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Tannenberg: Clash of Empires, 1914 (Cornerstones of Military History)by Dennis Showalter
Synopses & Reviews
The battle of Tannenberg (August 27-30, 1914) opened World War I with a decisive German victory over Russia-indeed the Kaiser's only clear-cut victory in a non-attritional battle during four years of war. In this first paperback edition of the classic work, historian Dennis Showalter analyzes this battle's causes, effects, and implications for subsequent German military policy. The author carefully guides the reader through what actually happened on the battlefield, from its grand strategy down to the level of improvised squad actions. Examining the battle in the context of contemporary diplomatic, political, and economic affairs, Showalter also reviews both armies' social settings and military doctrine, and shows how the battle may be understood as a case study of problems that military organizations face in the initial stages of a major war. In addition, he demolishes many myths about the battle, such as the supposed superiority of the German military, the animosity among Russian field commanders, and the assumption that the Germans viewed their opponents as a horde of uniformed illiterates. Tannenberg's mystique later served the Weimar Republic and Third Reich propagandists. For years its legends helped to shape German nationalist ideology and military policy. In 1941, Hitler's Wehrmacht grossly underestimated Soviet military capability, leading to disaster in World War II.
Book News Annotation:
After first exploring the events that led to the outbreak of hostilities between Russia and Germany in 1917, Showalter (history, Colorado College) analyzes the history of the war's first major battle, the Battle of Tannenberg, in which the Germans decisively defeated the Russians. Although principally a military history, exploring the conflict in terms of tactics, strategy, doctrines, military organization and culture, and the armies' social settings, he also explores the battle in relation to political, economic, and diplomatic factors. Distributed by Books International.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
'This book is far more than a combat history. It melds social background, individual personalities, doctrine, grand strategy, military life, communications intelligence, politics, economics, and finally tactical movements to show how the Germans beat the Russians in one of the few decisive battles of World War l-the one that started Russia on the slide to ruin and revolution. And-a rarity in military history-it is a pleasure to read.' David Kahn author of 'The Codebreakers'
The first paperback edition of the classic work
First paperback edition of this classic work.
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History and Social Science » Military » World War I