To End All Wars Review

War is hell.
And no modern war was more hellish than World War I.
It was labeled “The War to End All Wars” but we know it wasn’t.
The back cover of the book says of the anthology “To End All Wars presents 26 historic narratives based
on actual events, characters, circumstances, incidents, myths, or consequences of the Great War.”
And it doesn’t disappoint.
Usually, books about WWI focus on the western front, where soldiers were butchered, dying from
bullets from enemy guns or caught in barbed wire.
What this collection does is look at the war from angles not seen often or at all.
We see the war from the air, on land, and in the sea. We see stories of the United Kingdom, Germany,
France, Russia, as well as more obscure placed like German and British African colonies.
The role of women in the war effort is also showcased.
This book is subtitled “The Graphic Anthology of the First World War” and it is clearly on the side of
being against the war. It’s hard to believe that anyone would think the First World War was necessary
but revisionists in Britain think exactly that.
In the book’s introduction, Pat Mills says it is important because “comics are one of the few media
voices the establishment has yet to muzzle.”
The stories, all professionally told and illustrated, run the gamut of being horrifying, tender, brutal,
funny, and haunting. The styles vary greatly.
In the story “Dead in the Water,” we find ourselves watching a German U Boat commander ruthlessly
torpedo and sink ships, even those rendered unable to attack. It is in part a psychological story as we see
the number of dead by his hand take their toll on his mind.
There are stories based on what seem to be obscure events.
In “Kapitan Fritz’s Day Trip to Yarmouth” the story focuses on the first air raid against Britain in history,
when a German zeppelin makes its way to the British coast.
“Even here in East Africa, it was impossible to escape the Great War,” is how the story called “No More
than Cattle…” begins. It shows how brutal treatment of indigenous peoples by their colonial masters
was.
It also reveals how those colonized were conscripted to fight in the European war.
It is noteworthy that 2 British pounds of each issue sold is being donated to Doctors without Borders.
Also, all those who created this book did so without remuneration.
“To End All Wars” is a remarkable achievement and should be on the list of anyone looking to learn
more about “the Great War.”

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