World War One: History in an Hour

History for busy people. Read a concise history of World War One in just one hour.

World War One brought with it the world’s first experience of Total War, involving all of the world’s great powers, polarized between the Triple Entente, lead by Britain, France and Russia, and the Central Powers, dominated by Germany and Austria-Hungary. Around 9 million men lost their lives in a conflict that introduced the horrors of trench warfare, machine guns and toxic gas attacks.

WORLD WAR ONE: HISTORY IN AN HOUR by Rupert Colley gives you a clear overview of the road to war, the major turning points and battles, and the key leaders involved, as well as the lasting impact the Great War had on almost every country in the world. WORLD WAR ONE: HISTORY IN AN HOUR is essential reading for all history lovers.

Only 99p / $1.60. Download now from iTunesAmazon US, Amazon UKB&N and other online stores. Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Also available as audio download  


  • Introduction
  • Assassination of an Archduke
  • The Road to War
  • The Schlieffen Plan
  • Eastern Front
  • Global War
  • The War in Britain
  • Western Front
  • Gallipoli
  • The Ottoman Empire
  • Verdun
  • Trenches
  • The Somme
  • Change at the Top
  • Air and Sea
  • Ireland
  • Russia
  • USA
  • Passchendaele
  • Spring Offensive
  • The Hundred Days
  • Armistice
  • Paris Peace Conference
  • The war to end war?

Readers’ reviews:

“This is quite possibly the best short history I have ever read on the war. It is definitely worth the read!”

“A brisk and well-written history… an erudite summary,” Education Umbrella.

“An excellent and informative read — succinct and very well written. I have read numerous detailed accounts of World War One, but this has everything in a nutshell and still manages to furnish some new detail. A must for all.”

“What a great idea. I love history and if you do too, I cannot highly recommend this book enough. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series.”

“This book was included as a compulsory book on my son’s reading list for his history course this year. His teacher informed the class that in his opinion it is a book that everyone should be made to read.  I must admit I set out intending to give this book nothing more than a quick glance over, after all it’s short, we have heard it all before, so therefore what could we learn that we had not already heard.  I must admit to my shame, other than the basic facts that were churned out in school, about the trenches and some important battles, it turned out that in fact I knew little about the actual history of WW1.”

I loved this book!  Some books I’ve read have a long introduction – but not the case with this book. No waffle, a quick introduction and bang, straight into it. It explains the cause, first of the war (the assassination of Franz Ferdinand), and then the reasons why Britain declared war, and America declared war, etc. The book has some nice black and white photographs, including at the back (appendix 1) the key players in the conflict; and packs a lot of information in between the covers. All in all a revealing book and one that I highly recommend.”

An excellent little book: Brilliant – very easy read for a history book, and a useful refresher of stuff I used to know when I did history at school, and some completely new (to me) facts! Particularly liked the little biographies of the “key characters” at the end of the book.”

“World War One In An Hour is a great place to start if you don’t have a passing familiarity with WWI. The narrative style is engaging, and the book itself is broken into sections, which makes it easy to set down and pick back up again.  The book also includes short biographies of some of the major players in the war along with a timeline. So, if you’re looking for an introduction, or need a quick read to round out this year’s challenge, you can’t go wrong with this one.”

“I had to grab WWI In An Hour and see if it lived up to its billing. IT DID. I wish I had had this one when I began my reading [about the First World War]. It is a great little volume, well worth the limited expense.  There are several others in the series that would make good basic introductory reading and fill a need in any library.”

An excellent historical overview: I happened upon this e-Book whilst researching for a film project related to World War One. This book did not disappoint and is actually quite comprehensive – I must confess, it took me well over an hour to read. Despite the swiftness of the accounts, the writing does not lack depth or impact. History in an Hour is a fine idea, and I shall be downloading others in this series.”

Excellent read: I really enjoy history and this book is an eye opener to all the key events reviewed in a clear and concise format. If you want to read about the First World War, but don’t want to pile through lots of heavy books then this is the way to do it. I am looking forward to reading other books in the series.”

Good concise history of WW1It is very interesting and is rich in history. The profiles of the participants are also well done. A very good resource book on WW1. I would recommend it to anyone who needs to know the players in this war. I would think it would be a good book for students of history.”

