Thursday 18 September 2014

Frank Bellamy and the Story World War One

Have you had enough of World War One nostalgia? Let me get my bit out of the way then. I have just finished watching the excellent "37 days" production by the BBC which was broadcast in March this year.  The three part mini-series had episode titles:
  1. One month in Summer
  2. One week in July
  3. One long weekend
and was an excellent overview of how the early 20th Century political situation and manoeuvrings worked between the UK, Germany, Austria, France and Russia. Now I knew about the Black Hand, Archduke Ferdinand and of course Kaiser Wilhelm II but had not appreciated General Moltke and Sir Edward Gray's roles in the Prussian aggression (the former) and diplomatic negotiating (the latter) prior to the start of World War One.

It was whilst reading another blog that I realised I missed a great opportunity to highlight Bellamy's work on World War One, so let's make amends.

I've written about the adventures of Geoff West, Peter Richardson, Steve Holland, Stuart Williams (and some guy called Norman Boyd) before, so there's no need to repeat myself.

Frank Bellamy's Story of World War One

But I've never outlined the chapters and episodes written by Michael Butterworth and illustrated by Frank Bellamy so here goes, and along the way I've mentioned key characters in the hope those searching for a simple and beautifully illustrated introduction WWI may choose to purchase a copy. It's available in two editions - Amazon has the paperback of  Frank Bellamy's the Story of World War One (ignore the silly Used version price!) but Geoff West deserves your business, so travel over to the Book Palace where you'll see offers galore and the limited edition hardback too. Librarians, Dawsons have the paperback at £25 (ISBN:9781907081002). Lastly I must say thanks to Peter Richardson for allowing me to link to various spreads on his blog.


The Story of World War 

An introduction to the Schlieffen Plan and Moltke's part in the start of WWI
German troops move west

'That contemptible British army'

Kaiser Wilhelm was not impressed by the British Forces. We meet Kitchener and King George IV and Field Marshall Sir John French and the march to the River Meuse
Nice layout based on the next page
being a double page spread
British troops march across France

The clash of the mighty on the Western Front!

We learn of the French Plan 17 and meet Prince Rupprecht

The road to Mons

For the first time in nearly a century the British stood ready to do battle on French soil, and we meet General von Kluck and von Moltke
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

Into battle - by taxi!

600 Paris taxi-cabs transport 6,000 troops to the Marne and we meet General Joffre

Enemy aircraft overhead!

For the first time in any war, this dreaded alarm call rang out! and we meet Anthony Fokker and the Royal Flying Corps and Lieutenants Freeman and Dawes
Enemy aircraft overhead

Life and death in the trenches

Incessant rain day and night, turns the battlefield into a sea of mud and we meet General Sir Douglas Haig 


Ypres and mustard gas
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

War in the air

Very early dogfights between bi-planes and French single seaters
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

The magnificent failure

Enver Pasha, General Liman von Sanders and the battle in the Dardenelles

Attack - and retreat at Gallipoli 

French battleship Bouvet and 1,500 Australians fighting Turks 

Date with destiny

10,000 British troops march on Loos, Piper Laidlow V.C. and the Indian troops
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

The menace of the Southern oceans

Admiral von Spee, Valparaiso, the Falkland Islands, the Gneisenau and the Atlantic

The flying heroes

Manfred von Richtofen, George Guynemer, Mick Mannock and Albert Ball representing the German, British and French flying aces
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

News from the homefront

London in 1915, Zeppelins, white feathers and Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin.

Fight to the last man

These were the orders given to the French army at Verdun.  We meet General Von Falkenhayn and General Petain.
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

A lost chance

Properly used, the tank could have changed the whole pattern of the war.

Stalemate at sea

Admiral Sir John Jellicoe, Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty, Vice-Admiral Rheinhard Scheer and Major Harvey in the Battle Of Jutland.

A bitter failure

We meet General Joffre, General Petain and General Nivelle and the inferno at Champagne.
Taken with permission from Peter Richardson's blog

A whole world in conflict

The Battle Of Caporetto, General Paul Von Hindenburg and General Ludendorff and the Russians.

Masters of the skies

Sopwith Camels, Bristol fighters and the German Albatross and the British ace, Albert Ball.

An army in revolt

Passchendaele and David Lloyd-George.

Allenby's sword flash at Jerusalem

British spirits lifted in 1917.  We meet Sir Edmund Allenby in Jerusalem and Thomas Edward Lawrence.

The last offensive

Major-General Erich Ludendorff on the Eastern front with Paul Von Hindenburg.
Poor photo by me, but love the detail

The beginning of the end

General Foch of France appointed commander of the French and British armies from the Alps to the North Sea - and counter-attacks.

Peace at last

Lloyd-George Prime Minister and Winston Churchill Minister Of War, the cenotaph in London and memorials in villages and towns and hardships are suffered in Germany.


The book then has a short biography of Butterworth and Bellamy written by Steve Holland and reproduces "Artists at work", a letter by a Michael Niederman of Ontario who wrote in to Look and Learn to ask about the artist. The letter and reply appeared on 28 November 1970 with a photo of Bellamy at work on issue 460 ("The last offensive")