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Look Inside German Strategy and the Path to Verdun

German Strategy and the Path to Verdun
Erich von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870–1916


Part of Cambridge Military Histories

  • Date Published: November 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521044363

£ 31.99

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About the Authors
  • Almost 90 years since its conclusion, the battle of Verdun is still little understood. German Strategy and the Path to Verdun is a detailed examination of this seminal battle based on research conducted in archives long thought lost. Material returned to Germany from the former Soviet Union has allowed for a reinterpretation of Erich von Falkenhayn's overall strategy for the war and of the development of German operational and tactical concepts to fit this new strategy of attrition. By taking a long view of the development of German military ideas from the end of the Franco-German War in 1871, German Strategy and the Path to Verdun also gives much-needed context to Falkenhayn's ideas and the course of one of the greatest battles of attrition the world has ever known.

    • Offers an unprecedented understanding of one of the bloodiest battles of the twentieth century
    • A full description of the development of the German concept of attrition at the strategic and operational levels
    • Based on extensive research conducted in archives returned by the former Soviet Union to Germany
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book is far more than a study of a grim battle … Foley has written a book which will be referred to repeatedly.' Open History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521044363
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.47kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 5 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of illustrations
    Table of ranks
    1. The Volkskreig in German military thought
    2. The (re)birth of Ermattungsstrategie
    3. The short-war belief
    4. The rise of Stellungskrieg
    5. Competing strategic visions
    6. Attack in the east
    7. Defence in the west
    8. Verdun: the plan
    9. Verdun: the execution
    10. Verdun: the failure

  • Author

    Robert T. Foley, University of Liverpool
    Robert T. Foley is a Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department, King's College London at the Joint Services Command and Staff College. He is the editor and translator of Alfred von Schlieffen's Military Writings, 2002.

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