The Western Front 1914-1916

The Western Front 1914-1916 : From the Schlieffen Plan to Verdun and the Somme

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After the first few months of World War I, the Western Front consisted of a relatively static line of trench systems which stretched from the coast of the North Sea southwards to the Swiss border. To try to break through the opposing lines of trenches and barbed wire entanglements, both sides employed huge artillery bombardments followed by attacks by tens of thousands of soldiers. Battles could last for months and led to casualties measured in hundreds of thousands for attacker and defender alike. After most of these attacks, only a short section of the front would have moved and only by a kilometer or two. After Gallipoli, Australians were moved to fight in France on the western Front, in battles including the Battle of the Somme. On the first day of the 1916 Battle of the Somme, 60,000 Allies were casualties, including 20,000 deaths. The principal adversaries on the Western Front, who fielded armies of millions of men, were Germany to the East against a western alliance to the West consisting of France and the United Kingdom with sizable contingents from the British Empire, especially the Dominions. The United States entered the war in 1917 and by the summer of 1918 had an army of around half a million men which rose to a million by the time the Armistice was signed on November 11, 1918. For most of World War I, Allied Forces, predominantly those of France and the British Empire, were stalled at trenches on the Western Front. With the last few men who served in World War I now dying out, and the 90th anniversary of the Armistice coming in November 2008, there is no better time to reevaluate this controversial war and shed fresh light on the conflict. With the aid of numerous black and white and color photographs, many previously unpublished, the World War I series recreates the battles and campaigns that raged across the surface of the globe, on land, at sea and in the air. The text is complemented by full-color maps that guide the reader through specific actions and campaigns.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 195 x 246 x 17mm | 652g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 200 photos and maps; 200 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 1838861327
  • 9781838861322

Table of contents

Introduction -The Entente Cordiale

The Schlieffen Plan

The Race to the Sea

Digging in

The Frustrations of 1915


The Somme

The Debut of the Tank

Further Reading

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About Professor Michael S Neiberg

Michael S. Neiberg is Professor of History and Chair of War Studies at the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. His published work specializes on the First and Second World Wars in global context. The Wall Street Journal named his Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I (Harvard University Press) one of the five best books ever written about that war. In October 2016 Oxford University Press published his Path to War, a history of American responses to the Great War in Europe, 1914-1917 and in July 2017 Oxford published his Concise History of the Treaty of Versailles. In 2017 he was awarded the Medaille d'Or du Rayonnement Culturel from La Renaissance Francaise, an organization founded by French President Raymond Poincare in 1915 to keep French culture alive during the First World War. Dennis E. Showalter was a professor of history at Colorado College who specialized in German military history. He was President of the American Society for Military History from 1997 to 2001. He was the winner of the 1992 Birdsall Prize, the 2005 Samuel Eliot Morison Prize and the 2018 Pritzker Literature Award. He also served as a consultant for the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, the United States Training and Doctrine Command, and the DOD Office of Net Assessment. He died in 2019.
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