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The Eastern Front 1914-1917 (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 16. Februar 2011


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'Without question one of the classics of post-war historical scholarship, Stone's boldly conceived and brilliantly executed book opened the eyes of a generation of young British historians raised on tales of the Western trenches to the crucial importance of the Eastern Front in the First World War' - Niall Ferguson. 'Scholarly, lucid, entertaining, based on a thorough knowledge of Austrian and Russian sources, it sharply revises traditional assumptions about the First World War' - Michael Howard.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Norman Stone is Professor at Bilkent University. He was Professor of Modern History at the University of Oxford from 1984-1997.

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5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von R. Albin am 2. Juli 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Despite the huge literature on WWI, there is little available on the Eastern Front. Published 25 years ago, this pioneering effort is still an excellent overview and as far as I know, the only readily accessible book on this subject. In one crucial respect, this book is head and shoulders above most overviews. Stone set out not only to describe the conflict on the Eastern Front but also to analyze the spectacular failure of the Russian war effort, leading ultimately to the Russian Revolution. Stone does a very good job of providing the important basic narrative and analyzing the causes of Russian failure. Prior to Stone's work, the leading hypothesis for Russian failure was the backwardness of the Russian economy. Stone makes a very strong case that the Russian economy was capable of supporting the war. He sees the Russian state as unable to provide the military, political, and economic leadership necessary to prosecute the war, leading to military failure and economic disaster. In the strictly military history aspects of the book, the recurring theme is the remarkable incompetence of the Russian military leadership. Stone wrote before the end of the Soviet state and this restricted his access to important sources. It is very likely that some of his specific points will be found to be wrong and corrected. On the other hand, it is not likely that his fundamental assessments are wrong.
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3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von T. Wilson am 18. Mai 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
When this book came out, it was indeed a refreshing view of the "Unknown War," as Winston Churchill termed it.
Stone's insight into the politics of the Russian armed forces and government, as well as some of the myths regarding ammunition shortages, went far to fill in a number of gaps in Great War historiography.
However, many of Stone's arguments have not stood up to the test of time; i.e, trying to paint Sukhomlinov as a reformer, when he was in fact an opportunist, and the dualistic depiction of the factionalism within the Russian officer corps is also overly simplistic.
Stone unfortunately gives short shrift to the development of military air power (something the Russians were far advanced in), and some his characterization of a number of Russian commanders as fools and idiots is simply unfair.
With the wealth of newer material now available from Russian archival sources (that in fairness were not available to Prof. Stone in the early '70s), it's time a newer version of this still understudied front be undertaken.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ramones 16 TOP 1000 REZENSENT am 6. Oktober 2014
Format: Taschenbuch
In diesem Herbst ist die "Urkatastrophe des Zwanzigsten Jahrhunderts" wieder in aller Munde - eine passende Gelegenheit, diesen "Klassiker", der meines Wissens leider nie auf Deutsch erschienen ist, zu rezensieren. Norman Stone, britischer Historiker, der u.a. in Oxford und Cambridge lehrte und jetzt an der Universität Istanbul tätig ist, hatte über sieben Jahre an diesem Buch gearbeitet, bevor es erstmals 1975 erschien. Sein Quellenstudium war ungewöhnlich intensiv, so verbrachte er alleine drei Jahre in Wien.
Die Anstrengungen haben sich gelohnt - "The Eastern Front 1914 - 17" ist das bis heute ungeschlagene Standardwerk zum Thema.

