In this comprehensive book, David Stone describes and analyses every aspect of the German Army as it existed under Kaiser Wilhelm II, encompassing its development and antecedents, organisation, personnel, weapons and equipment, its inherent strengths and weaknesses, and its victories and defeats as it fought on many fronts throughout World War I.
The book deals in considerable detail with the origins and creation of the German army, examining the structure of power in German politics and wider society, and the nation's imperial ambitions, along with the ways in which the high command and general staff functioned in terms of strategy and tactical doctrine. The nature, background, recruitment, training and military experiences of the officers, NCOs and soldiers are examined, while personal and collective values relating to honour, loyalty and conscience are also analysed. There is also an evaluation of all aspects of army life such as conscription, discipline, rest and recuperation and medical treatment.
In addition the army's operations are set in context with an overview of the army at war, covering the key actions and outcomes of major campaigns from 1914 to 1918 up to the signature of the Armistice at Compiegne. For anyone seeking a definitive reference on the German Army of the period - whether scholar, historian, serving soldier or simply a general reader - this remarkable book will prove an invaluable work.
David Stone is a former British army infantry officer. Much of his service was in Germany, both with and alongside soldiers of the Bundeswehr in peacetime and on operations. He became a military historian in 2002, and is the author of the authoritative works Hitler's Army: The Men, Machines and Organisation, 1939-1945 (2009) and Fighting for the Fatherland: The Story of the German Soldier from 1648 to the Present Day (2006). Richard Holmes described the latter as 'the most comprehensive and accessible account of the German soldier ever published in English'. His other titles include the acclaimed 'First Reich' (2002), Battles in Focus: Dien Bien Phu (2004), Wars of the Cold War (2004), War Summits (2005), and Twilight of the Gods (2011). He also wrote Cold War Warriors (1998) and was a consultant and co-author of World War II Chronicle (2007).