Tannenberg: Clash of Empires, 1914

Overview

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 ...
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Tannenberg: Clash of Empires, 1914

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The definitive treatment. . . . [It] belongs on the shelf of any reader interested in the battle itself or the Germany which fought it.”

“A major contribution to our understanding of European military and strategic history since 1870.”

“The most important work on that titanic clash, a ‘must’ read for all students of the First World War.”

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574887815
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/30/2004
  • Series: Cornerstones of Military History
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 743,206
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis Showalter
Dennis Showalter, Ph.D., has taught history at Colorado College since 1969 and is a former president of the Society for Military History. He also served as a distinguished visiting professor at both the United States Military Academy and the United States Air Force Academy. The first edition of Showalter's Tannenberg won the prestigious Paul Birdsall Prize for best new book of 1992 from the American Historical Association. His other books include Railroads and Rifles and The Wars of Frederick the Great. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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Table of Contents

List of maps
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Order of battle 5
Pt. I The fashion to make war 11
1 The circus rider of Europe 13
2 The center fails to hold 36
3 War finds a way 69
Pt. II Now thrive the armourers 103
4 The virgin soldiers 105
5 Taking the measure of danger 139
6 First contact : Gumbinnen 172
Pt. III The blood-swollen God 211
7 The province of uncertainty 213
8 The province of chance 249
9 The province of victory 286
Pt. IV The bitter fruits of victory 321
10 Opportunities and illusions 323
Epilogue 347
Notes 355
Bibliographical essay 407
Index 411
Index to military formations 417
About the author 420
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