Auf 300 Seiten, gegliedert in 13 Kapitel, führt der Autor durch die zweitgrößte Front des Ersten Weltkriegs - Deutschland und Österreich Ungarn gegen das Russische Zarenreich und nach dem Kriegseintritt 1916 auch Rumänien. Das Buch beginnt mit einer kurzen Analyse der Jahre vor 1914 und endet mit der Russischen Revolution 1917. Trotz der relativ geringen Seitenanzahl gelingt es Stone dabei, umfassend Hintergründe aufzuzeigen, durch trockene statistische Analysen so manche "Mythen" zu widerlegen und teilweise überraschende Schlussfolgerungen zu ziehen.
So ist die "shell-crisis" in der Zarenarmee massiv überzeichnet worden, um von anderen, viel größeren Problemen abzulenken.
Die Eifersüchteleien zwischen Falkenhayn und Ludendorff trugen einen nicht geringen Anteil an den verspäteten Maßnahmen deutscherseits nach der für Österreich-Ungarn katastrophalen Brussilow-Offensive 1916. Es gab keine Lebensmittelkrise in Russland 1916/1917, sondern eine Transportkrise.
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Rusty Greenland am 8. Februar 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
Norman Stone writes with gravitas and wit. This book is refreshing in its analysis and narrative,, and sometimes startles the reader with its razor- sharp insights. The Eastern Front during WW1 is often given second place, if any place at all, in histories of WW1. This book will cause any reader who has relied on "Dr Zhivago" and Marxist nonsense for an interpretation of the events in Eastern Europe between 1914 and 1917 to do a "volte face". Aside from content and style, the book is well worth reading just to receive instruction in thinking from Professor Stone. This is the kind of professor you wish you'd had for all of your university classes. I finished this book hoping that PRofessor Stone would apply his interests to many other areas of history, such as the American Civil War and WW2.
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91 von 92 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Other Front 6. Juni 2003
Von T. Graczewski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
For most Americans, the First World War conjures up a single, brutal image: trench warfare along the western front in France. Tangles of barbed wire, machine gun nests, pockmarked no-man's-land, gas masks, stacks of mutilated cadavers, and mountains of expended artillery shells. The names Ypres, Flanders, Somme and Verdun are synonymous with horrifying and senseless slaughter of attrition. However, the western front and its "marquee" battles are just part of the story of the Great War.
Norman Stone's "The Eastern Front, 1914-1917" shines the light of history on the "other front," a theater of battle that is still somewhat shrouded in mystery over 80 years after the last gun fell silent. What is perhaps most striking about the eastern front is how dissimilar it was from the engagements in the west. Although it consumed as many lives as the conflagration in the west, the primary military failure in the east wasn't the failure to recognize and leverage the strength of a defensive posture, but rather a failure to effectively exploit the offensive. Whilst the French, British and Germans settled into a defensive war of attrition, the Germans, Austrians and Russians continued in a war of maneuver. The eastern front was twice as long as that in the west with about half the artillery and poor railway networks to efficiently shift reserves to threatened areas. The great battles of the east (today familiar only to those with a keen interest in military history) such as Tannenberg, Lodz, Riga, Gorlice-Tarnow, and the Brusilov offensive, were largely offensive victories. The attrition in the east was caused by inadequate transportation and exhausted troops trying to fully exploit the offensive opportunities, not the attrition of withering firepower experienced in the west.
It should be noted that the title (and cover) of this book is a bit misleading. This is a history of Tsarist Russia at war; it is not a history of the entire eastern theater. Major operations such as the central powers drive to crush Serbia in 1915, the multiple battles around Isonzo on the Italian/Austrian front, and the Entente's beach head at Salonika (to name just a few) are touched upon only tangentially. The narrative is delivered almost entirely from the Russian perspective.
Stone's central argument is that Russia was much better equipped to fight the First World War than it is traditionally given credit for. Its decisive weaknesses were not an inability to produce artillery shells in large numbers, the ineffectiveness of its peasant soldiers, or the economic backwardness of the nation as a whole. Rather, these explanations are simply "hard luck" stories created by the Russian military officers themselves to hide the real source of failure: incompetence and poor organization. The Tsarist army, Stone says, was crippled by a political schism in its officer corps. There were two mutually exclusive camps in the Russian Army: those officers (mostly of middle class origin) who sided with the reform-minded War Minister Sukhomlinov, and all those who opposed him (mostly the old aristocracy and cavalry elites). Stone notes that many Sukhomlinovite commanding generals would have anti-Sukhomnilov chiefs of staff with whom they were not on speaking terms. Or, in the case of Tannenberg, one general would be a Sukhomlinovite (Samsonov) and the other a bitter Sukhomlinov opponent (Rennenkampf). Under such conditions, Stone concludes, it was easier to blame Russian failures on material shortages and poor frontline soldier morale than their own incompetence and the acute political and organizational crisis gripping the army.
In closing, Stone's work offers a unique and authoritative perspective on a largely forgotten aspect of what has been called the defining experience of the 20th century. No World War I library is complete without "The Eastern Front."
41 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Still THE book on WWI's neglected Eastern Front 7. Juni 2001
Von James J. Bloom - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
It's hard to believe that after over a quarter of a century, Stone's book remains the sole "big picture" reference on the Russian end of WWI. Showalter's Tannenberg concentrates on that campaign and few, if any, authors have ventured to say much new about the mobile war far to the east of the Franco-Belgian trench lines. Stone did not take the opportunity to update his classic for this Penguin re-issue. The book's structure could be more rigorous, as it tends to be a bit fragmented. However, Stone's analysis is penetrating. He doesn't simply hop from battle to battle but provides good coverage of economic and industrial factors underlying the campaigns. Thus, this book is still well worth consulting. It looks as though Hew Strachan's new three-volume treatment of the War will pay more attention to the East, but the first volume only runs to the end of 1914 and it may be some time before we see the succeeding entries.
For the price, Stone provides plenty of data, backed by solid footnotes (though he didn't have access to ex-Soviet archives now available).
44 von 47 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Slow Read but Excellent 27. November 2005
Von J. Robinson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
The book is written by a Cambridge and Oxford history scholar and professor Norman Stone and is perhaps the best single book on the Eastern Front during WWI. From reading the book it is easy to understand the author's enthusiasm for the subject when we see his degree of knowledge on the subject and all the details. Clearly the book was a work of love by the author.

