German War Planning, 1891-1914: Sources and Interpretations

German War Planning, 1891-1914: Sources and InterpretationsGerman War Planning, 1891-1914: Sources and Interpretations by Terence Zuber
ISBN: 1843831082
Published by Boydell Press on November 30th 2004
Genres: Germany, Military, Strategy
Pages: 324

Len's Summary: Consists mainly of translations of German planning documents upon which Zuber's book Inventing the Schlieffen Plan: German War Planning 1871-1914 (Oxford, 2003) and related articles are based. The author, a retired American army officer, asserts the controversial and much contested thesis that the Schlieffen Plan never really existed.

All the Kaiser’s Men: The Imperial Army on the Western Front 1914-1918

All the Kaiser’s Men: The Imperial Army on the Western Front 1914-1918All the Kaiser's Men: The Imperial Army on the Western Front 1914-1918 by Ian Passingham
ISBN: 0752459503
Published by The History Press on June 1st 2011
Genres: Germany, Strategy
Pages: 304

Len's Summary: An analysis of German strategy, tactics, and leadership as well as that leadership's limited ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Reviewed in the January 2005 edition of Stand To!

Kitchener’s War: British Strategy from 1914-1916

Kitchener’s War: British Strategy from 1914-1916Kitchener's War: British Strategy from 1914-1916 by George H. Cassar
ISBN: 1574887092
Published by Potomac Books on October 1st 2005
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Strategy
Pages: 368

Len's Summary: How Lord Kitchener, a British icon, built the army that contested and won The Great War.

Rewriting the First World War: Lloyd George, Politics and Strategy, 1914-1918

Rewriting the First World War: Lloyd George, Politics and Strategy, 1914-1918Rewriting the First World War: Lloyd George, Politics and Strategy, 1914-1918 by Andrew Suttie
ISBN: 1403991197
Published by Palgrave Macmillan on January 21st 2006
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Social Science, Strategy
Pages: 288

Len's Summary: Assesses Lloyd George's attempt to shape the history of the war (and the record of his own participation) concentrating on the alleged incompetence and Western Front fixation of Britain's military leaders.

German Strategy and the Path to Verdun

German Strategy and the Path to VerdunGerman Strategy and the Path to Verdun by Robert T. Foley
ISBN: 0521044367
Published by Cambridge University Press on November 19th 2007
Genres: France, Germany, Military, Strategy
Pages: 316

Len's Summary: Did Falkenhayn actually plan to wage a battle of attrition at Verdun? Draws on previously unavailable German documents held in Russian archives since WWII. Look for a full review in Camaraderie.

The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in The Operational Level of War

The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in The Operational Level of WarThe German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in The Operational Level of War by David T. Zabecki
ISBN: 9780415356008
Published by Routledge on July 25th 2006
Genres: Military, Strategy
Pages: 408

Len's Summary: An analytical look by a premier military historian drawing on many German sources to explain why Ludendorff's spring 1918 offensives failed to cause Entente collapse and achieve German victory. Includes extensive maps and many useful tables showing orders of battle, comparative troop strengths, reserves, numbers of guns, trench mortars and aero squadrons. Author of Steel Wind: Colonel Georg Bruchmüller and the Birth of Modern Artillery (Greenwood, 1994). Recommended.

German Disarmament After World War I: The Diplomacy of International Arms Inspection 1920-1931

German Disarmament After World War I: The Diplomacy of International Arms Inspection 1920-1931German Disarmament After World War I: The Diplomacy of International Arms Inspection 1920-1931 by Richard J. Shuster
ISBN: 9780415654951
Published by Routledge on September 10th 2012
Genres: Germany, Military, Strategy
Pages: 272

Len's Summary: Germany was able to renegotiate the reparations terms of Versailles, but not the treaty's military strictures. This is the story of enforcing the Versailles arms limitations clauses; an early attempt at arms limitation and control.

The Schlieffen Plan: International Perspectives on the German Strategy for World War I

The Schlieffen Plan: International Perspectives on the German Strategy for World War IThe Schlieffen Plan: International Perspectives on the German Strategy for World War I by Hans Ehlert, Michael Epkenhans, Gerhard P. Groß, David T. Zabecki
ISBN: 0813147468
Published by University Press of Kentucky on October 7th 2014
Genres: Germany, Military, Strategy
Pages: 592

Len's Summary: A centennial reassessment of Schlieffen’s work with abstracts of German deployment plans from 1893 sand comparative summaries of Austro-Hungarian. French, British, Belgian and Russian planning. Excellent detailed maps.

