Cover Image: Abandoned Places of World War I

Abandoned Places of World War I

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Member Reviews

Abandoned Places of World War I provides a poignant, evocative and compelling glimpse into the tunnels, bunkers, fortresses and trenches built before and during the Great War.  Some are (partial) reconstructions which can be visited.  The chapters are divided into regions with photographic and written details including barbed wire, iron crosses, railroads, carvings, graffiti and lookouts.  The reader is taken into the sites and shown personal etchings, writings and sometimes skeletal remains of those who fought each other, famine, disease and cold.  Grim would not even begin to describe life then, especially as the battles were often senseless and contributed nothing but misery for hundreds of millions.  

This book details fierce battles fought in Belgium, France, Italy, UK, Slovenia, Greece, Turkey, Israel and others by many nationalities including Canadians and New Zealanders from thousands of kilometers away.  Natural defenses including remote mountain passes were utilized, such as the Dolomites.  Fortresses built earlier in North America were re-purposed during WWI.  

Reading statistics is simultaneously fascinating and sobering.  I learned that more than two thirds of the casualties of WWI died by artillery.  Knowledge of industrialized weaponry increased as the war raged.  I've been reading a lot about the Schlieffen Plan which is mentioned here.  Comparing and contrasting British and German bunkers is interesting.  The entire book is!

On our travels, my husband and I seek out and war bunkers, tunnels and fortresses to photograph and explore if possible.  They are often situated incongruously in great natural beauty which seems so far removed from the horrors of the past.  The photographs here are truly stunning and moving and grabbed me immediately.  I am grateful that important places such as those described are preserved.

History readers ought to immerse themselves in this haunting book.

My sincere thank you to Amber Books Ltd. and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this remarkably thought-provoking book.
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I really enjoyed reading this book. I loved the pictures and could feel emotions when looking at them. Some where so powerful. I learnt so much from reading this book. I loved the way this book was split into different countries that way you could see the similarities in the style of the structures and by the end of the book I would be able to tell you which country one of the structures is from. I enjoyed the variety of photography styles including Aries photos and I loved the ones from under the sea. My favourite photo was of an abandoned war ship in Australia that a small forest grew from. I especially loved the section covering war art it was totally amazing looking at these pictures. The reason this book was a 4 star and not a 5 is i would of loved to see some pictures cropped, some different angles to the more interesting building and more informative writing about these amazing places. Or is that just me being picky. I see this book on many history fans coffee tables.
Many thanks to the author and publishing team for creating a book that brings history to life.
Already posted to goodreads same as above 11/11/21 also on the following retailers waterstones, amazon, Barnes&noble and my blog
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This is an incredible book! High-res photographs from around the world bring unique insight into WWI; it was truly fascinating, seeing how remnants of the war live on to this day and have been reconstructed/maintained or left to the natural elements. Comparing how each country fought, defended itself, and worked to heal its soldiers proved insightful, poignant, and somber.

I read this at about the same time as Kate Breslin's _As Dawn Breaks_, also set during WWI; that lent gravitas and quite the mental picture for her novel. It also reminded me of many a childhood day trip up to Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, one of three strategic fortifications at Puget Sound's entrance that saw most of its activity during WWI and WWII. Of course, as a child, grasping the magnitude of events that happened at that time is naturally a challenge! So revisiting in this book revived the magnitude of history and set my own memories in the context of world events.

The emphasis within the book is more on the pictures, with captions providing "history in a nutshell." For me, that was perfect and just enough information to whet the appetite, should I want to pursue other reads for more detail.

I think my favorite pictures were of Chapelle des Chasseurs Alpins (in Confrecourt, Aisne); I love to visit (and photograph) chapels and churches when I travel, and these photos stirred all the feels--especially since travel isn't quite the same right now (as I write this mid-pandemic). A picture of a German gun in Belleau Wood, Aisne, was also particularly powerful: set smack dab in the middle of a forest, with more leaves on the ground than on the trees, it literally paints a jarring image of war's devastation. And finally, the ossuary at Haute Chevauchee (Argonne, Meuse) was perhaps the ultimate tomb of unknown solders. Again ... sobering and moving.

