Collision of Empires

Collision of Empires

The War on the Eastern Front in 1914

General Military
  • Author: Prit Buttar
  • Short code: GNM
  • Publication Date: 20 Jun 2014
  • Number of Pages: 488
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About this Product

Although the myriad of alliances and suspicions that existed between the Russian, German, and Austro-Hungarian empires in the early 20th century proved to be one of the primary triggers for the outbreak of the First World War, much of the actual fighting between these three nations has been largely forgotten in the West. Whilst battles such as Ypres, the Somme, and Passchendaele have been inscribed deeply on the public consciousness, with the exception of perhaps Tannenberg, the conflicts in the East do not hold the same recognition. In his new book, Prit Buttar seeks to correct this imbalance with a magisterial account of the chaos and destruction that reigned when three powerful empires collided. His harrowing narrative is driven by first-hand accounts and new, detailed archival research to create a dynamic retelling of the tumultuous events of the first year of the war, examining the battles of the Masurian Lakes and Tannenberg in East Prussia, followed by the Russo-Austrian clashes in Galicia, the failed German advance towards Warsaw, and the vicious fighting in the Carpathian mountains. Buttar reveals how delays in adapting to a modern war and inadequacies in supply and support arrangements, combined with a failure to plan for a long war, left the Central Powers struggling to keep up with events, and having to come to terms with the dreaded reality of a war on two fronts while Russia was driven towards revolution. A war that was initially seen by all three powers as a welcome opportunity to address both internal and external issues would ultimately bring about the downfall of them all.

Biographical Note

Prit Buttar studied medicine at Oxford and London before joining the British Army as a doctor. After leaving the army, he has worked as a GP, first near Bristol and now in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. He is extensively involved in medical politics, both at local and national level, and serves on the GPs' Committee of the British Medical Association. He appears from time to time on local and national TV and radio, speaking on a variety of medical issues. He contributes regularly to the medical press. An established expert on the Eastern Front in 20th century military history, he previously wrote the critically acclaimed Battleground Prussia: The Assault on Germany's Eastern Front 1944-45 (Osprey 2010) and Between Giants: The Battle for the Baltics in World War II (Osprey 2013). Published to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Collision of Empires is the first in a three-volume series, the definitive study of the First World War on the Eastern Front.


List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Author's Note
Dramatis Personae
Chapter 1: The German War Machine
Chapter 2: The Russian Steamroller
Chapter 3: Austria-Hungary: the Other Sick Man of Europe
Chapter 4: Over the Brink
Chapter 5: The First Battles: Stallupönen and Gumbinnen
Chapter 6: Crisis of Command
Chapter 7: Tannenberg
Chapter 8: The Illusion of Victory: Galicia, August 1914
Chapter 9: The Battle for the Masurian Lakes
Chapter 10: The Reality of Defeat: Galicia, September 1914
Chapter 11: A Bloody Sideshow: The Serbian Front
Chapter 12: Mud and Blood: Autumn in Poland
Chapter 13: Lódz
Chapter 14: The First Christmas
Chapter 15: Disappointments and Illusions
Appendix: Place Names

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