Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914–1918

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Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914–1918
Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 19141918 cover.jpg
Author Brian N. Hall
Country United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Publication date July 2017
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 344
ISBN 9781316771747
Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, 1914–1918 is described by the publisher as:
"an important new study examining the military operations of the British Expeditionary Force in 1914–18 through the lens of its communications system. Brian Hall charts how new communications technology such as wireless, telephone and telegraph were used alongside visual signalling, carrier pigeons and runners as the British army struggled to develop a communication system adequate enough to wage modern warfare. He reveals how tenuous communications added to the difficulties of command and control during the war's early years, and examines their role during the major battles of the Somme, Arras, Ypres and Cambrai. It was only in 1918 that the British army would finally develop a flexible and sophisticated communications system capable of effectively coordinating infantry, artillery, tanks and aeroplanes. This is a major contribution to our understanding of British military operations during the First World War, the learning processes of armies and the revolution in military affairs."[1]

Contents are:

Introduction; pp 1-21.
1 - Organisation; pp 22-53.
2 - Personnel, Recruitment and Training; pp 54-87.
3 - Means of Communication; pp 88-117.
4 - 1914–1915; pp 118-154.
5 - 1916; pp 118-154.
6 - 1917; pp 155-196.
7 - 1918; pp 197-241.
Conclusion; pp 298-307.
Appendix 1 - AD Signals, BEF, 1916–1918; pp 308-309.
Appendix 2 - Principal Wireless Sets in the BEF, 1914–1918; pp 310-311

While principally dealing with "British Operations" it has to be noted that Canada participated as part of those forces. The discussion of the First World War Signal Service as well as the issues and technologies of the time are as applicable to any of the British Empire countries as they are to the Britain. There are a number of photos used in the book that the author found on this website and are duly cited.

A proper review of the book will be provided once it's been read!


  1. Cambridge University Press