Two New Books: Britmis & The Great War on the Western Front

My most recent order from Naval & Military Press showed up this week; just over three weeks enroute isn’t bad for surface shipping from the UK to western Canada.

This time I got Britmis: A Great Adventure of the War and The Great War on the Western Front: A Short History.

Britmis is an NMP republication of Major Phelps Hodges’ memoir of his participation in the British military mission to Siberia during the Russian Civil War and subsequent escape through the Gobi Desert to China when the Russian Civil War started going very badly. It has the gloriously Edwardian sub-sub-title “Being an account of Allied intervention in Siberia and of an escape across the Gobi to Peking”, and in addition to being interested in the Russian Civil War generally, I’m a sucker for any book with sub-sub-titles or chapter sub-titles that start with “Being an account…”, so I expect Britmis to be a fun read.

It’s a chunky little trade paperback, 365 pages or so and includes photographs taken by the author during his adventures. I read Beasts, Men and Gods in e-book a while ago, and Britmis looks to have a lot of the same flavour and interest!

The Great War on the Western Front by Paddy Griffith is one of the standard modern texts on the Great War, “revisionist” in the best sense as Griffith works away at the old myths that the Western Front was nothing but pointless slaughter and stupidity. I won’t be getting to this one for a while, but NMP had it on sale at an absurd discount (their regular price is pretty good too, mind you!) so I couldn’t pass up the chance to add this one to my library.

Pulp Atmosphere

Urban pulp is often about the dark alleyways, the gritty industrial districts, the shadowy corners, the threatening figures in fedoras and trenchcoats lurking in the misty dark… so here’s a pair of photos from Shorpy that just ooze that sort of atmosphere!

Via the always excellent Shorpy, a very atmospheric streetscene in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh Noir over on Shorpy, just in case the hotlink doesn’t work. (Sometimes Shorpy links work beautifully. Sometimes they don’t work at all…)

More noir-ish images from Pittsburgh, via Shorpy. Sure, they’re from 1907, which is technically early for the sort of pulpish goings-on that interest us here at Warbard, but close enough, and awesomely atmospheric!

And again, Shadowland over on Shorpy.

Having just been away for a week, and July having been awfully slow on the wargaming front around here, I hope to resume more regular posts soon, as I get back into gaming regularly. Still, that seductive summer heat will keep luring me out outdoors (you know, the bright room with the blue ceiling and lousy wifi reception…) so the summer doldrums might last a bit longer. We shall see. In the meantime, go explore Shorpy, there’s a huge amount of great stuff on that site!