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Inventing the Schlieffen Plan

Inventing the Schlieffen Plan Author Terence Zuber
ISBN-10 9780191647710
Release 2002-10-31
Pages 356
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The existence of the Schlieffen plan has been one of the basic assumptions of twentieth-century military history. It was the perfect example of the evils of German militarism: aggressive, mechanical, disdainful of politics and of public morality. The Great War began in August 1914 allegedly because the Schlieffen plan forced the German government to transform a Balkan quarrel into a World War by attacking France. And, in the end, the Schlieffen plan failed at the battle of the Marne. Yet it has always been recognized that the Schlieffen plan included inconsistencies which have never been satisfactorily explained. On the basis of newly discovered documents from German archives, Terence Zuber presents a radically different picture of German war planning between 1871 and 1914, and concludes that, in fact, there never really was a `Schlieffen plan'.

Real German War Plan 1904 14

Real German War Plan  1904   14 Author Terence Zuber
ISBN-10 9780752472904
Release 2011-10-21
Pages 192
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Based on recently discovered material in German archives, this book fundamentally changes our understanding of German military planning before World War I On the basis of newly discovered or long-neglected documents in German military archives, this book gives the first description of Schlieffen’s war plans in 1904 and 1905 and Moltke’s plans from 1906 to 1914. It explodes unfounded myths concerning German war planning, gives the first appraisal of the actual military and political factors that influenced it, proves conclusively that there never was a "Schlieffen Plan," and reveals Moltke’s strategy for a war against Russia from 1909 to 1912. Tracing the decline in the German military position and the recognition by 1913 that Germany would be forced to fight outnumbered on both the eastern and western fronts, it is an essential read for anyone with an interest in World War I.

The Plan That Broke the World

The Plan That Broke the World Author William D. O'Neil
ISBN-10 9781481955850
Release 2014-03-11
Pages 204
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As July turned to August in 1914, all the Great Powers of Europe mobilized their armies and then went to war with one another. It would take more than 50 months for peace to return, and the better part of a century to heal many of the wounds. Germany acted only near the end of a chain of actions by other nations, but German troops moved first and set the pattern for the war. They smashed through neutral Belgium before thrusting deeply into France, coming close to knocking France out of the war, and soon were making huge inroads in Russia as well. It was a remarkable performance for an army outnumbered by its foes. Yet four years later the German Empire was swept away, its army a shell, its people starving, its government in chaos. How did the leaders of Imperial Germany come to make the decisions that committed their nation to an all-or-nothing war based on a highly risky strategy? This book explores the background of the decisions, what those who made them knew and thought, what they failed to look at and why. It explains the Prussian Great General Staff (Großer Generalstab) and the part it played in planning and preparing for war. It follows the action of August and the first part of September 1914 to show where they went wrong and how other options could have achieved Germany’s aims with far lower risk and cost. These options were realistically available and the book probes why the nation’s leaders failed to consider or rejected them. The German leaders in 1914 weren’t Hitler. They valued security over conquest and didn’t go to war to expand their empire. They weren't the first to light the fuze that led to war. They thought and acted as leaders very often do. We can understand them in terms of patterns we see all around us, patterns we even see in ourselves. Their decisions had results that were uniquely catastrophic, but the way they were reached was quite ordinary. The Plan That Broke the World explains it all briefly and crisply, in non-technical terms, drawing on the latest research. There are 35 images, many unique to this book, to illustrate specific aspects of the story. Four charts and thirteen high-quality maps, all but one drawn especially for this book, present complex information in forms that are immediately understandable. There’s no other book like it. The book Web site is The Plan That Broke the World is a case study in the What Were They Thinking? series. The series Web site is

The Schlieffen Plan

The Schlieffen Plan Author Hans Ehlert
ISBN-10 9780813147475
Release 2014-10-14
Pages 592
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With the creation of the Franco-Russian Alliance and the failure of the Reinsurance Treaty in the late nineteenth century, Germany needed a strategy for fighting a two-front war. In response, Field Marshal Count Alfred von Schlieffen produced a study that represented the apex of modern military planning. His Memorandum for a War against France, which incorporated a mechanized cavalry as well as new technologies in weaponry, advocated that Germany concentrate its field army to the west and annihilate the French army within a few weeks. For generations, historians have considered Schlieffen's writings to be the foundation of Germany's military strategy in World War I and have hotly debated the reasons why the plan, as executed, failed. In this important volume, international scholars reassess Schlieffen's work for the first time in decades, offering new insights into the renowned general's impact not only on World War I but also on nearly a century of military historiography. The contributors draw on newly available source materials from European and Russian archives to demonstrate both the significance of the Schlieffen Plan and its deficiencies. They examine the operational planning of relevant European states and provide a broad, comparative historical context that other studies lack. Featuring fold-out maps and abstracts of the original German deployment plans as they evolved from 1893 to 1914, this rigorous reassessment vividly illustrates how failures in statecraft as well as military planning led to the tragedy of the First World War.

