By Rod Paschall
The Defeat of Imperial Germany, 1917-1918 by Rod Paschall is the first volume in the Major Battles and Campaigns series under the general editorship of John S. D. Eisenhower. Designed for the "armchair strategist," this book offers striking proof of the inaccuracy of the conventional depiction of the trench warfare of the First World War, in which commanding generals are seen as mediocre and unimaginative, having stubbornly sent hundreds of thousands of troops over the top to be mowed down by the lethal weaponry of modern war. Paschall builds a compelling case that the generals on both sides invented ingenious new strategies that simply failed in the context of a war of attrition. In a series of vivid analyses of successive offenses, Paschall describes the generals' plans, how their plans were aimed at dislodging the entrenched enemy and restoring maneuver and breakthrough on the Western Front, and what happened when the massed soldiery under their command sought to carry out their orders. Though these strategies and tactics largely failed at the time, they would prove successful when implemented twenty years later during World War II. Dozens of photographs, many never before published, as well as theater and battlefield maps help make The Defeat of Imperial Germany, 1917-1918 an outstanding and original contribution to the body of knowledge of the Great War.