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joerookery

The German Failure in Belgium, August 1914

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David Filsell

I have just received this book for review in Stand To! Two chapters in and highly impressed. Not least, in highlighting widespread command, structural, planning, intelligence, communication and logistical failures failures, all fully referenced, the book certainly shows considerable flaws in any  Zuberistic over appreciation of the German Army in 1914 as whole. It must be said the book's price is outrageous, one which will kill sales, but the content is hugely readable and valuable. 

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AOK4
24 minutes ago, David Filsell said:

I have just received this book for review in Stand To! Two chapters in and highly impressed. Not least, in highlighting widespread command, structural, planning, intelligence, communication and logistical failures failures, all fully referenced, the book certainly shows considerable flaws in any  Zuberistic over appreciation of the German Army in 1914 as whole. It must be said the book's price is outrageous, one which will kill sales, but the content is hugely readable and valuable. 

 

Thanks for the short review, David.

 

Even though I am highly interested in the subject, I agree the price is too high for this book (45 USD for 225 pages) and have thus far not bought it.

 

Jan

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Marilyne

This sounds fascinating... can somebody tick off Defence library that they should buy it ??? 

 

M.

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David Filsell

Jan,

I am fortunate that as Reviews Editor of Stand To! I not only receive books from publishers to send to members of our excellent review panel, get to review a few myself. This is one. I must say the content of this book is real eye opener - one which reveals amazing levels incompetence in the German Army in pre war planning, command and control and much else and on  the field of battle. I have long been a critic of academic publishers publishing in the UK but really do feel, for those seriously interested in those on those on the other side of hill in1914 it is worth pushing the boat out for. I have learned much from its analysis - all referenced - of which I was unaware.

Regards

David

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David Filsell

Jan,

just checked sale comparison prices, Amazon is the cheapest supplier of the book.

Regards

David

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joerookery
Posted (edited)

The publisher sets the price -- not us. I would bring to your attention that the publisher is having a 25% off sale. However, while this is a real boon for those in America I am not sure how it works out postage wise in the United Kingdom .  

 

 

Edited by joerookery

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David Filsell

Joe,

G'Day,

If you can send me details of the the special offer of the book and whether the publisher would care to offer it to members of the Western Front Association I would be delighted. (And include in my review.) As I have campaigned against the stupid - purchase denying - prices of many "Academic books in my reviews for some time, clearly I must comment upon the price of yours in my - almost completed. There's is no doubt in my mind that only cost will seriously limit sales in the UK of what is proving a fascinating and informative analysis of the German Army, its strange foibles, poor command and control and etc. I judge the book a 'must but' for anyone with a particular interest in 1914. A work similar work on Mons and later about the Marne - lifting the Zuberistic fog of mindset and British misconceptions. Just a thought!

With very best regards

David  

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joerookery

Good morning David! I wrote to the publisher yesterday and have not heard back. Regularly that is a sign that they're not going to answer my question. Could happen maybe even today but I am not confident. Their 25% off sale ends at the end of the month. I asked for a discount for the WFA members, as well as some relief from the massive postage costs. With the sale, they offer a $30 worldwide flat rate shipping, while they have a distributor in London. 

This is their distributor in England.

 

 

 

Perhaps if you were to telephone them we might get some movement as there is no way that they can ignore a 6000 member UK organization. That phone call might make some difference.

 

As far as future endeavors we are currently looking at the Handstreich in Liège with a couple of Dutch guys. As much as we have laid it out, there is still more and a lot of detail. As far as going south from Mons, that is a lot of terrain. We regularly find it essential to look at the terrain. However, we are getting older. Janet is now 73 and wandering through French fields in my wheelchair might be too challenging. At least Liege is geographically smaller, but there is a lot of terrain that is quite important east of there.

 

I am sure Zuber will have an opinion. I don't agree with his approach to the Liege book, his Ardennes's book, or the Mons book. He has gone sort of ad hominem on me previously, but he does have first mover advantage in many areas. I said something about his works years ago: that he looks at things through the lens of a former company commander.

 

So that is a long way to say I understand comments about the price.

 

 

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David Filsell

Joe,

Thanks  for your efforts. I have long railed about the price of academic books in my reviews. It is claimed by some here that there is in effect a cartel in place which it is also claimed sets prices amongst academic publishers. The fact is that high prices are a strong sales deterrent, but it does seem impossible to even raise areaction from marketing or publicity when I speak to them. There can be no doubt - in my opinion - that, sadly the cost of your excellent and eye opening book is certain to affect sales. And that is just downright sad.

Regards

david 

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joerookery

Thank you David. I have not yet given up. While the publishing house is not answering, I am going to the post office to see how much it cost to mail one of these padded envelopes to the United Kingdom. we have some  of these books on hand and can get more. So I am looking at the possibilities of mailing directly-Given reasonable costs- and offering a price that is far less than Amazon for the PALs.