‘A Moonlight Massacre’ – The Night Operation on the Passchendaele Ridge, 2 December 1917: The Forgotten Last Act of the Third Battle of Ypres

‘A Moonlight Massacre’ – The Night Operation on the Passchendaele Ridge, 2 December 1917: The Forgotten Last Act of the Third Battle of Ypres'A Moonlight Massacre' - The Night Operation on the Passchendaele Ridge, 2 December 1917: The Forgotten Last Act of the Third Battle of Ypres by Michael LoCicero
ISBN: 9781909982925
Published by Helion on December 4th 2014
Genres: Military, Strategy, World War I
Pages: 432

Len's Summary: The final, climactic act in the Third Ypres Battle.

Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics and Technology

Fighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics and TechnologyFighting the Great War at Sea: Strategy, Tactics and Technology by Norman Friedman
ISBN: 9781591141884
Published by Naval Institute Press on October 15th 2014
Genres: History, Military, Naval, Strategy
Pages: 416

Len's Summary: Written by a premier American naval historian. While not the decisive front in WWI, the war at sea was vital to Allied victory.

Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War

Isonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great WarIsonzo: The Forgotten Sacrifice of the Great War by John R. Schindler
ISBN: 9780275972042
Published by Greenwood Publishing Group, Praeger on 2000
Genres: General, Italy, Military, Strategy, World War I
Pages: 409

Len's Summary: Frustration on the Italian Front. Look for a review in Stand To!

The Myth of the Great War: A New Military History of World War I

The Myth of the Great War: A New Military History of World War IThe Myth of the Great War: A New Military History of World War I by John Mosier
ISBN: 9780060084332
Published by Harper on April 24th 2001
Genres: History, Military, General, World War I, Strategy
Pages: 400

Len's Summary: Reviewed in the Financial Times and found wanting as a rehash of 1930s "blame it on the stupid generals" analysis. Mosher also asserts that America won the war for the Allies, a thesis certain to enrage our British cousins.

Command and Cohesion: The Citizen Soldier and Minor Tactics in the British Army, 1870-1918

Command and Cohesion: The Citizen Soldier and Minor Tactics in the British Army, 1870-1918Command and Cohesion: The Citizen Soldier and Minor Tactics in the British Army, 1870-1918 by Michael Ramsay
Published by Praeger on March 30th 2002
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Strategy
Pages: 264

Race to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great War

Race to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great WarRace to the Front: The Materiel Foundations of Coalition Strategy in the Great War by Kevin D. Stubbs
ISBN: 9780275972998
Published by Greenwood Publishing Group on January 1st 2002
Genres: Economic History, Europe, General, Military, Strategy, World War I
Pages: 373

Trench Warfare Under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign

Trench Warfare Under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland CampaignTrench Warfare Under Grant and Lee: Field Fortifications in the Overland Campaign by Earl J. Hess
ISBN: 0807831549
Published by University of North Carolina Press on September 24th 2007
Genres: History, United States, Civil War Period (1850-1877), Military, Strategy
Pages: 336

Len's Summary: The ever expanding Civil War use of trenches and other field works in the battles for Richmond from The Wilderness to Cold Harbor presaged both the Russo-Japanese War and WWI. A second volume will cover the Petersburg Campaign.

America’s Deadliest Battle: Meuse-Argonne, 1918

America’s Deadliest Battle: Meuse-Argonne, 1918America's Deadliest Battle: Meuse-Argonne, 1918 by Robert H. Ferrell
ISBN: 0700618570
Published by University Press of Kansas on February 1st 2007
Genres: History, Military, Strategy, World War I, United States
Pages: 195

Len's Summary: A new analysis of America’s largest and costliest (26 thousand dead) WWI battle by a premier American historian.

Chief of Staff, Vol. 1: The Principal Officers Behind History’s Great Commanders, Napoleonic Wars to World War I

Chief of Staff, Vol. 1: The Principal Officers Behind History’s Great Commanders, Napoleonic Wars to World War IChief of Staff, Vol. 1: The Principal Officers Behind History's Great Commanders, Napoleonic Wars to World War I by David T. Zabecki
ISBN: 9781591149903
Published by Naval Institute Press on 2008
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Military, History, Strategy
Pages: 241

Len's Summary: First of two volumes examining the role of the military chief of staff.

Clausewitz’s On War: A Biography (Books That Changed the World)

Clausewitz’s On War: A Biography (Books That Changed the World)Clausewitz's On War: A Biography (Books That Changed the World) by Hew Strachan
ISBN: 9780802143631
Published by Grove Press on April 1st 2008
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, History, Military, Strategy
Pages: 238

Len's Summary: A premier military historian examines Clausewitz’s dense dicta on military strategy.

