CRISIS 1918: The Leading Actors, Strategies and Events in the German Gamble for Total Victory on the Western Front by Joseph Gies

CRISIS 1918: The Leading Actors, Strategies and Events in the German Gamble for Total Victory on the Western Front

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Yanks and tanks"" defeated the big German offensive on the Western Front in the summer of 1918, despite the ""obtuse"" defects of General Pershing. This competent study explores the background of politics and morale. The parvenu Ludendorff, the brains behind yon Hindenburg, was determined to colonize Europe, and in 1918 the Allies thought he would succeed, while his Habsburg cohorts fretted. There are well-placed details of the foot soldiers' lives (the Germans were astonished that the English still had meat in 1918) and deaths (the English thought Petain should have shot 2000 mutineers, not 40). Ludendorff's ""manic fixation on total victory"" did not extend to the German infantry, who greeted their replacements with shouts of ""Scab! Strikebreaker!"" The book ends roughly where Sebastian Haffner's noteworthy Failure of a Revolution (1973) picks up -- with the effort to save the German Army from blame for the defeat.

Pub Date: Feb. 25th, 1974
Publisher: Norton