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Publisher's Summary

An in-depth, finely detailed portrait of the German Army from its greatest victory in 1871 to its final collapse in 1918, this volume offers the most comprehensive account ever given of one of the critical pillars of the German Empire - and a chief architect of the military and political realities of late 19th-century Europe.

Written by two of the world's leading authorities on the subject, Imperial Germany and War, 1871-1918 examines the most essential components of the imperial German military system, with an emphasis on such foundational areas as theory, doctrine, institutional structures, training, and the officer corps. In the period between 1871 and 1918, rapid technological development demanded considerable adaptation and change in military doctrine and planning. Consequently, the authors focus on theory and practice leading up to World War I and upon the variety of adaptations that became necessary as the war progressed - with unique insights into military theorists from Clausewitz to Moltke the Elder, Moltke the Younger, Schlichting, and Schlieffen. 

Ranging over the entire history of the German Empire, Imperial Germany and War, 1871-1918 presents a picture of unprecedented scope and depth of one of the most widely studied, criticized, and imitated organizations in the modern world.

©2018 The University Press of Kansas (P)2019 Tantor

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Very well researched

Excellent level of detail and research. My only complaint is during the chapter dealing with the Arras Offensive and Germany’s new defensive tactics the author stated that the British took Vimy Ridge. As a Canadian History teacher holding a $20 bill with the Vimy memorial on the back, I almost choked on my maple syrup.

16 people found this helpful

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If this is your cup of tea, it's great.

This is a detailed, academic history. This isn't an exciting adventure history. This is dry and boring and really really awesome. But then, it was exactly the kind of book I was looking for.

This is not a narrative.

If you've ever wanted to know how and why a given army was structured the way it was, how an army thinks and why, and want insight into the historiography surrounding it, then this book is for you. Its a series of snapshots of the Prussian army in a particular time and place, covering it's social, intellectual, and hierarchical structures.

It's an academic work, but it is accessible to anyone who's interested enough to listen.

5 people found this helpful

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Exceptional

Not a leisure reading. A very thorough examination of German military before and during WWI.

3 people found this helpful

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Wow! Hard to believe!?

I had no Earthly Idea! This is one of the most meticulously told in fact actually narrated by a fantabulous reader! Maybe balmy? But that what it was. I liked all the theory of was of Claus-wick. That was throughout out best😁

2 people found this helpful

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Highly Recommend Technical History

This book is very good treatise on the subject. It is, however, a hyper-detailed dissection of the German army in the decades leading up to WW1. If you’re not interested in the minutiae of the German army command structure, the training manuals, the deployment plans, army demographics, recruitment issues, method of adapting the army/navy to new technologies, gas policies, detailed logistical data discussions, and every other aspect of running a huge war machine, then don’t read this book. I loved it!

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excellent

Great History for someone who truly cares about the details instead of just a good narrative.

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  • JWW
  • 06-22-20

A brilliant engrossing history, very well read

This history of the German army in the run up to WW1 cannot be bettered.

The finest army ever seen at the start of the war, encompassing all the traditional German virtues of thoroughness, technical competence, obedience and will, it lay in ruins four years later, only to repeat the whole process in WW2.

And what a pointless waste, because if the country had remained at peace Germany could have achieved an economic success greater than anything it might have won from war.

At the heart of it all, lies the notion that post Bismarck Germany understood things but not people, and tactics but not strategy.

Has this changed? Let’s hope that the Eurozone does not play out as a similar tragedy. Life is an art and not a calculation.

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  • Padre
  • 11-24-20

Superior and original analysis of a complex topic

This work excels both as a historical review and a military analysis. The authors demonstrate thorough awareness of differing views, magisterial knowledge of the subject matter while maintaining audience attention. The narrator is clear and interesting. A particularly valuable addition is his native pronunciation of European words and locations. An excellent work.