5/5 stars.

I received an eARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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This was a very enjoyable coffee table book of over 150 photographs from around the world. I enjoyed reading about the different places that been destroyed by the Great War and sometimes the stories of the regiments who’ve left their personal marks behind. Although I knew that WW1 had been fought all over Europe, I hadn’t really thought about the bunkers and forts that could still be found outside of the Western Front in France and Belgium.would be found. The photographs are good quality and I definitely recommend this to anyone with an interest in battlefields of the First World War.
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Abandoned Places of World War I is a picture book that travels the world showing the legacy of the First World War, a century later. One of its strengths is that it lets the photographs tell most of the story. And like the war itself, there are a great many signs of humanity, but the physical body is almost never in sight.

Readers are offered a bit of contextualization for each section of the book typically a page or less. The contents are arranged by country or in latter sections by geographic region. While the book does look globally, more than half of it's focus is on Europe.

Each image has a caption that details aspects of that location. Those notes include: the construction or development of that location, the sites importance to the war, or its post war history. If anything the contextual sections could be longer, as they are this would appeal more to world war I specialists.
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Abandoned Places of World War I by Neil Faulkner
An overgrown concrete bunker at Ypres; a rusting gun carriage in a field in Flanders; perfectly preserved trenchworks at Vimy, northern France; a rocky mountaintop observation post high in the Tyrolean mountains. More than 100 years after the end of World War I, the conflict’s legacy can still be seen from Europe to the Pacific. Abandoned Places of World War I explores more than 120 bunkers, trench systems, tunnels, fortifications and gun emplacements from North America to East Africa. Included are defensive structures, such as Fort Douaumont at Verdun, the site of the Western Front’s bloodiest battle; the elaborately constructed tunnels of the Wellington Quarry, near Arras, designed to provide a safe working hospital for wounded British soldiers; and crumbling concrete pill boxes in Anzac Cove, Turkey. From the preserved remains of the mighty Przemyśl fortress to bunkers and observation points high in the Slovenian Dolomites, Abandoned Places of World War I features more than 180 striking photographs from around the world.
I loved looking at the pictures more than reading about the places  especially buildings that are old and abandoned.  5*.
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A really nicely assembled coffee table book of photography of abandoned WW1 locations and equipment. There is something deeply compelling about abandoned architecture, particularly that of which the earth has begun to reclaim. World War 1 is not a war I know enough about, so my only real complaint is that I could use photos of these locations from during the time of the war, but this is a really well photographed and expansive look at many of the locations where WW1 took place.
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This book has rich colorful photographs of the long-forgotten landmarks of WWI. Sharing this book with a class would be a great way to bring history to life. I enjoyed this book immensely.
This arc was provided to me for free for an honest review.
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Another truly fascinating collection of photographs from around the world providing mute testimony to the scale of the global conflict beyond the conventional focus on the Western Front, although - unsurprisingly - many photographs of the scars of the war in France and Belgium are also included. What is, perhaps, most impressive is the relatively unusual choice of photographs that goes well beyond those that have featured as illustrations in the many books covering the Great War. The photographs of the mountain defences between Italy and the Austria-Hungary territories are particularly impressive, and give a small sense of the appalling conditions in which the opposing forces fought.
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Thank you NetGalley for an ARC of this work! Wow. This was even better than I hoped for. Any history buff will treasure this. Almost all of these pictures were new to me. This was a treat. Will buy for my friends. Great book to pick and read a few pages and come back to later.
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This is a beautiful and haunting coffee table book of abandoned WWI relics. The book features large full-color pictures showing the various locations. It is divided by location with sections like France, Belgium, U.K., Central Europe Eastern Europe, Balkans Africa and Middle East, and North America and the Pacific. I appreciate that the book acknowledges the affect that the war had outside of Europe as most people tend to overlook this. My favorite pictures were the aerial shots showing the physical scars of the war on the land. They reminded me of being in Normandy and being deeply impacted by the bomb divots left during WWII. This book would make a great gift to any WWI buff.
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Featuring more than 180 stunning photographs from around the globe, Abandoned Places of World War 1 is a concise, informative visual feast of historical places and defensive structures. 

