Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18

Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-18Instrument of War: The German Army 1914–18 by Dennis E. Showalter
ISBN: 1472813006
Published by Osprey Publishing on November 22, 2016
Genres: Reference
Pages: 328

Winner of the 2016 Tomlinson Prize Award

This is not a chronological presentation of campaigns and battles with maps and combat statistics, yet it is perhaps one of the most important books written about the German Army in the First World War.

Dennis Showalter, author of Tannenberg: Clash of Empires, 1914 (Brassey’s, 2004), was recently chosen for the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing. He has spent more than 50 years researching and teaching military history. This book represents his fresh perspective on the German Army during WW1. It explores that army’s internal dynamics and operational strategy, showing how both the army and nation were changed by war.

By 1916 the German Army had proved itself as “the Great War’s most comprehensively effective fighting force….” But “Strategic planning was not its forte. Its high command’s record was at best questionable.” And “after eighteen months, without any reasonable doubt fighting a war of attrition … [it] could not win.” Showalter concludes “the kaiser’s army … existed not to serve state and society but to sustain [itself]…. A recipe for defeat and dissolution.” Highly recommended.

Reviewed by Dana Lombardy, publisher of WWOI

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