Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great War

Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great WarGermany’s Western Front: 1914, Part 1: The Battle of the Frontiers and Pursuit to the Marne, by Mark Osborne HumphriesJohn Maker
ISBN: 9781554583942
Published by Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press on October 31, 2013
Genres: History, Military, World War I, Europe, Germany, Strategy
Pages: 580

 

 

Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great WarGermany’s Western Front by Mark Osborne HumphriesJohn Maker
ISBN: 9781554588268
Published by Wilfrid Laurier Univ. Press on June 30, 2010
Genres: History, Europe, Germany, Military, World War I, Strategy
Pages: 462

This multi-volume series in six (perhaps seven) parts is the first English-language translation of Der Weltkrieg, the German official history of the First World War. It was originally produced between 1925 and 1944 using classified archival records that were destroyed by aerial bombing in April 1945 at the end of the Second World War. This series presents the inside story of Germany’s experience on the Western Front. Hopefully, future volumes will cover other fronts.

This account by official historians is fundamental to the study of the Great War and official memory in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Although some new document sources have been found in former Soviet archives, the original Der Weltkrieg work remains one of the most important resources on Germany in WW1. This translation makes it accessible to English readers.

Confusingly, the 1915 volume was released initially. It has the official explanation of the first use of poison gas against French and Canadian troops at Ypres. It also explains the conflict raging in the German High Command over the political and military direction of the war, setting the stage for Verdun that sealed the fate of the German Supreme Commander, Erich von Falkenhayn.

The 1914 volume is part one of that year, covering the outbreak of war in July–August, the German invasion of Belgium, the Battles of the Frontiers, and the pursuit to the Marne in early September. The first month of war was critical for the German army and, as the official history makes clear, the German war plan was a gamble that seemed to present the only solution to the riddle of the two-front war. But as the Moltke-Schlieffen Plan was gradually jettisoned through a combination of intentional command decisions and confused communications, Germany’s hopes for a quick and victorious campaign evaporated.

The English editors’ extensive footnotes are outstanding and a treasure for researchers. They include explanations of German terminology, other countries’ perspectives on events, as well as current debates and controversies such as the argument by author Terrence Zuber that the Schlieffen Plan was a myth propagated in the 1920s (see WWOI issue #3, page 10).

The second part of 1914 is due next, but sadly no dates for it or future volumes could be obtained from the publisher.

Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI

I Was a Spy! The Classic Account of Behind-the-Lines Espionage in the First World War

I Was a Spy! The Classic Account of Behind-the-Lines Espionage in the First World WarI Was a Spy! by Marthe McKennaWinston Churchill
ISBN: 9781910860052
Published by Pool of London Press on September 19, 2015
Genres: History, Military, World War I, Europe, Germany, True Crime, Espionage, Political Science, Intelligence & Espionage, Social History
Pages: 288

The author and her family were overrun in Belgium at the outbreak of the war. Instead of completing her medical studies to become a physician, Marthe became a nurse in a hospital run by the Germans. She also fed information to the British who had set up an underground network as they retreated. Marthe proved to be intelligent, fast thinking, reliable and cautious.

An excellent nurse, she was honored with others for their efforts by the King of Württemberg. As the war continued the Germans were able to staff and monitor the occupied areas with troops whose job was to suppress resistance and locate spies. When she was finally captured for her participation in sabotage the Germans wanted to shoot her. However, her former supervisors at the hospital vouched for her work and reminded the review board that it would look awfully bad to be killing heroines with German medals. She escaped the firing squad, spending the remainder of the war in prison.

Well-written, the reader comes to appreciate the stress that accumulates back when communications were much slower than today.

Reviewed by Anne Merritt

Soldiers’ Songs and Slang of the Great War

Soldiers’ Songs and Slang of the Great WarSoldiers’ Songs and Slang of the Great War by Martin Pegler
ISBN: 9781472804150
Published by Osprey Publishing on August 20th 2014
Genres: History, Military, General, World War I, Europe, Great Britain, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, Social History
Pages: 408

The Lights that Failed: European International History, 1919-1933

The Lights that Failed: European International History, 1919-1933The Lights that Failed: European International History, 1919-1933 by Zara S. Steiner
ISBN: 0198221142
Published by Oxford University Press on May 12th 2005
Genres: Europe, International Relations
Pages: 850

Len's Summary: Challenges the assumption that the Versailles Treaty led to WWII. A second volume, Triumph of the Night, will examine the years from 1933 to the early 1940s.

