This book is classic Showalter, witty, insightful, and remarkably erudite. This is the perfect match between author and project.
Michael S. Neiberg, author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I
Dennis Showalter does it again.America's leading historian returns to his speciality, the German army, and provides a first rate study, at once accessible and scholarly, that focuses on the strengths, resilience and eventual failure of the army during the First World War. A deft mix of the varied levels and experience of war.
Showalter has written the last word on the German military tragedy of World War I. The book is wise and deep. The German political leadership, stunted and divided by Bismarck's constitution and Kaiser Wilhelm II's frivolous interventions, failed to craft any sound strategy for the 20th century. The cloistered German army, less autonomous and powerful than imagined, focused its energies downward on operations and tactics, becoming the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. So good and innovative were the Germans at battle that they nearly overcame their own lack of strategy as well as the most intractable strategic obstacles: American power and British blockade. Instrument of War is vintage Showalter – deft, limpid, wry, insightful and memorable.
Geoffrey Wawro, author of The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870-71 and A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire.
Professor Geoffrey Wawro, Publisher approached reviewer
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