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The Kaiser's Battle: 21st March, 1918 - The First Day of the German Spring Offensive Paperback – 25 Feb 1993

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (25 Feb. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140171355
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140171358
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,180,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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By Ned Middleton HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 31 May 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was the first major study into the early phases of WW1 and complements this author's own earlier work "First Day on the Somme."

On 21 March 1918 the Germans commenced a 5 hour bombardment of British troops. This was followed by one of the greatest (in terms of manpower on both sides) battles of all time as no fewer than 3 German armies attacked 2 British Armies. This was the first the first day of Kaiserschlacht - The Kaiser's Battle.

Author Martin Middlebrook provides a thrilling and complete account of the events. He describes in great detail both sides in terms of preparation, tactics and defence, the expectations of the generals in charge as well as the hopes and fears of the ordinary soldiers. Having set the scene, he then examines the battle itself in great detail by use of original records. First published in 1978, the author then traced or 600 survivors from this great battle whom he questioned at length in order to provide the reader with the most balanced view of the fighting.

Whilst many historians will record history from official documents and the accounts of those who were placed in charge, Martin Middlebrook provides an extra dimension by including vital input from those who took part right at the front.

NM
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Format: Paperback
I first read this book some years ago and it stands alongside Martin MIddlebrook's other outstanding works. It covers the actions of one day, March 21 1918, when German General Ludendorff ordered the biggest offensive ever seen on the Western Front at that time. Deliberatly attacking the weakest stretch of the Western Front manned by General Sir Hubert Gough's Fifth Army, the Germans advanced across the old Somme battlefield in six days which had taken the Allies four and a half months in 1916. The battle also doomed the German Army, because it sustained casualties it could ill-afford. From that point it was in permanent retreat until the Armistice of November 1918. Overall, its an interesting read. Based on accounts from British and German soldiers who survived the battles of 1918, it is also a testament to their courage and devotion to duty during those terrible months on the Western Front.
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Format: Paperback
Martin Middlebrook's formidable account of the German offensive of 1918 is vivid, transporting us back to the German Army's last major offensive on the Western Front.The Kaiser nearly pulled it off but failed to reach Amiens, a strategic necessity. Thought provoking, bombarding the reader with gut wrenching cameos of soldiers fighting for survival. The advance into allied held territory was, by the standard of the first world war, breathtaking, as is the narrative. A master class in military authorship.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent account of events during the last 'push' or German offensive which began in March 1918. The author has researched his subject extremely well and helpfully gives references for further reading. His unbiased view of events as they unfolded is refreshing - he gives accounts from both British and German troops. His attention to detail helps the reader to clarify why events happened the way they did.

I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in this final part of WW1.
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