After the Trenches: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1918-1939

After the Trenches: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1918-1939After the Trenches: The Transformation of the U.S. Army, 1918-1939 by William O. Odom
ISBN: 9781603440813
Published by Texas A&M University Press on June 17th 2008
Genres: History, Military, Strategy, World War I, World War II, United States, Technology & Engineering, Military Science
Pages: 282

Len's Summary: A distinguished army veteran and military historian examines the evolution of army doctrine between the two world wars.

The Day We Won the War: Turning Point at Amiens 8th August 1918

The Day We Won the War: Turning Point at Amiens 8th August 1918The Day We Won the War: Turning Point at Amiens 8th August 1918 by Charles Messenger
ISBN: 0297852817
Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on March 3rd 2009
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Strategy, World War I
Pages: 288

Len's Summary: The fateful day Ludendorff became convinced the German army was beaten. // Ninetieth anniversary analysis of the August 1918 break- through at Amiens which opened the victorious “100 days” ending World War I. The mixed arms attack of the British 4th Army also included troops from Australia, Canada and America.

Underground Warfare, 1914-1918

Underground Warfare, 1914-1918Underground Warfare, 1914-1918 by Simon Jones
ISBN: 9781844159628
Published by Pen & Sword Books on June 2010
Genres: History, Military, Strategy, World War I
Pages: 288

Len's Summary: Draws on personal reminiscences to examine military tunneling and mining on the Western Front.

The Real German War Plan, 1904-1914

The Real German War Plan, 1904-1914The Real German War Plan, 1904-1914 by Terence Zuber
ISBN: 9780752456645
Published by History Press on June 1 2011
Genres: History, Europe, Germany, Military, Strategy, World War I
Pages: 190

Len's Summary: The author argues, as he has in several articles published in prestigious scholarly journals and at WFA seminars, that the Schlieffen Plan never existed.

From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army, 1902–1914

From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army, 1902–1914From Boer War to World War: Tactical Reform of the British Army, 1902–1914 by Spencer Jones
ISBN: 9780806144153
Published by University of Oklahoma Press on September 1st 2013
Genres: History, Europe, Great Britain, Military, Strategy, 19th Century, Africa, South, Republic of South Africa
Pages: 312

Len's Summary: Key tactical lessons learned on the veldt and applied by the British Army during the interwar years, 1902-1913.

Strategy and War Planning in the British Navy, 1887-1918

Strategy and War Planning in the British Navy, 1887-1918Strategy and War Planning in the British Navy, 1887-1918 by Shawn T. Grimes
ISBN: 9781843836988
Published by Boydell Press on February 16th 2012
Genres: History, Military, Strategy, World War I, Naval, General
Pages: 263

Len's Summary: The author takes the stance that the Admiralty in no way exaggerated a very real German threat. See also The Royal Navy and the German Threat, 1901-1914, Matthew S. Seligmann (Oxford, 2012).

The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command

The Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval CommandThe Rules of the Game: Jutland and British Naval Command by Andrew Gordon
ISBN: 9781591143369
Published by Naval Institute Press on February 1st 2013
Genres: History, Military, Strategy, World War I, Naval
Pages: 708

Len's Summary: First published in 2000; a re-examination of the major fleet confrontation of WWI. // A fresh analysis of Royal Navy command and tactics.

Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918

Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918Race and War in France: Colonial Subjects in the French Army, 1914-1918 by Richard S. Fogarty
ISBN: 9781421407661
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press on December 5th 2012
Genres: History, Europe, France, Military, World War I, General, Strategy, Social History
Pages: 400

Len's Summary: Paperback version of an excellent social-military-political history first published by Johns Hopkins in 2008. How French egalitarianism was challenged by the conscription of more than half a million colonial troops during WWI, a “blood tax” levied on her African and Asian subjects. // An excellent scholarly analysis of colonial troops at war; a study of contradictory and paradoxical French policies on race, culture and religion in wartime drawing on individual experiences among the half million African, Arab and Asian soldiers who served France in WWI. Winner of the Phi Alpha Theta First Book Prize. The author teaches at SUNY Albany.

The Rocky Road to the Great War: The Evolution of Trench Warfare to 1914

The Rocky Road to the Great War: The Evolution of Trench Warfare to 1914The Rocky Road to the Great War: The Evolution of Trench Warfare to 1914 by Nicholas Murray
ISBN: 9781597975537
Published by Potomac Books, Inc. on August 31st 2013
Genres: History, Military, Strategy
Pages: 320

Len's Summary: Trench warfare typified the 1914-18 Western, though not the Eastern, Front. This is an examination of the evolution in theory and practice of field fortification from 1877 to 1914.

Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1915

Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1915Germany’s Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1915 by Mark Osborne Humphries, John Maker
ISBN: 155458051X
Published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press on March 1st 2010
Genres: History, Europe, Germany, Military, World War I, Strategy
Pages: 413

Len's Summary: Offers German perspective on the battles of 1915.

The Month That Changed the World: July 1914

The Month That Changed the World: July 1914The Month That Changed the World: July 1914 by Gordon Martel
ISBN: 9780199665389
Published by Oxford University Press on July 1st 2014
Genres: Military, Pre-War, Strategy
Pages: 484

Len's Summary: Another look at the crucial weeks leading to war in 1914. // pages, ISBN 978 0 1996 6538 9, £22, $34.95. Step-by-step account of Europe’s slouch into war; a history of missed opportunities.

The Challenge of Battle: The Real Story of the British Army in 1914

The Challenge of Battle: The Real Story of the British Army in 1914The Challenge of Battle: The Real Story of the British Army in 1914 by Adrian Gilbert
ISBN: 9781849088596
Published by Osprey Publishing on February 20th 2014
Genres: Great Britain, Military, Strategy, Technology & Engineering
Pages: 312

Len's Summary: Assesses the performance of the “Old Contemptables” in the opening battles.

Featured Review

Author Adrian Gilbert’s introduction notes that: “British histories of the 1914 campaign typically adopt the emotionally comforting paradigm of the plucky Briton giving the overbearing foreign bully a bloody nose.” Gilbert goes on to state “…my intention is to look afresh at the British Army during 1914….My aim is not by any means to belittle the army’s many achievements but to provide a more realistic assessment of the army set within a general narrative of the war in 1914.”

Gilbert’s book succeeds admirably, and not as a revisionist work but rather as a corrective supplement to the controversial Official History of the First World War multi-volume series published between 1922 and 1948. Although the 1914 volumes of the Official History were not subject to as much debate as later books in the series, Gilbert still found “significant instances of evasion and omission, and, on occasion, outright distortion” in the 1914 volumes of the Official History.

For example, Gilbert’s research contradicts the official version of the battle of Le Cateau (26 August) as a successful delaying action fought against great odds. The author explains that such misrepresentations are important because the Official History was “so influential in defining the outlook of subsequent histories of the war.” As an example, Gilbert quotes historian John Terraine who described Le Cateau as “one of the most remarkable British feats of arms of the whole war.” Challenge of Battle devotes five detailed chapters to the preliminary maneuvers and decisions to fight at Le Cateau, the battle itself, “Failures of Command,” and the continuing retreat of the BEF. Gilbert’s book clearly proves that Le Cateau was a British tactical defeat, but it remains to be seen whether his new work can overcome well-established myths.

Dana Lombardy, Publisher WWOI

British Infantryman vs. German Infantryman Somme, 1916

British Infantryman vs. German Infantryman Somme, 1916British Infantryman vs German Infantryman by Stephen Bull
ISBN: 9781782009146
Published by Osprey Publishing on January 20th 2014
Genres: History, General, Military, Other, Technology & Engineering, Military Science, World War I, Strategy, Biography & Autobiography
Pages: 80

Len's Summary: A study of British and German tactics.

A Fraternity of Arms: America and France in the Great War

A Fraternity of Arms:  America and France in the Great WarA Fraternity of Arms by Robert Bowman Bruce
ISBN: 9780700612536
Published by University Press of Kansas on 2003
Genres: History, Europe, France, Military, Strategy, World War I, Political Science, International Relations, General
Pages: 380

Len's Summary: Thanks in large measure to expert (and often bilingual) French instructors a core of four 28,000-man divisions of the American army was ready to join the French in blunting and then reversing the final German push on Paris at the Marne in July 1918. It is in the resounding German setback on the Marne of July 18, 1918 – not their August 8th defeat by the British at Amiens – that Bruce finds the beginning of the end for German arms on the Western Front.

Planning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World War

Planning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World WarPlanning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World War by Nicholas A. Lambert
ISBN: 9780674063068
Published by Harvard University Press on January 1st 2012
Genres: History, Military, World War II, Strategy, Business & Economics, Economic History
Pages: 662

Len's Summary: Before the war, the Admiralty conceived an economic warfare campaign deploying Britain’s virtual monopolies in banking, communications and merchant shipping as additional weapons against Germany. These weapons proved decisive. This book received the World War One Historical Association's annual Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr., prize for the best work of history in English on World War One (1914-1918) for 2013. Professor Lambert is a Visiting Affiliate Professor at the University of Maryland. His book, 'Sir John Fisher’s Naval Revolution' (1999) won the Tomlinson 2000 prize.