“I began this book with a ‘I know I know this, so what else can I learn?. Well actually quite a lot. If you’re not familiar with the reasons behind ‘The Great War’ of 1914 to 1918 I would heartily recommend this little entry in the history book genre. The style is not simplistic, nor is it ‘dumbed down’, but it was one of the easiest history books I have read in quite a while. The characterisations of the historical figures and descriptions of the events make it both educational and entertaining. Go on, educate yourself.”

“I studied WWI at school but we never got the big picture. It was a war of important events seemingly unconnected and quickly forgotten. This book has done wonders bringing all the bits together to present a good overview of the whole war. It is a great introduction to WWI which explains who did what, where and why. The details of the main figures of the war at the end is useful too, as is the chronology of events. It should be required reading for all schoolchildren embarking on a study of WWI. I found it really useful and will now read WWII which I hope will be as good.”

Well written, well structured and well presented. Quite good value.”

A brilliant little history book: Easy to understand book about the war . I read it quite quickly , I’ve kept it though as I would like to read it again. A superb introduction to WW1 that will give you a good insight to the reasons and facts.”

“Great Format! Big Picture World War One Overview:I really like these “History in an Hour” formatted books. They are designed to give you a chronological overview of key events in history, in this case, World War One. They also give an excellent summary of key players in the event. All this is presented in a format which could easily be read in one or two sittings. If you are not too familiar with World War One, I believe it would be worthwhile to dedicate a night or two of reading to this book.”

More reviews, should you need more convincing, and (below) the opening pages…

“This book was great to give you an overall “what happened” of this war. I wish there were more books like this.” (Oh, but there are…, Ed.)

Very good overview. I knew a little about the First World War but not as much as I thought. The narrative is very clear and focuses on key people and evens, without listing hundreds of dates and people who most people would not remember. I have read lots of books in this series and enjoyed most of them but this one was the best written.”

“To be honest I was a bit dubious about this book at first, until I started reading it that is. People of my generation studied World War 1 at school, so have an extensive background into the subject. This book tries to gather the main points together into something that will take you about an hour to read, also including appendices and photos. All in all this does actually do a great job of this. It shows how the war started and the reasons, as well as the main countries involved. Where else this excels is how it shows things being inter-connected, such as the Easter Uprisings in Ireland, the revolution in Russia, and how such countries as Israel started to be created. This is ideal for anyone wanting to brush up on the First World War, and I would say that this is excellent for anyone having to study this for history and would be ideal for school children. With an active table of contents and the inclusion of photos obviously a lot of thought has gone into this.”

“At 40 years old I knew nothing about WW1. This book is incredible and I am fortunate to have randomly downloaded and read for free. Until now I had no understanding of how important WW1 was in altering the path of history. It has made me question our past and the ease at which this huge amount of information can be digested is a credit to the author. I will definitely buy more factual history books in the near future.”

“Exactly what it is purported to be, a one hour history of World War I, it actually surpassed my expectations. I certainly did not anticipate this to be a definitive or detailed account of the war. How could it be in so short a span of words or time? Still, I was pleasantly surprised by its compact, highly readable text and flow. The brief biographies at the end were an added bonus. Rupert Colley certainly accomplished his goal. For the more casual reader, this gives a great starting point. For the more serious student, is a great adjunct reference in a concise little package. Well done, Mr. Colley! Well done.” (To which Mr Colley says, ‘Thank you!’)

I enjoyed this ebook a lot. Its short, to the point, and very informative. I recommend if you want a good introduction to this topic. On to Rupert’s World War Two!”

A well deserved 5 stars. This book was right up might street,to the point, concise and enlightening. I am not a fan of history however I wanted to know more without trudging through a lot of detail. I am now reading the WW2 book as I enjoyed this so much.”

“Very readable, and despite it being relatively short there are areas covered that were new to me. I don’t think that I could recommend a better way of getting to grips with this period. A worthy effort deserving of 5 stars.”

A splendid read with all the facts laid before you and with the author interpretation on offer. Provides enough information to understand one’s history but encourages further study. A very well written and presented history.”

“After reading a lot of books about the First World War I found this condensed version excellent value. Concise and to the point. Well worth a read.”

“To anyone who wants to brush up on history, this is a great read. It does not go into great detail but it points out the important facts. A great stepping stone for those who wish to look into WWI a little more.”

“This provides a good overview of the major events of WWI. Obviously, one can not go into detail in an hour when covering such an important and well documented chapter of world history. The author does a good job of progressing from event to event without editorializing or engaging in “what if?” questions.