Although the book is just a 300 page paperback it is not a quick light read. There are 300 pages of main text and 20 pages of sources notes on four basic subjects, i.e.; introduction to the politics and war preparation, the military battles (which is the majority of the book), Russian economics, and finally a short section on the Russian revolution of 1917. As I said it is not a quick read; it took me over three weeks to read and some parts I had to read twice. Some parts were excellent for inducing sleep - especially all those Polish names and Russian Generals. Having said that some parts are slow, one can say that it is an excellent book.

The crux of the author's arguments is that fate of the war on the Eastern Front was decided by poor Russian management of its economic resources along with a highly fractured and disorganized armed forces, not by and fundamental negative Russian economic factors. This poor Russian effort was further complicated by a weak infrastructure - especially railroads - in an otherwise fast growing Russian economy. Also, the Russians failed to recruit in large numbers, failed to keep pace with modern military developments, lacked officers in numbers, had poor training, and failed to develop good leadership, wasted many available resources, suffered from poor moral especially among the lower ranks, and in general failed to coordinate and properly plan military actions as for example between ground troops and artillery.

During the years 1906 to 1914 the Russians spent enough money to cause worry in Germany outspending Germany in some years, but the money was not spent wisely (examples were too many fortress guns and too much cavalry) and there were still basis problems in the character and structure of Russian forces including the officers and both the tactical and strategic planning. The Russians did have a few successes as we read, but not enough.

The first 43 pages is what I call part one and it covers various introductions by the author - with an update in 1997 - and then the military build up to the war including an economic and military analysis of Russia and to a lesser extent Germany and Austria in the period 1900 to 1914. By 1914 the war was already brewing among the different European colonial powers and is triggered by the assassination of Austrian Archduke Ferdinand visiting Sarajevo on Sunday June 28, 1914. Initially it is a war between Austria and Serbia but it quickly evolved to include the central powers of Germany, Austria, and Hungary against the so called "Entente" or other European powers including France, Russia, and Britain and its colonies. In August the German generals realizing that they are outnumbered strike deeply into France following the Schlieffen Plan, an attempt to land a quick knock out punch to France, with the intent of defeating France and then sending troops to Russia. But there the plan falters. Tthe German armies turned south before Paris in violation of the Schlieffen Plan exposing their western flank and they are stopped at the Marne. Then the First World War becomes trench warfare on the short Western Front in the fields of north eastern France. Far to the east we read of a series of battles on the Eastern Front over a longer and more complex geographic area of fields, forests, lakes, and mountains. The battles in the east are primarily in and around Warsaw, both to the north and to the south, but eventually cover the whole region to a line from Riga to the Carpathian mountains and Serbia, and eventually to Romania.

The second part about 150 plus pages is the hardest to read and the author attempts to guide us through each and every major Austrian and German battle with Russia, including the early battles in Poland, the winter actions, the retreat back towards Kiev, the Romanian invasion, etc. He goes into great detail and gives the names of all the Polish towns and rivers, and the many of the German and Russian generals. This was the slow read part of the book. He explains the actions with the help of a series of 10 maps (clear but small print) that show the detailed movement of armies, groups, divisions, etc. He explains who won what battle, why, and how, and how its impact on moral, future fights, politics, etc. He discusses artillery, forts, river crossings, supplies, shells, cavalry, movement by rail, food, prisoners, casualties, prisoners, moral, plans, tactics, etc. In all cases he gives lengthy detailed summaries of the various military leaders and their interactions and management.

We learn of the Russian General Brusilov and his many brilliant victories against German and Austrian troops, a sort of WWI Moshe Dyan but without tanks. In general both sides have mixed results, but the more powerful Russians are sent into a retreat by the better managed but smaller German army supported by their excellent rail system.