Invasion 1914

Invasion 1914 Author Ian Senior
ISBN-10 9781472809278
Release 2014-08-20
Pages 456
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For a century, accounts of the German invasion of France and the opening year of the First World War have been dominated by histories of British troops and their experience in battle, despite the fact that the British Expeditionary Force comprised just four divisions, while the French and Germans fielded 60 each. Published to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, Invasion 1914 examines how the German invasion of France and Belgium came agonizingly close to defeating the French armies, capturing Paris and ending the First World War before the end of the year. Ian Senior reveals how the initial German strategy revolved around, and in part depended on, rapid victory over the French, and how the failure to achieve this resulted in the surprisingly fluid battles of the early days of the war deteriorating into the trench-based warfare which was to see the war drag on for another four years of unprecedented slaughter. Weaving together strategic analysis, diary entries, eyewitness accounts and interview transcripts from soldiers on the ground with consummate skill, this narrative is a timely investigation into the dramatic early months of the war, as the fate of Europe hung in the balance.

The Battle of the Frontiers

The Battle of the Frontiers Author Terence Zuber
ISBN-10 075245255X
Release 2010
Pages 314
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Like the Battle of Verdun, the Battle of the Frontiers has often been ignored by military historians, who assumed that the French lost the first battles of World War I because they launched suicidal bayonet charges against German machine guns. Therefore, for nearly a century, these battles have been considered uninteresting, but in reality, these were some of the most important, hard-fought, and instructive battles of World War I. This study makes use of neglected French and German books and articles, as well as German regimental histories, and includes personal accounts by participants such as Manfred von Richthofen and the young Erwin Rommel.

The Schlieffen Plan

The Schlieffen Plan Author Gerhard Ritter
ISBN-10 9781789122831
Release 2018-09-03
Pages 204
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The Schlieffen Plan was the name given after World War I to the theory behind the German invasion of France and Belgium on 4 August 1914. In 1905-1906 Field Marshal Alfred von Schlieffen, the Chief of the Imperial Army German General Staff from 1891-1906, had devised a deployment plan for a war-winning offensive, in a one-front war against the French Third Republic. After the war, the German official historians of the Reichsarchiv and other writers, described the plan as a blueprint for victory. Post-war writing by senior German officers and the Reichsarchiv historians managed to establish a commonly accepted narrative that it was Schlieffen’s successor Helmuth von Moltke the Younger’s failure to follow the blueprint, rather than German strategic miscalculation, that resulted in four years of attrition warfare. In 1953, renowned historian Prof. Gerhard Ritter Schlieffen’s unearthed Schlieffen’s papers during a visit to the United States, and he published his findings in the book Der Schlieffenplan: Kritik eines Mythos, presented here in its 1958 English translation, The Schlieffen Plan: Critique of a Myth. It proved to be an important historical publication, as it set in motion a period of revision, when the details of the supposed Schlieffen Plan were subjected to scrutiny and contextualisation. In Der Schlieffen Plan, Prof. Ritter presents the full text of Schlieffen’s military testament, and the relevant parts of other memoranda which shed light on the evolution of the Plan. They are preceded by Professor Ritter’s masterly exposition of their content and significance, while his accompanying notes add to the illuminating effect. “FOR two generations the Schlieffen Plan has been a magic phrase, embodying one of the chief mysteries and ‘might have beens’ of modern times. The mystery is cleared up and the great ‘If’ analysed in Gerhard Ritter’s book—a striking contribution to twentieth-century history.”—B. H. Liddell Hart

Ring of Steel

Ring of Steel Author Alexander Watson
ISBN-10 9780465056873
Release 2014-10-07
Pages 800
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fers a groundbreaking account of World War I from the other side of the continent, brilliantly covering the major military events and the day-to-day life which resulted in the destruction of one empire, and the moral collapse of another