The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War

The Trigger:  Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to WarThe Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War by Tim Butcher
ISBN: 9780802123251
Published by Grove Press on June 3rd 2014
Genres: History, Europe, Eastern, Military, World War I, Austria & Hungary
Pages: 326

Len's Summary: The story of Gavrilo Princip whose assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand sparked WWI. A history Book Club selection.

Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918

Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918Paris at the End of the World: The City of Light During the Great War, 1914-1918 by John Baxter
ISBN: 9780062221407
Published by Harper Perennial on April 15th 2014
Genres: History, Military, World War I, Europe, France, Travel
Pages: 416

Len's Summary: Paris and Parisians survive and even thrive during WWI as the City of Lights blazes brightly.

The Somme: Ninety Years on – A Visual History

The Somme: Ninety Years on – A Visual HistoryThe Somme: Ninety Years on - A Visual History by Duncan Youel, David Edgell
ISBN: 9781405317474
Published by Dorling Kindersley on June 1st 2006
Genres: Europe, World War I
Pages: 226

Len's Summary: A then-and-now photo history with a synopsis of the battle.

Fields of War: A Visitor’s Guide to Fifty Key Battlefields in France & Belgium

Fields of War: A Visitor’s Guide to Fifty Key Battlefields in France & BelgiumFields of War: A Visitor’s Guide to Fifty Key Battlefields in France & Belgium by Robert J. Mueller
ISBN: 9780982367704
Published by French Battlefields on January 1st 2009
Genres: History, Military, World War I, World War II, Travel, Europe, France
Pages: 407

Len's Summary: A guide to 600 years of warfare in northwestern France and Flanders; from Crecy to Bastogne. Order from sales@frenchbattlefields.com or fax (224) 735-4378.

The War Walk: A Journey Along the Western Front

The War Walk: A Journey Along the Western FrontThe War Walk: A Journey Along the Western Front by Nigel Jones
ISBN: 0304366838
Published by Cassell on August 5th 2004
Genres: Europe, World War I
Pages: 256

Len's Summary: A combination of history, travel and personal anecdotes from a rapidly dwindling number of surviving veterans.

Major & Mrs. Holts Battle Atlas of the WWI Western Front

Major & Mrs. Holts Battle Atlas of the WWI Western FrontMajor & Mrs. Holts Battle Atlas of the WWI Western Front by Tonie Holt, Valmai Holt
ISBN: 1844154009
Published by Pen & Sword Books on May 1st 2008
Genres: Atlases, Gazetteers & Maps, Europe, World War I
Pages: 128

Len's Summary: Covers Mons, Le Cateau, Notre Dame de la Lorette, The Yser, First Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers Ridge, Festaubert-Givenchy, Second Ypres, Loos, Fromelles, Vimy-Arras, Pesschendaele, Fourth Ypres, First Marne, St. Mihiel, The Aisne, Verdun, The Somme, Chemin des Dames, Cambrai, Kaiser’s Offensive, Château Thierry, Champaign, Meuse-Argonne, and the Hindenburg Line.

Major and Mrs. Holt’s Battlefield Guide: Western Front – South

Major and Mrs. Holt’s Battlefield Guide: Western Front – SouthMajor and Mrs. Holt’s Battlefield Guide: Western Front - South by Tonie Holt, Valmai Holt
ISBN: 1844152391
Published by Pen & Sword Books on December 1st 2005
Genres: Europe, Military, Travel, World War I
Pages: 360

Len's Summary: First and Second Marne, the Somme 1916, Cambrai, the Aisne, Verdun, the Hindenburg Line, St. Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne among other battles and campaigns. Companion volume to an earlier guide to northern Western Front battlefields.

Before Endeavours Fade: Guide to the Battlefields of the First World War

Before Endeavours Fade: Guide to the Battlefields of the First World WarBefore Endeavours Fade: Guide to the Battlefields of the First World War by Rose E. B. Coombs
ISBN: 0900913851
Published by After the Battle on November 15th 1994
Genres: Atlases, Gazetteers & Maps, Europe, World War I
Pages: 240

Len's Summary: Revised and updated edition of a highly respected guide first published in 1983 and written by a longtime Imperial War Museum staffer. Includes all the major BEF battles and American battlefields in the Argonne and at St. Mihiel, as well as French battles on the Chemin des Dames, at Champaign, Verdun, and as well as battles along the Yser and near Ypres.

Soldier and Warrior: French Attitudes toward the Army and War on the Eve of the First World War

Soldier and Warrior: French Attitudes toward the Army and War on the Eve of the First World WarSoldier and Warrior: French Attitudes toward the Army and War on the Eve of the First World War by H. L. Wesseling
ISBN: 9780313307218
Published by Greenwood Press on January 1st 2000
Genres: History, Europe, France, Military, General, World War I
Pages: 248

Len's Summary: How French publicists glorified the Army and idealized war in the decade before 1914.