The next section covers the Russian economy, war production, economics, Russian finances, military recruiting, etc. This gives many insights into the state of the Russian fighting forces and economics up to 1916. By 1916 the economy is in trouble with high inflation, poor management, country to city migration, and the pressure of the war debt. This leads eventually to the broadly supported revolution of early 1917.

The final part is very brief but covers the lead up to the 1917 revolution mainly from an economics perspective, and then the author summarizes the take over of power by the Bolsheviks in late 1917 as the revolution of early 1917 leaves a power vacuum.

All in all an excellent read and impressive summary of this part of the war, especially on the economics, and he covers each and every battle.

Recommend highly 5 stars.
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Sweeping, but a little scattered... 25. Juli 2004
Von N. Dubeski - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This is a classic book on the Russian war effort in 1914-1916. The title is misleading because the events of 1917 are not dealt with, and Stone implies they are of little importance. The maps are not that helpful. Despite his tremendous use of detail, the details are uneven, mentioning the names of army commanders at arbitrary points but not at others. Stone is at his best when he is revealing how the failings of Russian strategy, tactics, logistics, and weaponry were products of the faulty and skewed organization of Tsarist Russia, with many institutions being in effect autocephalous, not properly set up in the chain of command. This book is best seen as a rejoinder to the books on the Russian army that Stone despises as being too technocratic and concerned with weight of fire, and those that suggest the Russian army was too backward. Yet, because Stone does not go into any depth to cover the weapons introduced during the war, the Russian Imperial Air Service, how the Russians read the German naval codes, the Russian experiments with armored vehicles (including a giant tricycle and the halftracks), the magnificent Sikorsky four-engine bomber, how the Russians informed their Western allies how to use hexamine to improve their gas masks, their use of massive bon fires to raise up German gas clouds in August 1915 at the fortress of Osowiec (which the Germans then used at Loos in September 1915, and the Russian trench obstacle of "Spanish Riders" and multiple trenches used at their defeat at Gorlice-Tarnow in May 1915, Stone in some respects undermines his own efforts. He wanted to show how the Russian war effort was more interesting and more advanced than many historians gave it credit, but he does not always succeed. He goes into wonderful detail about how the Russians had a great artillery fuze and had delays in producing it, but goes into no detail at all about Russian weapons in general, apart from his repeated demonstrations that the artillery and the infantry were not organized to work together. He criticizes General Golovin's account of Russia not having enough artillery shells, and for having insufficient munitions in general, but he fails to mention how Golovin advanced the teaching of staff officers, and that Golovin's book on the Russian army was incredibly insightful as well on the matters Stone is most interested in, namely organization, institutional accountability, logistics, and the war effort of the home front. By ignoring Russia's genuine achievements, Stone in effect strengthens the thesis of those he is trying to refute.
I have to say this is a wonderful book. It is required reading for anyone interested in the Russian army of 1914-1916, but it gives insufficient information about the Eastern Front of 1914-1918. One of several lasting contributions Stone makes is to show how the Tsarist army of the war was divided in many factions, with many of the officers later serving in the Red Army.
22 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Detailed, but not quite the book that I thought it would be 25. September 2007
Von Utah Blaine - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
I bought this book believing it to be a concise, scholarly account of the combat on the Eastern Front during the Great War. If this is the type of book you are looking for, I suggest that you carefully read this and other reviews. The title of this book is somewhat misleading as this is really a book about the Russian war time economy, it's relationship to the fighting on the Eastern Front, and how military, political, and economic events lead to the collapse of the Russian army and the Revolution in 1917. Some of the other reviews explain this in more detail (I'm not going to repeat it), but check them out before you buy. If this is in fact what you are looking for, I would highly recommend this book. This is NOT a balanced account of the military campaigns of 1914-1917 in spite of the title. If you are looking for a general military history, keep searching. Stone has some surprising, but well documented, conclusions. His most important is, I believe, the fact that in economic terms, Russia was not the backward economy that is commonly believed. He also claims that, contrary to many Western observers at the time, there was no value to the notion that the West (i.e. Britain and France) could have more effectively utilized supplies wasted in the quagmire in France by shipping them to Russia. Russia's military problems in the Great War had less to do with purely economic issues like delivery of shells and rifles, but more with bureaucratic and political rivalries in the government and military that created inertia and needless internal competition. There is a great deal of information about the military campaings from the German/Austrian side, but this is definitely not the focus of the book. One thing really annoyed me about Stone's writing style. He tries to insult virtually every major participant on all sides. You'ld think after reading Stone's account that everyone (Germans included) were almost totally incompetent (maybe they were?). One final point, this is definitely a scholarly work, it is dense and filled with information. I can only recommend this to the most serious student of the era.
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