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The Fortress: The Great Siege of Przemysl

Alexander Watson

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Allen Lane
19 November 2019
History; European history; 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000; First World War; Battles & campaigns
In the autumn of 1914 Europe was at war. The battling powers had already suffered casualties on a scale previously unimaginable. On both the Western and Eastern fronts elaborate war plans lay in ruins and had been discarded in favour of desperate improvisation. In the West this resulted in the remorseless world of the trenches; in the East all eyes were focused on the old, beleaguered Austro-Hungarian fortress of Przemysl.

The great siege that unfolded at Przemysl was the longest of the whole war. In the defence of the fortress and the struggle to relieve it Austria-Hungary suffered some 800,000 casualties. Almost unknown in the West, this was one of the great turning points of the conflict. If the Russians had broken through they could have invaded Central Europe, but by the time the fortress fell their strength was so sapped they could go no further.

Alexander Watson, prize-winning author of Ring of Steel, has written one of the great epics of the First World War. Comparable to Stalingrad in 1942-3, Przemysl shaped the course of Europe's future. Neither Russians nor Austro-Hungarians ever recovered from their disasters. Using a huge range of sources, Watson brilliantly recreates a world of long-gone empires, broken armies and a cut-off community sliding into chaos. The siege was central to the war itself, but also a chilling harbinger of what would engulf the entire region in the coming decades, as nationalism, anti-semitism and an exterminatory fury took hold.
By:   Alexander Watson
Imprint:   Allen Lane
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 240mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 35mm
Weight:   629g
ISBN:   9780241309063
ISBN 10:   0241309069
Pages:   352
Publication Date:   19 November 2019
Audience:   General/trade ,  College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  ELT Advanced ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Alexander Watson is the author of the prize-winning history of the Central Powers in the First World War, Ring of Steel. He is Professor of History at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Reviews for The Fortress: The Great Siege of Przemysl

The vividly written and well-researched The Fortress is a masterpiece. It deserves to become a classic of military history. -- Lawrence James * The Times *


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