10 of 102 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This review is from: Battle Tactics of the Western Front: British Army's Art of Attack, 1916-18 (Paperback)
In writing this book Paddy Griffith seems to be motivated more by offended national pride than any dispassionate interest in reappraisal of our understanding of the Great War. There has undoubtedly been a plethora of books recently which applaud the operational excellence of the German army, almost to the point of idolatry. However, those who seek to redress the balance are, like Paddy Griffith, people with no experience of that war or any other. The German army was certainly in its own estimation the best in the world. This is also the estimation of those who fought against it, certainly the front-line soldiers. Also, those who applaud it now do so out of no vested interest, and thus the efforts of those armchair strategists who seek to redefine our estimation of the British Army 80 years after the event do not persuade. Certainly, the moralistic, self-righteous and dogmatic assurance of this work,which seems to be a trait common to all revisionist works of this nature, serves only to further emphasise its light-weight quality and its emotive basis. Not recommended.
Tracked by 1 customer
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 16 Jun 2009 23:49:31 BDT
Paul R. Syms says:
No doubt you could write a better account, setting the record straight once and for all.
In reply to an earlier post on 25 Nov 2010 21:50:23 GMT
Last edited by the author on 25 Nov 2010 21:55:31 GMT
Interesting comments. Can anyone recommend a similar work in English on the French and German Armies of WW1?
Posted on 24 Jun 2011 18:46:56 BDT
The one thing that the idoloters of the German Army (whether it be the German Army of the First or the Second World War) constantly forget is this: the German Army lost both wars -- and not simply because they were out-manned or wore themselves out winning. Give the other side its proper due.
Posted on 14 Mar 2013 17:04:27 GMT
Michael Cooper says:
Most certainly the German army until late 1916 was far better than the British army and some savage lessons were learnt, mainly because the Germans were in good linear defensive positions which always had to be attacked by inexperienced British units. It was a huge conscript army rather than the small British regular army which had largely dissappeared by early 1915 to be repaced by TF and K units. The German army devolved command downwards at the lower level to gefreiter which meant that, unlike British units, German units retained unit cohesion and decision making in spite of casualties in the command chain. However, after the initial phases of the Somme in 1916, British army tactics and procedures started to improve. There were mistakes in 1917 and early 1918 but the last 100 days showed that the British Armies, including Dominion forces, were extremely capable battle practicioners. Note that 8 Aug 18 was "the Black Day of the German army" (Lundendorf's comment) when it was defeated in front of Amiens by Rawlinson's 4th Army, in an all-arms battle. It is wrong to confuse errors in higher level command with the tactical command of units in the field.
Posted on 23 Oct 2013 19:38:07 BDT
D. Carter says:
I would echo the question asked by other commentators; if the German army was the best in the world, why did it lose? This is not a blindly patriotic taunt, but a serious question. If anyone can recommend a serious book that answers that question, I would be very interested in reading it. My own armchair strategist view is currently that the German army was a very good army that found itself overstretched, increasingly outnumbered and fighting other armies which learned the hard lessons of war to become at least their equal, so that in the end they were bound to lose the numbers game (a process to be repeated twenty years later). I appreciate this is a very simple synopsis, but one which I think is essentially true. If there is a book out there that can offer a convincing argument to make me change my mind, I really would like to read it.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›
(9 customer reviews)