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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.

About the Author

Dennis Showalter has been a professor of history at Colorado College since 1969 and specializes in German military history. He was President of the American Society of Military History from 1997 to 2001 and is Joint Editor of War in History specializing in comparative military history. In addition, Showalter is an advising fellow of the Barsanti Military History Center at the University of North Texas and has previously taught at the United States Air Force Academy, the United States Military Academy and the Marine Corps University. He has written or edited two dozen books and over a 150 articles. Recent monographs include The Wars of German Unification(London: Arnold, 2004), Patton and Rommel: Men of War in the Twentieth Century (New York: Berkeley, 2005.), and Hitler's Panzers (New York: Berkeley, 2009). Tannenberg won the American Historical Association's Paul M. Birdsall Prize for best new book of 1992 and he was also the recipient of a Festschrift, Arms and the Man: Military History Essays in Honor of Dennis Showalter, ed. Michael Neiberg (Leiden, Boston: Brill, 2011).


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.
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. * Publisher approached reviewer *

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