Figures for WW1

Have recently read a few good books by British and German Authors, "The Marne 1914" by H.H.Herwig, "The First World War" by Hew Strachan and "The Road Home" by Max Arthur, not forgetting "Tommy".

In "The Road Home", the graphic accounts of personal experiences from the men and women who fought both at the Front, at the rear and those back home, through to a "Land fit for heroes", the changes in the social structure in Great Britain, the Wounded, its all there and an easy, at times very emotional read.

However, the purpose of this thread. WW1 can only be described by our generation as "Inconcievable". Can anyone recommend any books detailing the actual cost of the War, not the Human cost, more the financial side of things, including the unbelievable logistics, alone the transportation of supplies, men and horses, rations, sailings per day to the continent, munition production and expenditure etc etc.

Or is there a defintive source online (on googling it would appear that there is little on the official logistics side) ?

Thanks in advance


Book Reviewer
I'd try some of the official histories - maybe the ones on seaborne trade will have some figures.

History of the Great War Based on Official Documents (British Official History)

with the caveat that some of the volumes were written to gloss over the failings of high command.


Edited to add: some of the Navy Record Society volumes have background info - for example the ones on the Northern Patrol and the Control of Trade deal with the blockade of Germany and the economic impact thereof. The volumes on Admiral Fisher have the pre-war navy estimates in them.

The Navy Records Society - Volumes-works

The Tenth Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet had the task of patrolling the seas between Scotland and Greenland to intercept enemy ships trying to escape into the ocean and merchant ships who could be carrying goods destined for Germany. This was a task of great political sensitivity, since almost all the ships intercepted were neutrals, and requiring great physical endurance from ships and men in the violent North Atlantic.

There are also the casualties: ships overwhelmed by storms, sunk by enemy action, torpedoed. The ships of the Patrol were perhaps the most constantly active Royal Navy vessels in the Great War, a barely acknowledged yet vital component in the eventual Allied victory.
Thanks Lads, I ll have a good look on my laptop when I m home (cant see f all on this phone).

I do like Kindle/internet, but for this read, I d love a hard copy, maybe with pics of the Ports stacked high on a daily basis.When I reflect on the logistics required for GW1, or a NATO excercise in BAOR, it must be a drop in the ocean compared to WW1.

Not having anything to do do with logistics myself, it would interest me to learn of the heads behind WW1, in all honesty, at the peak, caring for 2,8 million men and 500k beasts, the building of the Pyramids must have been a fart in the wind.

The Channel must ve looked like the M25 at 0700hrs!
Niall Fergusson's "The Pity of War" has an interesting economic analysis, if your interest in finances stretches are as finding economics "interesting".
The World Crisis written by WInston Churchill has some financial data in it as well I believe. :?


I did read a really good couple of books about both world wars dealing with logistics, the amount of dripping collected from roasting beef in France for Tommy was amazing!
Ian Brown's logistics book is well over £100, try via a library.

Two of the best general books are 'The Smoke and the Fire' and 'The War of Invention' by John Terraine.

Also, as well as the Operations series of the Official History there is an Industrial (or similar) series detailing the efforts of invention and industry.

Also worth reading, two books by staff officers: 'Behind the Lines' and GHQ'.

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