It is a nice refresher of the major players and events from the war to end all wars.”

“As promised this book took about an hour to read. It is well written, concise, easy to understand and will give those with little knowledge about the era a good working beginning. It does not spend a lot of time exploring the complexities of the events leading up to WWI nor does it explain the war strategy in depth. But it did promise an hour and that was delivered. This is a book I would recommend to anyone who wants more knowledge of WWI or who has limited understanding and wants to brush up. It was well worth the time spent.”

“I enjoyed this very much. As soon as I finished….I bought the book on WWII. Spread the word to other history buffs.”

“I was really impressed I have always loved history but most books I read I never finish as they bore me to tears right from the start. This “History in one hour” – World War One by Rupert Colley was actually very good. And like it says you can read it in one hour. I really like how it is laid out and gets right to the point. From the start you learn what started the war to begin with. Was I shocked that this war was started all because of a 19 year old boy who killed two people, one of whom was at that time very important (won’t give it away). And then to see how many of the other major countries of that time were brought into or joined in on the war was really fascinating. And to learn at the end that one injured soldier laying in the hospital angry at Germany’s signing the treaty and their “defeat” turned out to be one of Germany’s worst leaders ever. If you like history too but you don’t know a whole lot about World War One – as what is in this book you don’t learn in school – and you want to know more about the war, more details, timelines, etc. Then this book will do all that and moreGreat read.”

This is a great read if you don’t know much about World War One, and are trying to get a good picture of the events in the precise order they happened. I am reading this book as a supplement to “America: the Great War 1914-1916.” I get to read what happened, and then read an eyewitness account of it in The Great War. It’s well written,so this book gets five stars. ;)”

“This is a fantastic introduction to World War I. But know what it is: a quick, easy read that contains a cursory explanation of the causes for the war and details all the major players, battles and the Armistice. With this under your belt, you’ll know whether you want to dive deeper into the subject. Additionally, if interested in World War II, this provides a quick background for the climate that led to the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich.”

“World War One: History in an Hour audio – best $5 I ever spent. Highly recommended

“The History in an Hour series are proving to be very good at concise introductions to individual, large subjects, and so it is with World War One. Most people know a little about the trenches and the horrific slaughter but how many have heard of the devastating Iraq campaign or how many thousands of troops were stationed in Greece doing not a lot except making their presence felt so Greece would stay on the Allies side? There are brief dips into the war at sea, in the air and how a young Winston Churchill was the prime mover of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign. The place were this book excels is right at the beginning as it explains why people wanted Arch Duke Ferdinand dead, how his driver’s wrong turn presented the assassin with opportunity and the quick slide into war as countries were drawn in by commitments of mutual defence made in treaties signed long ago. This is a top flight book which gives you the strategic overview of the war to end all wars, if only that last phrase were true. At the end of the book there is a brief biography of major personalities involved in the war and a chronology of events.”

“A concise history of the Great War which covers the political and economic aspects of this conflict. It also describes the ‘forgotten’ war in the Middle East. A useful intro or revision aid”

Great Book, some confusion. It’s rated by Kindle at 86 pages, not true, thankfully, much longer than that. But NOT some terrible, ongoing, never ending, in-depth descriptive. This was a concise, but all inclusive, history of the period. It gave the reasons for the war, why it started, and most important, WHY a war that should have truly been settled in months, dragged on for years of agony. I consider myself a real history nut and very well read, yet, I felt a little weak in this time period. This book gave me all the information I have always wanted to know, concise and complete. Excellent reference!”

“It is well written [and] brief of a complicated period in history. The book is still of great value for those who have no knowledge of this time which still impacts our lives today.”

“Interesting book on World War 1. I’m a 9 year old. I love the book. I will probably get to skip grades and be the best doctor ever! Thank you so much for writing this. Thank you and thank you.”

“I wanted a quick review of WWI and this is exactly what I got… The most positive aspect is that the book was able to be concise and still limit the amount of pages in order to get through it quickly.”

“I wanted a quick review of WWI and this is exactly what I got. The book is very helpful in this case and will enhance your process of deciding if you want to get more serious about the history and what episodes you would prefer. I think the most positive aspect is that the book was able to be concise and still limit the amount of pages in order to get through it quickly.”

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