A Nation in Arms

The British Army in the First World War

Ian F.W. Beckett, Keith Simpson

Date Published :
May 2014
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
No associated books available.


The Great War was the first conflict to draw men and women into uniform on a massive scale. From a small regular force of barely 250,000, the British army rapidly expanded into a national force of over five million. A Nation in Arms brings together original research into the impact of the war on the army as an institution, gives a revealing account of those who served in it and offers fascinating insights into its social history during one of the bloodiest wars.

The opening chapter focuses on the extent of military participation in wartime Britain and its repercussions. The authors go on to examine the regular army in 1914, the officers, Kitchener's New Armies, the Territorials, soldiers and civilians, the relationship of the army as an institution to society, and a final chapter reassesses the postwar army. To illuminate their general theme, the authors highlight the experience of individual units, among them the Black Watch, the Buckinghamshire battalions of the Territorial Force and the Welsh 113th Brigade of the New Army.

an important pioneering work that is indispensable reading' (Stand To - Peter Scott)

'cohesive and comprehensive... well research ed and cogently argued' (Albion
- David Woodward)

'a comprehensive guide to research.... important contribution in First World War historiography' (History - Brian Bond)

'the authors...demonstrate how much be gained by seeing the history of an army as an aspect of general social history' (THES - Keith Robbins)

'a deeper and invigorated understanding of the extraordinary relations between modern war and the social engines that produce it' (R.E .Canjar)

About The Author

Ian F. W. Beckett & Steven J. Corvi are both authors and military historians.

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