War of Attrition Fighting the First World War

War of Attrition  Fighting the First World War Author William Philpott
ISBN-10 9781468312317
Release 2015-07-21
Pages 416
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“Philpott argues persuasively that the last hundred days of the war were the result of a steep learning curve necessitated by earlier bloodbaths.” —The Wall Street Journal A Wall Street Journal Best Non-Fiction Book of 2014! The Great War of 1914–1918 was the first mass conflict to fully mobilize the resources of industrial powers against one another, resulting in a brutal, bloody, protracted war of attrition between the world’s great economies. Now, one hundred years after the first guns of August rang out on the Western front, historian William Philpott reexamines the causes and lingering effects of the first truly modern war. Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians, and diplomats, War of Attrition explains for the first time why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought; and how the attitudes and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, stamped the twentieth century with unprecedented carnage on—and behind—the battlefield. War of Attrition also establishes link between the bloody ground war in Europe and political situation in the wider world, particularly the United States. America did not enter the war until 1917, but, as Philpott demonstrates, the war came to America as early as 1914. By 1916, long before the Woodrow Wilson’s impassioned speech to Congress advocating for war, the United States was firmly aligned with the Allies, lending dollars and selling guns and opposing German attempts to spread submarine warfare. War of Attrition skillfully argues that the emergence of the United States on the world stage is directly related to her support for the conflagration that consumed so many European lives and livelihoods. In short, the war that ruined Europe enabled the rise of America.

Germany and the Causes of the First World War

Germany and the Causes of the First World War Author Mark Hewitson
ISBN-10 9781472578105
Release 2014-03-04
Pages 280
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How can we understand what caused World War I? What role did Germany play? This book encourages us to re-think the events that led to global conflict in 1914.Historians in recent years have argued that German leaders acted defensively or pre-emptively in 1914, conscious of the Reich's deteriorating military and diplomatic position. Germany and the Causes of the First World War challenges such interpretations, placing new emphasis on the idea that the Reich Chancellor, the German Foreign Office and the Great General Staff were confident that they could win a continental war. This belief in Germany's superiority derived primarily from an assumption of French decline and Russian weakness throughout the period between the turn of the century and the eve of the First World War. Accordingly, Wilhelmine policy-makers pursued offensive policies - at the risk of war at important junctures during the 1900s and 1910s. The author analyses the stereotyping of enemy states, representations of war in peacetime, and conceptualizations of international relations. He uncovers the complex role of ruling elites, political parties, big business and the press, and contends that the decade before the First World War witnessed some critical changes in German foreign policy. By the time of the July crisis of 1914, for example, the perception of enemies had altered, with Russia - the traditional bugbear of the German centre and left - becoming the principal opponent of the Reich. Under these changed conditions, German leaders could now pursue their strategy of brinkmanship, using war as an instrument of policy, to its logical conclusion.

Imperialism at Sea

Imperialism at Sea Author Rolf Hobson
ISBN-10 0391041053
Release 2002
Pages 358
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This book examines the origins of Wilhelmine Germany's "Tirpitz Plan" of naval rearmament. The evolution of the Imperial Navy's strategic theories is compared with that of the French, British, and United States navies. Particular attention is given to the relationship between strategy and maritime law within the different national schools.

The New World Power

The New World Power Author Robert E. Hannigan
ISBN-10 9780812202175
Release 2013-07-17
Pages 384
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From the era of the Spanish American war onward, the United States found itself increasingly involved in the affairs of countries beyond North America. The New World Power offers an interpretive framework for understanding U.S. foreign policy during the first two decades of America's emergence as a world power. Robert E. Hannigan describes the aspirations of American leaders, explores the bedrock social views and ideological framework they held in common, and shows how the approach of U.S. policymakers overseas mirrored their attitudes toward domestic progressivism. While the vast bulk of work on U.S. foreign policy has been concerned with the period from World War II to the present, this comprehensive examination of American policy at the turn of the twentieth century is of vital importance to the comprehension of subsequent events. Hannigan relates U.S. foreign policy to domestic society in ways that are new; in particular, he examines how issues of class, race, and gender were combined in the ideology held by policy makers and how this shaped their approaches to foreign affairs. His study reveals a fundamental unity to U.S. activity throughout the period, not only toward the Caribbean and China, regions that have been the traditional focus of historians, but toward the rest of North and South America as well. It also relates these regional activities to American policy toward the British Empire, European great power rivalries, and international institutions, arbitration, and law, culminating in a reinterpretation of U.S. involvement in World War I. Based on exhaustive research in the writings of presidents, secretaries of state, and key diplomats and advisers, The New World Power draws parallels between the methods by which policy makers sought to shape international society and the methods by which many of them hoped to secure the conditions they wanted within the United States. Most important, the book describes how an international search for order constituted the fundamental strategy by which American leaders sought to ensure for the United States a position of what they saw as wealth and greatness in the coming twentieth-century world.

