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Instrument of War


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Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgements Chapter I: Portents and Preliminaries Chapter II: Autumn of Decision Chapter III:Reevaluating Chapter IV: Verdun and the Somme: End of an Army Chapter V: Reconfigurations Chapter VI: Climax and Denouement Coda Notes Bibliography Index

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An engaging history offering a fresh perspective of the German Army in World War I written by a pre-eminent military historian, now publishing in paperback.

About the Author

Dennis Showalter is Professor of History at Colorado College, USA. He is the author of several books, including Armor and Blood: The Battle of Kursk, The Turning Point of World War II (2013), Patton and Rommel: Men Of War in the Twentieth Century (2005) and Tannenberg: Clash of Empires 1914 (1991), which won the American Historical Association's Paul M. Birdsall Prize. He is the Founding Editor of the War in History journal and Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Bibliographies Online: Military History. Professor Showalter was also President of the Society for Military History between 1997 and 2000. He lives in Colorado Springs, CO, USA.


This book is classic Showalter, witty, insightful, and remarkably erudite. This is the perfect match between author and project. * Michael S. Neiberg, author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I *
Dennis Showalter does it again.America's leading historian returns to his speciality, the German army, and provides a first rate study, at once accessible and scholarly, that focuses on the strengths, resilience and eventual failure of the army during the First World War. A deft mix of the varied levels and experience of war. -- Jeremy Black
Showalter has written the last word on the German military tragedy of World War I. The book is wise and deep. The German political leadership, stunted and divided by Bismarck's constitution and Kaiser Wilhelm II's frivolous interventions, failed to craft any sound strategy for the 20th century. The cloistered German army, less autonomous and powerful than imagined, focused its energies downward on operations and tactics, becoming the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. So good and innovative were the Germans at battle that they nearly overcame their own lack of strategy as well as the most intractable strategic obstacles: American power and British blockade. Instrument of War is vintage Showalter - deft, limpid, wry, insightful and memorable. Geoffrey Wawro, author of The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-71 and A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire. -- Professor Geoffrey Wawro * Publisher approached reviewer *

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