Saturday, 12 February 2011


Last night I finally began to 'digitise', for want of a better word, a wonderful old mag all about the First World War. The magazine was called "The Great War", not that their was anything 'great' about it for the soldiers who fought in the trenches.
The 'great' thing about these old magazines is that they were published during the conflict and each issue reported the events as they occurred, although censored the articles are very factual and at times, very graphic. The magazine was first published in August 1914 and ran for 272 volumes full of photographs of the war, illustrations and articles.
Its a great read and if like me, you have an interest in such things, reading these old mags is unlike anything written after the conflict. I found the articles very interesting and having read many books about the first "World War", its always great to discover new sources of information.
I didn't even know these magazines existed until the other month when I 'won' a box full at a local auction. I have since seen copies selling online and at auctions, they are still relatively cheap if you know where to look and always a 'sound' investment imho. You can even buy the complete set, scanned and on CD which I am very tempted to purchase a copy for myself even though its only the 'scanned' pages.
My collection is small, I have around 30 or so in not too bad a condition considering their age, almost 100 years old and alost 'antique'. I did consider 'ebaying' them soon or at some point, there's only so much one can 'collect'. However, I plan to 'digitise' each copy and type out the text rather than just scan the pages first because apart from being much easier to read and being able to add links and more information about the war, at least I will have a copy to view at my leisure.
I had considered selling each 'issue' as an Ebook download and charging a small fee to cover my cost and time, it takes around 10 hours to type and scan the photo's. Then another couple of hours to do some research and add links and more photo's to the the book. Plus all the other "bits" of interesting information I have gathered to create something that will be worth downloading.
However, I want to give each issue away for free, no charge, no costly 'selling' fees to pay (I am an Ebay veteran!), no packing and posting or should I say 'shipping' (if you live outside the UK) cost.
If anyone wishes to view the first issue then all you have to do is ask and I will send you a copy. Or, pop back to my 'new' blog adventure sometime in the near future and it will be available to view online, plus many other wonderfull things I have discovered. If I can afford to give them away for free then I will.

Below is a 'preview' of The Great War magazine 'ebook' I am currently working on and all being well, it should be available for download very soon! Don't forget to ask me for a copy, its FREE!

At the time when we wrote the account of the Russian retreat from the Dunajec and Carpathian line, it was not advisable to state the chief reason of the disaster to our allies. The enemy was no doubt well well acquainted with the temporary cause of the weakness of Russia but it was thought best for all friendly historians of war to refrain from discussing the matter. Russia had put most of her eggs in a single basket. More than half her fighting armies throughout the campaign had been supplied with smokeless powder and high-explosive shell from one great munitions factory at Ochta, which is nearer to Petrograd than Woolwich is to London.
Among the leading workers were men of German stock and brilliant talent, drawn from the German population of the Western Russian province, German Secret Service agents appear to have won over some of these men, and the result was that, at the critical hour in the history of Russia, all the works at Ochta were blown up by a series of tremendous explosions in the nitrating tanks, detonating the materials used for shell filling.
Petrograd shook as in an earthquake. Thousands of the trained workmen were killed and nearly all the munitions plant was destroyed. If Woolwich was was wiped out in a similar way by German agents our country would not be crippled; for we have not centralised our manufactures of explosives, Russia was quite crippled.Most of her guns were put out of action because they lacked both shells and charges, and even the supply of smokeless gunpowder for the infantry seems to have run perilously short. Great siege guns were being produced at the Putilof works, capable of coping with largest of ordnance made by Skoda and Krupp; but after the destruction of Ochta there was so extreme a dearth of ammunition's that nothing could be done against the heavy artillery used by General Von Mackensen.
Russia had therefore to fight for time, while her principle Allies came to her assistance by the circuitous Archangel route. In particular Britain and France had to give up all thought of a great offensive, to husband their stocks of ammunition's and pour as much shell and smokeless powder into Russia as they could safely spare.

PS. Although I found this a very interesting war news artical, there are many more interesting ones within each issue.

PPS. Whilst working on another 'project' I discovered a great piece of art painted by one of the 'masters' and considered a Great British Modern Masterpiece.

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