A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne: A Memoir, 1917-1918

A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne: A Memoir, 1917-1918A Youth in the Meuse-Argonne: A Memoir, 1917-1918 by William S. Triplet, Robert H. Ferrell
ISBN: 0826212905
Published by University of Missouri Press on August 1st 2000
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Military, History, Europe, France, World War I
Pages: 344

Len's Summary: Another interesting Great War memoir produced by an important American regional publisher.

Politicians, the Press, and Propaganda: Lord Northcliffe and the Great War, 1914-1919

Politicians, the Press, and Propaganda: Lord Northcliffe and the Great War, 1914-1919Politicians, the Press, and Propaganda: Lord Northcliffe and the Great War, 1914-1919 by J. Lee Thompson
ISBN: 9780873386371
Published by Kent State University Press on 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Military, World War I, Language Arts & Disciplines, Journalism
Pages: 319

Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World War

Leadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World WarLeadership in the Trenches: Officer-Man Relations, Morale and Discipline in the British Army in the Era of the First World War by G. D. Sheffield
ISBN: 9780312226404
Published by Palgrave Macmillan on October 6th 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Military, World War I, Social Science, General, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 270

Len's Summary: Kitchener’s army in the field.

Seeking Victory on the Western Front: The British Army and Chemical Warfare in World War I

Seeking Victory on the Western Front: The British Army and Chemical Warfare in World War ISeeking Victory on the Western Front: The British Army and Chemical Warfare in World War I by Albert Palazzo
ISBN: 9780803237254
Published by University of Nebraska Press on March 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 239

Len's Summary: Takes a revisionist view of the effectiveness of chemical warfare on the Western Front.

War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War I

War Land on the Eastern Front: Culture, National Identity, and German Occupation in World War IWar Land on the Eastern Front by Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius
ISBN: 9780521023900
Published by Cambridge University Press on May 18th 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Eastern, General, Military, World War I
Pages: 320

Len's Summary: A book about German occupation policy and operations in Lithuania, the Baltics, Ruthenia and parts of Poland from 1915 through 1919 and the Soviet Red Army invasion. Dr. Liulevicius is a frequent speaker at WFA seminars, and professor of History at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War

The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World WarThe Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War by Richard C. Hall
ISBN: 9780415229470
Published by Routledge on 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Eastern, Military, Other, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 176

Len's Summary: Written mainly from Bulgarian sources, but still a valuable history if not a definitive operational or tactical recounting of these conflicts that still haunt us today.

French Women and the First World War: War Stories of the Home Front

French Women and the First World War: War Stories of the Home FrontFrench Women and the First World War: War Stories of the Home Front by Margaret H. Darrow
ISBN: 9781859733660
Published by Bloomsbury Academic on August 1st 2000
Genres: History, Europe, France, Military, World War I, Social Science, Women's Studies
Pages: 341

The Undermining of Austria-Hungary: The Battle for Hearts and Minds

The Undermining of Austria-Hungary: The Battle for Hearts and MindsThe Undermining of Austria-Hungary: The Battle for Hearts and Minds by Mark Cornwall
ISBN: 9780312231514
Published by Palgrave Macmillan on September 2nd 2000
Genres: History, Military, World War I, Historiography, Europe, General
Pages: 503

Len's Summary: A welcome addition to English monographs on the Central Powers.

Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front, 1914-1918

Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front, 1914-1918Great War, Total War: Combat and Mobilization on the Western Front, 1914-1918 by Roger Chickering, Stig Forster
ISBN: 0521773520
Published by Cambridge University Press on September 11th 2000
Genres: History, Europe, General, Military, World War I
Pages: 584

Len's Summary: Drawn from a 1996 conference in Switzerland this volume has papers from many leading German historians. Something for everyone specialist and generalist alike.

The Netherlands and World War I: Espionage, Diplomacy and Survival

The Netherlands and World War I: Espionage, Diplomacy and SurvivalThe Netherlands and World War I: Espionage, Diplomacy and Survival by Hubert P. Van Tuyll Van Serooskerken
ISBN: 9004122435
Published by Brill on June 28th 2001
Genres: History, Military, General, Europe, World War I
Pages: 381

Len's Summary: Dr, van Tuyll teaches history at Augusta State University, Georgia. His article on this subject will appear shortly in Camaraderie.

Kitchener

KitchenerKitchener by John Charles Pollock
ISBN: 9780094803404
Published by Constable on February 3rd 2001
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Biography & Autobiography, Military, Political, World War I
Pages: 598

Len's Summary: All about a resolutely old-fashioned Field Marshall — an officer anda gentleman. Reviewed in the Financial Times, April 21, 2001.

Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War

Helmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World WarHelmuth von Moltke and the Origins of the First World War by Annika Mombauer
ISBN: 9780521791014
Published by Cambridge University Press on April 19th 2001
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, History, Europe, General, Military, World War I, World War II, Juvenile Nonfiction, Military & Wars
Pages: 325

Ireland, the Great War and the Geography of Remembrance

Ireland, the Great War and the Geography of RemembranceIreland, the Great War and the Geography of Remembrance by Nuala C. Johnson
ISBN: 9780521826167
Published by Cambridge University Press on May 29th 2003
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, 20th Century, Historical Geography, Science, Earth Sciences, Geography
Pages: 192

Len's Summary: Also recommended: Dr. Edward Brynn’s article on The Conscription Debate in Ireland during the First World War presented at the September 2005 WFA national seminar at Newport News and available from Carl Barna at kmbarna@msn.com

Irish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and Morale

Irish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and MoraleIrish Regiments in the Great War: Discipline and Morale by Timothy Bowman
ISBN: 9780719062858
Published by Manchester University Press on February 6th 2006
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Ireland, Military, World War I, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 256

Between War and Peace: Woodrow Wilson and the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia, 1918-1921

Between War and Peace: Woodrow Wilson and the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia, 1918-1921Between War and Peace: Woodrow Wilson and the American Expeditionary Force in Siberia, 1918-1921 by Carol Wilcox Melton
ISBN: 9780865546929
Published by Mercer University Press on 2001
Genres: History, Military, World War I, Europe, Russia & the Former Soviet Union, World, Political Science, Security (National & International)
Pages: 269

Len's Summary: A controversial chapter in American diplomacy that still colors Russian-American relations even though Wilson’s intervention was aimed at blocking Japanese expansionism…

Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War

Peacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End WarPeacemakers: The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War by Margaret MacMillan
ISBN: 0719559391
Published by John Murray Publishers on September 6th 2001
Genres: Europe, Military, World War I
Pages: 574

Len's Summary: A new history of the making of the Versailles Treaty written by the granddaughter of a British Prime Minister.

Russian Supply Efforts in America During the First World War

Russian Supply Efforts in America During the First World WarRussian Supply Efforts in America During the First World War by Dale C. Rielage
ISBN: 9780786413379
Published by McFarland on January 1st 2002
Genres: History, World, Military, World War I, Europe, Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Pages: 164

Len's Summary: Assesses the Imperial Governments attempts to secure aid from America while depending on British financing of its purchases there.

British Culture And The First World War

British Culture And The First World WarBritish Culture And The First World War by George Robb
ISBN: 9780333715710
Published by Palgrave Macmillan on June 29th 2002
Genres: English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Europe, European, Great Britain, Literary Criticism, Military, Social History, World War I
Pages: 274

Len's Summary: A social history examining how WWI changed England and how much remained the same; received a strongly favorable review in War in History.

Ireland and the Great War

Ireland and the Great WarIreland and the Great War by Keith Jeffery
ISBN: 9780521773232
Published by Cambridge University Press on November 9th 2000
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Military, World War I, 20th Century
Pages: 208

Len's Summary: Covers the experiences of both Protestant and Catholic formations.

A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front

A Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western FrontA Storm in Flanders: The Ypres Salient, 1914-1918: Tragedy and Triumph on the Western Front by Winston Groom
ISBN: 9780871138422
Published by Atlantic Monthly Press on 2002
Genres: History, Europe, Western, Military, World War I
Pages: 276

Len's Summary: By the author of Forrest Gump. The story of four year’s of almost continuous warfare in the Ypres Salient, where poison gas was first employed. Good preparatory reading for those attending our April 2003 Ypres Seminar and Tour.

Lloyd George: War Leader, 1916-1918

Lloyd George: War Leader, 1916-1918Lloyd George: War Leader, 1916-1918 by John Grigg
ISBN: 9780713993431
Published by Allen Lane on 2002
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Biography & Autobiography, Political, Military, World War I
Pages: 669

Len's Summary: The forth volume in a biography takes Lloyd George from his supplanting of Asquith in 1916 to the end of the war.

The Enemy’s House Divided

The Enemy’s House DividedThe Enemy's House Divided by Charles De Gaulle, Robert Eden
ISBN: 0807826669
Published by University of North Carolina Press on November 11th 2002
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Military, History, Europe, Western, World War I
Pages: 232

Len's Summary: Analyses Germany’s defeat in 1918, first published in 1924 (translation).