A treat for any history or travel buff, this is a definite must as a gift for a war-aficionado. 

Thanks to Net Galley, the author, and publisher for my ARC.
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Such an interesting book showing how there is still so much left over from WW1. Slightly more information would of been useful but the pictures do speak for themselves. Great gift for WW1 buff
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Such an interesting book with beautiful photography. I've put it on the list to buy when it comes out! My only criticism is that - lazy person that I am - I would love some details of whether you can visit these places and see them for yourself. I'm going to have to google and find out.
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Abandoned Places of World War I is a photo book of places and items left behind from the Great War.  It contains over 150 photographs.  With the first 100 pages focused on Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.  A lot of the photos are of abandoned bunkers and fortifications.  I've visited some on the coast near Calais.  There are also the outlines in the ground where trenches once were and others where they've been rebuilt for history.  I expected the countries I've already mentioned but the second half of the book covers Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa and even a few places in North America.  I hadn't thought about those countries as much in relation to WWI.  Each photo gives a little blurb and at times I wished for more information.  Is this a sight people can visit?  What happened here?  The book doesn't give historical context to the war or elaborate much beyond very basics.  This really is for WWI history buffs.  It isn't a something I'd purchase for myself but I would check it out from a library.  Thank you NetGalley and Amber Books for a temporary ARC ebook in exchange for an honest review.  (3.5 stars)
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World War I seems to have been eclipsed by the events of the Second World War, and mentions of the latter are everywhere. Faulkner’s eerily beautiful photographs of the places so many fought and died is a reminder of the cost of war both in human terms and the natural world, which was literally decimated by “the War to end all Wars”.
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I can see this wonderfully-presented volume being a fine gift for a specialist in WW1 matters, or as a souvenir for someone going to or returning from the famous sites, but I can't pretend it was perfect for me.  It's a book that points out the many diverse remains of the war, so in Belgium and France alone we go from shots of rusting UXBs and the emplacements they got fired from, to pre-existing buildings changed by warfare and even some casual graffiti.  It's clear that you have to think of the War partly in the context of how evident it still is over a century on.  But while that flavour came across, for once the brevity of the captions – virtually all the text on offer – was lacking.  For instance, I wanted more of the story of the 'Lochnagar' crater, and not just the data we got.  Some of the pictures seemed incredibly poorly chosen – one wanting to flag up a 'dispersed fortress' is an extreme close-up of a howitzer muzzle, or something.

But quibbles aside, this respectful memorial to the many millions of lives lost and injuries caused does go to places you perhaps may not have gone in your reading.  I can see many people inspired by this to look into the War as played out in the Italian Alps and Dolomites, for example.  And some of the picture research is suitably eye-opening – an open-air swimming pool for the German troops, and a shipwreck now home to a mini-jungle in an Australian bay, were most unexpected.

There is scope for improvement here, but there is also the idea that this inspires further book purchase and study.  It's probably as good as anything else from this publisher's range of picture books concerning military history, but it didn't work as well with me as some have.  Three and a half stars.
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This book provides a look at the remnants of the first World War using photography. Through its high resolution full page pictures and descriptions this book tries to connect the reader with both the history of the war and the aftermath we are left with.  As most of those who managed to survive the war have grown old and passed on these abandon places are the only reminders we have left that the war really existed. Yes, we have historians and teachers to pass along the stories of the war, but it is oftentimes the physical evidence that closes the gap from a cold detachment and a startling realization of existence.
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