The Tomlinson Book Prize

Authors Stefano Marcuzzi, Meighen McCrae, Dennis Showalter and Joseph and Janet Robinson awarded the 2020 Tomlinson prize for their World War One books; Honorable Mention goes to Paul Gannon

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The World War One Historical Association (WW1HA) annual Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr., prize for 2020 for the best work of history in English on World War One (1914-1918) has been awarded to five exceptional historians: Stefano Marcuzzi for his Britain and Italy in the Era of the Great War: Defending and Forging Empires (Cambridge University Press), Meighen McCrae’s Coalition Strategy and the End of the First World War: The Supreme War Council and War Planning, 1917-1918 (Cambridge University Press), and Dennis Showalter, Joseph P. Robinson and Janet A. Robinson for their The German Failure in Belgium, August 1914: How Faulty Reconnaissance Exposed the Weakness of the Schlieffen Plan (McFarland & Company). Sadly, Dennis Showalter’s award is posthumous.

For the third year in a row, a book was awarded an Honorable Mention: Paul Gannon’s Before Bletchley Park: The Codebreakers of the First World War (The History Press).

This is the sixth time that multiple books won the Tomlinson prize. Three 2018 titles shared the award presented in 2019, three books published in 2016 shared the 2017 award, and three 2010 titles also shared the award presented in 2011. Two books published in 2019 received the award in 2020, and two titles published in 2017 received the award in 2018. The Tomlinson prize started in 1999.

The Tomlinson prize consists of a cash award and original bronze plaque sculpted by Andrew L. Chernak, a U.S. Army Vietnam War veteran whose sculptures are installed at Arlington National Cemetery and state and private parks:

Honorable Mention awards consist of an original bronze plaque sculpted by Chernak.

Both awards are made possible through a grant from Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr., Director-emeritus of The Western Front Association – United States Branch. (WFA-US became the World War One Historical Association in 2011.)

How to Submit a Book for Consideration

Historians Graydon Tunstall, Michael Neiberg, and Heather Streets-Salter, plus Editor of the WW1HA Tomlinson Prize Review of World War One Books Dana Lombardy form the prize jury for the Norman B. Tomlinson Prize. Normally the prize is awarded in the year following the calendar year of publication, but there are occasional exceptions to that policy. For information on how to submit books for the prize, email or


Previous Winners


When the War Came Home: The Ottomans’ Great War and the Devastation of an Empire
By Yiğit Akin
Stanford University Press
The Imperial Russian Army in Peace, War, and Revolution, 1856-1917
By Roger R. Reese
University Press of Kansas

 Honorable Mention
World War I: A Country-by-Country Guide
By Spencer C. Tucker


For the third time in its history, three books share the Tomlinson prize:

Haig’s Enemy: Crown Prince Rupprecht and Germany’s War on the Western Front
By Jonathan Boff
Oxford University Press, 2018
The Generals’ War: Operational Level Command on the Western Front in 1918
By David T. Zabecki
Indiana University Press, 2018

Pandora’s Box: A History of the First World War
By Jörn Leonhard
The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2018

 Honorable Mention
World War One in Southeast Asia: Colonialism and Anticolonialism in an Era of Global Conflict
By Heather Streets-Salter



The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End
By Robert Gerwarth
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2017

Pershing’s Crusaders: The American Soldier in World War I
By Richard Faulkner
University Press of Kansas, 2017



For the second time in its history, three books share the Tomlinson prize:

Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-1918
By Dennis Showalter
Osprey Publishing, 2016

The Path to War: How the First World War Created Modern America
By Michael S. Neiberg
Oxford University Press, 2016

Written in Blood: The Battle for Fortress Przemysl in WWI
By Graydon “Jack” Tunstall
Indiana University Press, 2016



Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914: The Outbreak of the Great War
By James Lyon
Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015
book cover


Verdun: The Longest Battle of the Great War
By Paul Jankowski
Oxford University Press, 2013
book cover


Planning Armageddon: British Economic Warfare and the First World War
By Nicholas A. Lambert
Harvard University Press, 2012


The Romanian Battlefront in World War I
By Glenn E. Torrey
The University Press of Kansas, 2011


The Russian Origins of the First World War
By Sean McMeekin
Harvard University Press, 2011


The Final Battle: Soldiers of the Western Front in the German Revolution of 1918
By D. Scott Stephenson
Cambridge University Press, 2009

Blood on the Snow: The Carpathian Winter War of 1915
By Graydon “Jack” Tunstall
University Press of Kansas, 2010

Breakthrough: The Gorlice-Tarnow Campaign, 1915
By Richard L. DiNardo
Praeger, 2010


Bloody Victory: The Sacrifice on the Somme and the Making of the Twentieth Century
By William James Philpott
Little Brown, 2009


The Second Battle of the Marne
By Michael Neiberg
University of Indiana Press, 2008


To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne, 1918
By Edward Lengel
Henry Holt & Company, 2008


Pyrrhic Victory: French Strategy and Operations in the Great War
By Brigadier General Robert A. Doughty, USA (Ret.)
Harvard University Press, 2005


Fighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory and the First World War in Britain
By Janet S. K. Watson
Cambridge University Press, 2004


A Fraternity of Arms: America and France in the Great War
By Robert B. Bruce
University Press of Kansas, 2003


France and The Great War, 1914-1918
By Leonard V. Smith, Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau & Annette Becker
Cambridge University Press, 2002


German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial
By John Horne & Alan Kramer,
Yale University Press


The First World War Volume I: To Arms
By Hew Strachan,
Oxford University Press, 2001


Sir John Fisher’s Naval Revolution
By Nicholas A. Lambert
University of South Carolina Press, 1999


The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary, 1914-1918
By Holger H. Herwig
Edward Arnold Publishing, 1997
A second edition was published by Bloomsbury in 2014 with new material on the domestic front and internal political and ethnic fissures.

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