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Imperial Germany and War, 1871-1918


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About the Author

Daniel J. Hughes is professor emeritus, United States Air Force Air War College.

Richard L. DiNardo is professor of national security affairs, US Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the author of Germany and the Axis Powers: From Coalition to Collapse.


Hughes and DiNardo provide a fine-grain portrait of the Imperial German Army from its greatest victory in 1871 to its final collapse in 1918. Written by two of the scholarly world's leading authorities, it offers in-depth research into the German sources, judicious verdicts on men and events, and a breadth of vision greater than any previous work. It is an indispensable book that will dominate the narrative on the German Army for decades.""- Robert M. Citino, author of The Wehrmacht's Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944-1945;

""Few institutions were more important to European history between 1871 and 1918 than the German army. This study provides a detailed analysis of how it responded to the rapid societal and political changes around it. No student of this period of Germany will want to miss it.""- Michael S. Neiberg, author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I;

""The Prussian/German army failed its ultimate test: preparing for and waging the Great War of 1914-1918. This major contribution to institutional military history convincingly establishes that failure as the consequence of a fundamental and enduring tension between efforts to adjust to the requirements of mass-industrial warfare and pressures seeking to limit the consequences of the French and Marxist revolutions. Essential for all students of the subject.""- Dennis Showalter, author of Instrument of War: The German Army 1914-1918;

""A formal people, the Germans were disastrously informal about war. Clausewitz set the tone with his emphasis on friction, human error, and improvised genius. That strand connected Moltke the Elder's unorthodox invasions of Austria and France with the thrusting, decentralized combat of generals given a broad mission and the flexibility to accomplish it by Schlieffen and his successors. Ultimately this can-do attitude was the Prussian-German army's 'secret sauce.' It defeated bureaucracy and ensured rapid action yet- as Hughes and DiNardo reveal in this splendid, lucid work- it made German leaders dismissive of policy, grand strategy, and their iron constraints. A Germany dominated by the uniformed military came to view battle as the solution to every problem, ensuring Germany's defeat in 1918.""- Geoffrey Wawro, author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire

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