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Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18

Dennis Showalter (Colorado College, USA)



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17 November 2016
History; European history; 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000; First World War; Land forces & warfare
Drawing on more than a half-century of research and teaching, Dennis Showalter presents a fresh perspective on the German Army during World War I. Showalter surveys an army at the heart of a national identity, driven by - yet also defeated by - warfare in the modern age, which struggled to capitalize on its victories and ultimately forgot the lessons of its defeat. Exploring the internal dynamics of the German Army and detailing how the soldiers coped with the many new forms of warfare, Showalter shows how the army's institutions responded to, and how Germany itself was changed by war. Detailing the major campaigns on the Western and Eastern fronts and the forgotten war fought in the Middle East and Africa, this comprehensive new volume reveals operational strategy, the complexities of campaigns of movement versus static trench warfare, and the effects of changes in warfare.
By:   Dennis Showalter (Colorado College USA)
Imprint:   Osprey
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 233mm,  Width: 152mm,  Spine: 33mm
Weight:   633g
ISBN:   9781472813008
ISBN 10:   1472813006
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   17 November 2016
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Dennis Showalter has been a professor of history at Colorado College since 1969 and specializes in German military history. He was President of the American Society of Military History from 1997 to 2001 and is Joint Editor of War in History specializing in comparative military history. In addition, Showalter is an advising fellow of the Barsanti Military History Center at the University of North Texas and has previously taught at the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Military Academy and the Marine Corps University. He has written or edited two dozen books and over a 150 articles. Recent monographs include The Wars of German Unification(London: Arnold, 2004), Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century (New York: Berkeley, 2005.), and Hitler's Panzers (New York: Berkeley, 2009). Tannenberg won the American Historical Association's Paul M. Birdsall Prize for best new book of 1992 and Dennis Showalter was also the recipient of a Festschrift, Arms and the Man: Military History Essays in Honor of Dennis Showalter, ed. Michael Neiberg (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2011).

Reviews for Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18

This book is classic Showalter, witty, insightful, and remarkably erudite. This is the perfect match between author and project. -Michael S. Neiberg, author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I Dennis Showalter does it again.America's leading historian returns to his speciality, the German army, and provides a first rate study, at once accessible and scholarly, that focuses on the strengths, resilience and eventual failure of the army during the First World War. A deft mix of the varied levels and experience of war. -- Jeremy Black Showalter has written the last word on the German military tragedy of World War I. The book is wise and deep. The German political leadership, stunted and divided by Bismarck's constitution and Kaiser Wilhelm II's frivolous interventions, failed to craft any sound strategy for the 20th century. The cloistered German army, less autonomous and powerful than imagined, focused its energies downward on operations and tactics, becoming the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. So good and innovative were the Germans at battle that they nearly overcame their own lack of strategy as well as the most intractable strategic obstacles: American power and British blockade. Instrument of War is vintage Showalter - deft, limpid, wry, insightful and memorable. Geoffrey Wawro, author of The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-71 and A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire. -- Professor Geoffrey Wawro Publisher approached reviewer

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