Enduring the Great War: Combat, Morale and Collapse in the German and British Armies, 1914-1918 (Cambridge Military Histories) Hardcover – 17 Apr 2008
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Review of the hardback: 'Alexander Watson's Enduring the Great War is certainly a must-read for all students of World War I, as well as those who write about it. Ably written and nicely illustrated, this study boasts an impressive depth of research in fifteen archives, repositories, and collections in Britain and Germany. … [It] belongs on the shelf of any scholar who aspires to be current on the literature of twentieth-century Europe.' History: Reviews of New Books
Review of the hardback: 'A superbly researched monograph on a difficult subject … It is impossible to do justice to such an impressive study in a short review. As an instrument for further research on the subject, it is without parallel: the nine pages listing the archival sources used provide an ideal springboard for any subsequent scholar interested in exploring the field further … while the copious bibliogrpahy of up-to-date primary and secondary publications will be a great help for anyone teaching a course on the First World War. … all university libraries will want to acquire it - as well as all departments of history and departments of British, German, and war studies.' H-Net Reviews
Review of the hardback: 'The analysis here is fresh and well argued: the conclusions are stimulating and will cause many to re-examine long held understandings.' Contemporary Review
Review of the hardback: 'In six closely argued and well documented chapters, Watson analyses soldiers motivations for joining and fighting, survival and coping strategies, junior office leadership, moral and endurance and, finally, the causes of German collapse in 1918.' Stand To!
Review of the hardback: 'This is an extremely good book, which makes a significant contribution to the history of the First World War and to the wider study of combat effectiveness. Alexander Watson has analysed a wide range of primary sources in an original manner: the result is a stimulating work that will become required reading. … [His] ability to incorporate the information he has gathered in a readable volume is truly impressive. … This book blends military, social, cultural, and psychological history with panache. … It is to be hoped that it will be both example and provocation for further, similarly brilliant work, which will test its arguments and approach on other fronts and other nations.' Dr. Dan Todman, War in History
Review of the hardback: 'With its impressive use of archival evidence, its mastery of the relevant secondary literature, and its scrupulously fair-minded treatment of the German army, this book is well worth reading for anyone who seeks a glimpse inside the minds of the men, both British and German, who fought the Great War.' Dr Jesse Kauffman, H-Net
Review of the hardback: '… an exciting comparative study.' The Times Literary Supplement
'Alexander Watson has produced a work that reflects his tremendous scholarship.' Open History
This unique account of how German and British soldiers endured the horror of the First World War argues that at the heart of armies' robustness lay natural human resilience. It explains why the British outlasted their opponents by examining and comparing German and British soldiers' motivation, morale and coping mechanisms.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is refreshing through this book to get closer to what happened, how it was dealt with at most levels and the disillusionment and reaction to politicians that followed
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author touches on how individual risk assessments, soldier coping mechanisms, small group cohesion and socialization, and command leadership at battalion and below all combine to affect combat motivation.
I'll note that while this book is relatively short and well-written, it is not a quick read. The author makes so many insightful points that I frequently paused to reflect and apply his conclusions to other conflicts and my own experiences. The author wisely limits the scope of his remarks just to the World War I British and Western Front Germans, but his insights could apply to just about any army or war for 50 years before or after the Great War.
Would not recommend it for the general reader as it is about the British and German Armies and you would need an appreciation of the massive losses in the big battles like the Somme, Ypres,Paschemdale, Verdun and the Nivelle Offensive to really get the most out of the book.
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