Synopses & Reviews
This book explores the influence of Helmuth von Moltke, Germany's Chief of the General Staff between 1906 and 1914. Based largely on previously-unknown primary sources, it shows that Moltke's influence on the Kaiser and on Germany's political decision-making to have been decisive, helping to foster an increasingly confrontational mood. The book also takes issue with the common perception of Moltke as a reluctant military leader, concluding that he was both bellicose and ambitious and played a crucial role in the outbreak of the First World War.
"...a valuable contribution to the history of early-twentieth-century Europe." The Historian"A valuable contribution to the literature of the First World War." NYMAS Newsletter"This book is essential reading for students of Modern Europe, Germany, and the First World War because it moves the debate on the origins of the war to a new plane - from national to individual responsibility with Moltke at center stage." German Studies Review"Historian Annika Mombauer has produced an excellent book...Mombauer does a fine job of critiquing the secondary literature...She also makes use of some additional primary sources to draw conclusions that are generally persuasive...Every serious historian of the Wilhelmine period will want a copy of this book." Journal of Military History"Mombauer brings to bear on her subject...newly available sources from the archives of the former Soviet Union. Useful for collections of all levels." Choice
A study of the influence of German Chief of Staff Helmuth von Moltke, 1906-1914.
Focusing on Germany's Chief of Staff 1906-1914, this book offers a fresh analysis of the origins of the First World War. It gives a fundamental re-evaluation of the circumstances leading to the outbreak of war, showing Moltke for the first time to have been a persistent advocate of war.
Table of Contents
Introduction; 1. Military decision-making in Wilhelmine Germany; 2. Alfred von Schlieffen and Helmuth von Moltke: 'military genius' and 'reluctant military leader'; 3. From crisis to crisis: the international background to military planning in the pre-war years; 4. The July crisis and the outbreak of war: the German perspective; 5. The General Staff at war; Conclusion.