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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

German Operations in Flanders


Old Tom

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Hello,

There is a fine discussion going on about 3rd Ypres. I feel a little out of my depth as I know little, or nothing, about the level of German activity between grand strategy and tactics. Can any one give me a steer towards a book (in English) that deals with this.

Old Tom

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3rd Ypres.

The only thing you can do is look at the front pages of this website. Some translations but few have been done in English. For a German view try Storm of Steel by Ernst Junger. available from yr library through the book ordering system.

Look up google under 'Schlacht bei Passchendaele' (or Passendale) (Ypren 1917)a lot of Jerry websites do a translation into English.

The Reichsarchiv series books provide a technical insighht into the mechanicvs of german warfare. There are many volunmes dealing with each battle and of course there is much more on minor battles given the deatail the Germans put into everything. Brush up on your German and pray though if you get one of these. Find these on international book search websites.

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Hello,

There is a fine discussion going on about 3rd Ypres. I feel a little out of my depth as I know little, or nothing, about the level of German activity between grand strategy and tactics. Can any one give me a steer towards a book (in English) that deals with this.

Old Tom

There is a book due in mid summer by one of our forum members. about the German army at passchendaele. Go to the book review forum andsearch for Jack Sheldon

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Old Tom, you should be able to get a copy of Martin Samuels' book 'Command or Control? Command, training and tactics in the British and German Armies, 1888-1918' (ISBN 0714642142). It gives a feel for the operational planning level. Wynne's book 'If Germany Attacks' is also quite useful. Both suffer from the problem that they give a very one-sided view, overly positive view, of German command and control, versus the stereotypical British did not learn, then oops they won in 1918 - you end up feeling 'how did that happen?'. The examples, such as the German counter-attack near Monchy-le-Preux in 1917, are interesting but not balanced by some of the bad examples. If you bear this in mind, both books will give you a deeper insight.

I should say that Wynne was trying to make a point. He wanted to get the British Army to wake up before the Second World War started, so no surprise in the things he emphasized. His book was roundly booed at the time it was published - well, at the time the journal articles were published that were gathered together to create the book actually, but you know what I mean.

Robert

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You might find Robert Foley's new book ' Alfred Von Schlieffen's Military Writings' (ISBN 0415408628) to be of interest as well. It is not for the faint-hearted, especially the detailed descriptions of the staff-rides, etc. Foley has done an excellent job in presenting how German General Staff Officers were trained to think and plan in the lead up to the Great War.

Robert

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Hello,

Many thanks for the various suggestions. ' Zum befehl herr mayor, aber ich habe viele deutch forgessen'. That proves the point.

Old Tom

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