The Myth of German Villainy

The Myth of German Villainy Author Benton L. Bradberry
ISBN-10 9781477231814
Release 2012-07-03
Pages 460
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As the title “The Myth of German Villainy” indicates, this book is about the mischaracterization of Germany as history’s ultimate “villain.” The “official” story of Western Civilization in the twentieth century casts Germany as the disturber of the peace in Europe, and the cause of both World War I and World War II, though the facts don’t bear that out. During both wars, fantastic atrocity stories were invented by Allied propaganda to create hatred of the German people for the purpose of bringing public opinion around to support the wars. The “Holocaust” propaganda which emerged after World War II further solidified this image of Germany as history’s ultimate villain. But how true is this “official” story? Was Germany really history’s ultimate villain? In this book, the author paints a different picture. He explains that Germany was not the perpetrator of World War I nor World War II, but instead, was the victim of Allied aggression in both wars. The instability wrought by World War I made the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution in Russia possible, which brought world Communism into existence. Hitler and Germany recognized world Communism, with its base in the Soviet Union, as an existential threat to Western, Christian Civilization, and he dedicated himself and Germany to a death struggle against it. Far from being the disturber of European peace, Germany served as a bulwark which prevented Communist revolution from sweeping over Europe. The pity was that the United States and Britain did not see Communist Russia in the same light, ultimately with disastrous consequences for Western Civilization. The author believes that Britain and the United States joined the wrong side in the war.

Shanghai Sanctuary

Shanghai Sanctuary Author Bei Gao
ISBN-10 9780199311545
Release 2013-01-29
Pages 208
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When the world closed its borders to desperate Jews fleeing Europe during World War II, Shanghai became an unexpected last haven for the refugees. An open port that could be entered without visas, this unique city under Western and Japanese control sheltered tens of thousands of Jews. Shanghai Sanctuary is the first major study to examine the Chinese Nationalist government's policy towards the "Jewish issue" as well as the most thorough analysis of how this issue played into Japanese diplomacy. Why did Shanghai's German-allied Japanese occupiers permit this influx of Jewish refugees? Gao illuminates how the refugees' position complicated the relationships between China, Japan, Germany, and the United States before and during World War II. She thereby reveals a great deal about the Great Powers' national priorities, their international agendas, and their perceptions of the global balance of power. Drawing from both Chinese and Japanese archival sources that no Western scholar has been able to fully use before, Gao tells a rich story about the politics and personalities that brought Jewish refugees into Shanghai. This story, far from being a mere sidebar to the history of modern China and Japan, captures a critical moment when opportunistic authorities in both countries used the incoming Jewish refugees as a tool to win international financial and political support in their war against one another. Shanghai Sanctuary underlines the extent of Holocaust's global repercussions. In the process, the book sheds new light on the intricacies of wartime diplomacy and the far-reaching human consequences of the twentieth century's most documented conflict.

The German 66th Infantry Regiment in the First World War

The German 66th Infantry Regiment in the First World War Author Otto Korfes
ISBN-10 0750962003
Release 2016-01-04
Pages 320
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German Infantry Regiment 66 fought in most of the great battles on the Western Front in the First World War: Le Cateau, First Marne, Arras 1915, the Somme, Chemin des Dames 1917, the German March 1918 offensive, Chemin des Dames 1918, Second Marne and the Siegfried Line. This is the official regimental history, written in 1930 by Major Dr Otto Korfes, an officer in the regiment for most of the war and a Reichsarchiv historian.The German 66th Regiment in the First World War presents a unique insight into the German Army during the Great War, showcasing a perspective all too often ignored. Translated by German Army expert Terence Zuber, it includes maps and pencil sketches by the famed German war artist Döbrich-Steglitz. Containing a viewpoint that will add balance to anyone’s knowledge of the events of 1914–1918, this volume is a must-read for military historians and enthusiasts alike.

The Origins of the First World War

The Origins of the First World War Author James Joll
ISBN-10 9781317875369
Release 2013-11-05
Pages 360
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James Joll's study is not simply another narrative, retracing the powder trail that was finally ignited at Sarajevo. It is an ambitious and wide-ranging analysis of the historical forces at work in the Europe of 1914, and the very different ways in which historians have subsequently attempted to understand them. The importance of the theme, the breadth and sympathy of James Joll's scholarship, and the clarity of his exposition, have all contributed to the spectacular success of the book since its first appearance in 1984. Revised by Gordon Martel, this new 3rd edition accommodates recent research and an expanded further reading section.

War Planning 1914

War Planning 1914 Author Richard F. Hamilton
ISBN-10 9780521110969
Release 2010
Pages 269
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This collection of essays by international experts in military history reassesses the war plans of 1914 in a broad diplomatic, military, and political setting.