Winning and Losing on the Western Front

Winning and Losing on the Western Front : The British Third Army and the Defeat of Germany in 1918

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The 'Hundred Days' campaign of 1918 remains a neglected aspect of the First World War. Why was the German army defeated on the Western Front? Did its morale collapse or was it beaten by the improved military effectiveness of a British army which had climbed a painful 'learning curve' towards modern combined arms warfare? This revealing insight into the crucial final months of the First World War uses state-of-the-art methodology to present a rounded case study of the ability of both armies to adapt to the changing realities they faced. Jonathan Boff draws on both British and German archival sources, some of them previously unseen, to examine how representative armies fought during the 'Hundred Days' campaign. Assessing how far the application of modern warfare underpinned the British army's part in the Allied victory, the book highlights the complexity of modern warfare and the role of organisational behaviour within it.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 50 b/w illus. 4 maps
  • 1139534548
  • 9781139534543

Review quote

'A well-written and well-researched book that deserves a wider audience.' The Times '... a welcome addition to the literature and a must read for scholars of the First World War as well as scholars interested in the question of why some armies succeed and others fail.' Michael Neiberg, Journal of Military History 'Jonathan Boff has written a careful, thoughtful, and well-researched book that attempts to answer the vexed question: what caused the defeat of the German army on the western front in 1918?' The American Historical Review 'Winning and Losing on the Western Front is a remarkable book that takes us a quantum leap forward in our understanding of the how the 'Great War' ended in 1918.' Military Review '... [a] fine specialist study ... is in places boldly revisionist ...' Adrian Gregory, The English Historical Review 'Boff demonstrates mastery of both English and German language sources ... In fact, one senses a mastery of the literature in his thorough presentation ... His book will be most satisfying ... for the expert in operational history, World War I battle, and in the character of leadership and of armies.' Dean A. Nowowiejski, Parameters 'Boff's research is solid, relying on archives located in Britain, Germany, and the Commonwealth countries.' Robert M. Citino, German Studies Review
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About Jonathan Boff

Jonathan Boff is a Lecturer in History at the University of Birmingham.
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Table of contents

Introduction: 'An Unknown Story'; 1. 'The Advance to Victory'; 2. Manpower and training; 3. Materialschlacht; 4. Morale; 5. British tactics: 'The True Elixir'; 6. The German tactical response; 7. British operations and command; 8. The failure of German command; Conclusion: winning and losing on the Western Front.
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