cover image Instrument of War: The German Army 1914–18

Instrument of War: The German Army 1914–18

Dennis Showalter. Osprey, $30 (328p) ISBN 978-1-4728-1300-8

Showalter (The Wars of German Unification), an expert in German military history at Colorado College, synthesizes the key aspects of the German Imperial Army experience during WWI In this comprehensive single-volume history. He chronologically analyzes the roots of the Imperial German Army, how it planned and prepared for WWI, the major phases of the war, and key battles, and provides conclusions regarding why arguably the most professional army in the world lost the war. The book is very comprehensive given its size. Showalter covers such diverse topics as infantry equipment, defensive and offensive tactics, the failure of the Schlieffen Plan, important personalities, the politics of strategy and high command, and the social and political environment of WWI Germany. The insights are unmatched and intriguing, and in many cases Showalter debunks or explains myths regarding the war. This work may be a challenge to readers not already familiar with the war. Showalter’s analysis of all aspects of the German Army experience in WWI is a must-read for anyone with an interest in WWI or German military history. (Dec.)