and a “Man-Carrying Kite” that promised to allow its user to survey the battlefield from the air."
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