The Generals' War


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Table of Contents

Foreword by General Anthony Zinni, USMC (Ret)

Table and Maps


I. Generalship in the Great War

II. Battlefield Realities

  • The Calculus of War

  • The Technological Revolution in Military Affairs

  • The Three Paradigm Shifts

  • The Vast New Scope of Warfare

  • Fire, Maneuver, and Combined Arms

  • Tanks

  • Artillery

  • The Defensive

  • The Offensive

  • III. The Strategic Situation

  • Germany

  • France

  • Britain

  • IV. The Commanders-in-Chief

  • Reputations One Hundred Years On

  • Powers and Responsibilities

  • Military Concepts

  • Adaptability and Risk

  • Personal Backgrounds

  • Political Supporters and Critics

  • The Political and the Strategic

  • Military Allies and Rivals

  • V. The Yanks are Coming

    VI. Two Conferences in November 1917

  • The Allied Supreme War Council, Rapallo, 7 November

  • The German Planning Conference, Mons, 11 November

  • VII. The Gathering Storm

  • Vital Arteries and Jugulars

  • Bracing for the Deluge as Petain and Foch Spar

  • Haig's Enemies, Front and Rear

  • Pershing Digs in His Heels

  • The Elusive General Reserve

  • Haig Spread Thin

  • Steel Wind Rising


  • MICHAEL: 21 March to 5 April 1918

  • GEORGETTE: 9 to 29 April 1918


  • Ludendorff Gropes for Plan B

  • The Allies Brace for Round Three

  • BLUECHER: 27 May - 5 June 1918

  • GNEISENAU: 9 - 15 June 1918

  • X. MARNESCHUTZ-REIMS and the Second Battle of the Marne

  • Ludendorff Attacks Again: MARNESCHUTZ-REIMS (15-18 July 1918)

  • Foch Hits Back Hard: The Second Battle of the Marne (18 July - 5 August 1918)

  • Ludendorff vs. Foch

  • Foch vs Ludendorff

  • XI. Le Hamel to Mount St. Quentin
  • The Battle of Hamel (4 July 1918)

  • The Battle of Amiens (8-14 August)

  • The Battle of Montdidier (18-30 August)

  • The Second Battle of Bapaume (21 August-1 September)

  • The Battle of the Scarpe (26 August-2 September 1918)

  • The Battle of Peronne-Mont St. Quentin (31 August-4 September)

  • The Withdraw to the Hindenburg Line (2-9 September)

  • XII. Closing to the Hindenburg Line
  • The Saint-Mihiel Offensive (12-15 September)

  • The Battle of Havrincourt (12 September 1918)

  • The Battle of Epehy (18 September)

  • XIII. The Allied General Offensive
  • The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Phase I (26 September-3 October)

  • The Battle of Canal du Nord (27 September-1 October)

  • The Fifth Battle of Ypres (28 September-2 October)

  • The Battles of the St Quentin Canal and the Beaurevoir Line (29 September-6 October)

  • The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Phase II (4-28 October)

  • The Second Battle of Cambrai (8-10 October)

  • The Battle of Courtrai and the Closure to the Dutch Border (14-27 October)

  • The French First Army Attacks Across the Serre River (15-27 October)

  • The Battle of the Selle (17-27 October)

  • Foch Maps Out Future Allied Operations (19 October-14 November)

  • Exit Ludendorff (26 October)

  • The Battle of Valenciennes (1-3 November)

  • The Second Battle of the Sambre and the Final British Drive (4-11 November)

  • The Final French Drive on the Western Front (1-11 November)

  • The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, Phase III (28 October-11 November)

  • Retrospective

  • XIV. The Armistice
    XV. The Fluctuating Verdict of History
  • Hindenburg

  • Ludendorff

  • Foch

  • Petain

  • Pershing

  • Haig

  • If NotThen Who?

  • Appendix I: Biographical Chronologies
    Appendix II: Note on General Officer Ranks

    About the Author

    David T. Zabecki (Lt. Gen. Ret) is author or editor of nine military history books, including The German 1918 Offensives: A Case Study in the Operational Level of War, and the assistant editor of several military history encyclopedias. He is editor of Vietnam Magazine, the Senior Historian of the Weider History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines, and author of numerous articles, book reviews, and encyclopedia entries, all dealing with military topics.


    [Zabecki's] work is an excellent synthesis of . . . often complex and diverse arguments, and his analysis is also aided by his background as a major general. This experience with high command often shines through in his astute and insightful criticism of the operational decision-making and biases of his subjects. Consequently, Zabecki's work offers useful insights for both scholars of the First World War and more casual military history enthusiasts alike.

    * H-War *
    "This meticulously-researched study provides new knowledge and new perspectives about - and gives new insights into - what is known as the war to end all wars. If you ever thought you knew everything or enough about World War I, The Generals' War will prove you wrong."* The Washington BookReview *

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