The German High Command At War: Hindenburg and Ludendorff and the First World War Paperback – 3 Nov 1994
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About the Author
Robert Asprey is a former US Marine Corps captain who served in World War 2 and Korea. A Fulbright Scholar, he is a veteran of military history, internationally respected.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a Brit, my only complaint is that from reading it you might think that it was the US that won the war - with admittedly a bit of help from France.
A definite read for anyone who is interested in WW1 and wants to see things 'from the other side'.
More recently I have read and reviewed, Roger Chickering's "Imperial Germany and the Great War 1914-1918" which very much supports the contention that Ludendorff was to all intents and purposes a sort of military dictator, until his nerve cracked after the failures of 1918 offensives.
The meeting with the Kaiser on 29th September 1918 gave Ludendorff the opportunity, as both Chickering and Asprey show, to support a consitutional monarchy under which the Social Democrats would take the blame for defeat.
The seeds of Adolf Hitler's rise to power were born on that day.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
There are basic maps that show the battles discussed and they are very helpful. Those for the Russian front are very informative as that is rarely detailed by most historians. Yet it was the stumbling victories of Ludendorff and the ineptness of the Russian command and army that led to his promotion to command the Western front. Asprey is very vocal in his criticism of Ludendorff.
The book makes clear that while the Germans had a plan for the war, but they underestimated the rapid Russian deployment, Belgian resistance, and the uselessness of their navy. Falkenhayn’s blunt appreciation brought home the inescapable fact that, once the Schlieffen plan had failed, once a quick victory had been denied, the German and Austro-Hungarian empires lacked a cohesive plan for continuing the war. The unpalatable situation has to be looked at from two viewpoints, civil and military, then as now in often self-defeating conflict.
The stalemate was broken by the starvation of Germany at home (primarily the British blockade). This led German leaders to grasping at Wilson’s 14 Points (not agreed to by the British and French) as a legitimate offer to just cancel the war. Only Austria was defeated on the battlefield. France was close to it.
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