The behavior of any bureaucratic organization can best be understood by assuming that it is controlled by a secret cabal of its enemies. — Robert Conquest

Great War Hero Stories

Authors: Eric Wood, G.A. Leask, D.A. Mackenzie
Publishers: George G. Harrap & Co, London; Thomas Y. Crowell Co, New York;
Dates: 1917—1919

This books are all battle and hero stories related to the Great War. None of them provide a comprehensive overview of the war, and most do not even follow the course of the war in a chronological way. The majority of the texts are given over to battle-field anecdotes and stories of individual heroism. Many of the subjects of the stories were honored with medals for valor and bravery, but unfortunately, a great number of these heroes either died from wounds sustained during their heroic exploits, or just as frequently, in an episode that followed. The subjects of Thrilling Deeds of British Airmen for example, almost all continued in service after winning renown for their heroics, but many perished later on in the war, which was still on-going at the time the book was published.

Much of history inevitably focuses on the deeds and decisions of high level statesmen and generals whose actions determine the fate of thousands. These books shine the spotlight on the man in the trenches—the heroes who sacrificed all, so that we, rather than they, might live in peace and freedom.

Thrilling Deeds of British Airmen   by Eric Wood   86 credits
This book, written while the Great War was still in progress highlights some of the glorious achievements of early British aviators. In only two years time the airplane went from being a mere oddity to a crucial weapon, and the feats of many of the world's first flying aces are here recorded for posterity.

Heroes of the Great War   by G. A. Leask   82 credits
This book tells the stories of several dozen men who won the Victoria Cross in the early years of the Great War. It was written while the war was still raging, and is very patriotic in tone, but the stories of the extreme acts of heroism done by these men are both harrowing and deeply moving.

Heroes and Heroic Deeds of the Great War   by D. A. Mackenzie   67 credits
This book does not provide an overview of the Great War, but instead focuses on individual heroes and heroic events that occurred during the war. It provide brief bios of only a few of WWI leaders, including Kitchener, Joffre, and Jellico, but for the most part, tells soldiers stories, and anecdotes of personal interest. It was published in the year that the Great War came to a close so it tells the stories of the war with an immediate, rather than a reflective passion.