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joerookery

Well that didn't work – cheapest was $25 to mail. So today I took a look at the British engagement at Nery. Lots of information right away from the British side. But if you look at page 144 of this book you will understand that the opponent –4KD-- was severely crippled. That brings up the entire discussion about the use of unit symbols on maps. The unit symbol is the same one that people use, myself included, from the start of the war. After Warreme and Halen this symbol represents an entirely different animal. Looks the same on the outside but is totally different on the inside.

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AOK4
Posted (edited)

The book is available via bookdepository.com for 42.32 Euro incl. free shipping worldwide...

 

Although (having published a few books myself) that is still a lot of money for a 225 pages paperback (still about double the price of what it should reasonably be).

 

Jan

Edited by AOK4

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David Filsell
Posted (edited)

Joe,

G'Day,

if you let me have a contact email for the publisher I would be delighted to send him my views. It would appear that marketing nouse is as limited amongst US publishers as it is in the U.K. Academic publishers know they have the university market tied down, a simply lack the wit to realise the size of the military enthusiast market. I was at the annual Haig Fellowship lunch today, I gave my positive views of the book to some pals, mainly established British military historians, even they blanched at the price. 

Regards

David

Edited by David Filsell

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joerookery

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm in support of this book. I too am confused by this steady course taken by the marketers. Based on your earlier posts it seems as though the Western Front Association with its 6000 members would be a juicy revenue target. I have written extensively explaining the World War I enthusiast market. I think many of these approaches are what they would call "out of the box." The idea of shipping the book within the UK from the distributor in London received no traction. I received no reply. The center of contact is the marketing Guru, Ms. Beth Cox. -- bcox@mcfarlandpub.com--She really is a very nice person and very experienced in this field. They have a very small staff and are dealing with literally thousands of titles. Perhaps this explains in part the lack of response on this one specific title. 

 This is a quote from the marketing tips that are on the web for McFarland: McFarland also welcomes sales tips from authors about specialty booksellers. However, between in-store versus internet, remember that driving internet sales is likely a wiser investment of an author’s time. Sales tips should be emailed to Beth Cox.

McFarland successfully sells directly to individuals. Specialists, professionals and enthusiasts form an important market for many kinds of books. If you are aware of any unique opportunities to advertise your book to a specialized group or professional organization, for example, please let us know. Email Beth Cox.

So, drop her an email. I think you would also do well to telephone the distributor in London; https://twitter.com/eurospan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1013710438390009856&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.greatwarforum.org%2Findex.php%3Fapp%3Dcore%26module%3Dsystem%26controller%3Dembed%26url%3Dhttps%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Feurospan%2Fstatus%2F1013710438390009856

 

Thanks again,

VR/Joe

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joerookery

In conjunction with the release of the book we have started daily blogs that you might find interesting. We are about a week  into these  and I think you can find the old ones at the Facebook page.  https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=german failure in belgium - august 1914&epa=SEARCH_BO

 here is an example:

Nothing was more important to the immediate success of the Handstreich or sneak attack than the capture of the bridge Visé intact. All of the other bridges and tunnels would certainly have a major impact in a short time however, this bridge was right now. This bridge crossed all the major water obstacles that would allow the northernmost force of the Army of the Meuse to get into position to continue the reconnaissance, surround much of Liège, and allow the 34th brigade to cross the Meuse and make the decisive attack from the north. Another function of this bridge being attacked is that it would allow wheeled traffic to cross the river. That means artillery as well as lower level ammunition and baggage trains. Without the bridge, nothing could cross at this location. The river was too wide - three hundred meters wide at this point.
General Emmich used a very puerile asset to ensure everything was on track with the attack. Emmich received the partially false aviation reconnaissance - Fliegermeldung - report that the roads leading to the Meuse from Visé, Argenteau, and Hervé were free, and the false report that the Meuse bridges—except for the one near Argenteau—were intact. 
With the declaration of war at 0800 four August, and with the Fourth Squadron of Fifteenth Hussars in the lead, Second Cavalry Division headed off to secure the bridge that crossed the Meuse River and the adjacent canal around Visé. The bridge at Visé was particularly tricky because it could come under fire from Fort Pontisse in Liège. Shortly behind the cavalry division, at 1130, what was known as the Flying Column, the Bicycle Company of Ninth Jäger Battalion and the First Company Ninth Jäger Battalion with a platoon of engineers headed off to seize the bridge at Visé. They were supposed to link up with a group of requisitioned trucks in Aachen. Various sources dispute whether the trucks appeared. Others told tales of roadblocks delaying the motorized advance. In any case, the Bicycle Company continued forward toward the bridge. It was not clear exactly when they arrived at the bridge but, upon reaching it, they found the bridge blown up and the opposite bank defended.
Belgian forces in turn conducted early demolitions based on news of German preparations around Aachen, Eupen, and Malmedy, including the rail tunnels leading from Germany. As part of this blocking plan, engineers were sent to Argenteau and Visé to prepare explosives to blow up the bridges. At 2200 hours on August 3, the explosives were set off. They damaged but failed to destroy the bridges. New charges were placed later that night. On August 4, the Visé Bridge finally collapsed at 0400 hours, and then the Argenteau Bridge at 0500 hours. The Germans never had a chance to capture the bridge intact.

34615854003_6068e72a76_z.jpg

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