- Taschenbuch: 96 Seiten
- Verlag: Osprey Publishing (26. September 1991)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1855321572
- ISBN-13: 978-1855321571
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 18,4 x 12,9 x 24,6 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 289.078 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Kaiserschlacht 1918: The Final German Offensive (Campaign, Band 11) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. September 1991
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On 21 March 1918 the Germans launched their last great offensive of World War I, code-named "Michael", but popularly known as "Kaiserschlacht" - the Emperor's Offensive. This book provides a detailed account of the campaign, including maps of the critical stages.
From a modeler's point of view, you should add Osprey's THE OTTOMAN ARMY 1914-1918 for a more complete vision of the turkish army.
This is one of the older books from the Osprey series, from a time when Osprey couldn't have produced a book on a German-on-German civil war without making it anglo-centristic. It also lacks, due to its date of publishing, the influx of the most recent historical research done on WW1, namely by John Mosier and Terence Zuber.
The fact remains it's focussing greatly on the British troops, to the detraction of the main subject. Way more than half of the illustrations and photographs it contains are of British soldiers, with the occasional German strewn in for good measure.
Lastly, the conclusions it arrives it have, for the most part, been proven inaccurate at best by recent historical reexamination of the subject matter (again, Mosier).
If you can get this cheap, get it for the basic summary of events it provides. Otherwise, get something else.
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“Campaign” series. As such, it is relatively short at only 96 pages. Also, of these 96 pages, very roughly, a third consist of illustrations of one type or another (i.e., maps, contemporaneous photographs, color plates of troops in battle dress and military vehicles, etc.) hence the text is even shorter. Thus, if one is looking for an in-depth academic treatise on the subject this is not the book. For what it is, however, it serves as a pretty good introduction, especially for the novice.
The book provides a very good (for the novice) introduction to the strategic situation, the state of both armies, what both sides were seeking to accomplish and how the battle played out. On the negative side, the book makes use of only secondary sources (at least these are the only ones listed in the bibliography), only English language sources are cited and there is nothing really novel regarding the analysis of the campaign. Most importantly, it leaves a very important question unasked. That is, how could this offensive possibly have succeeded given the constraints it was facing? To have succeeded the campaign required a quick blitzkrieg style yet, in 1918, this was not possible. Infantry was to slow to do this on foot (even if it did not end up exhausting itself in fighting). Given the existence of machine guns and artillery, even in the relatively light density found in “open” country instead of a trench environment, cavalry could never have made rapid progress. Tank and armoured car technology was such, especially in regard to tanks, these vehicles just could not go far without breaking down. Plus, the Germans had almost none anyway. Last but not least, it was difficult if not impossible to bring up the needed supplies to keep the offensive moving in a timely and rapid manner that could sustain the offensive. For all of these reasons this just seemed a campaign that was doomed to failure from its start.
In short, for the newbie, the book would rate a 4 star but for those over and above that level a three star.
The book has five 2D battle maps. Unfortunately, the maps are cluttered and not overly helpful. For example, some maps contain small blue boxes with numbers. Sadly, there is no corresponding key to know what the boxes mean. In contrast, the 3D BEV maps are uncluttered and very helpful. The book has a wide assortment of black and white photos. In many ways, the photos are the most beneficial part of the book. They cover a wide variety of topics that range from action photos, to prisoners of war, to the aftermath of an artillery bombardment. For example, there are pictures of German cavalry in action near St. Quentin. The book has several drawings of individual soldiers, aircraft, and tanks. These color images are helpful in providing an accurate image of equipment and uniforms.
Bottom line: the book has some positive elements. The photos are a definite plus and they bring the narrative to life. The writing style, however, is weak and the reader may struggle to follow the battle or even understand whether the author is talking about a German or British unit. All in all, this is a decent read which can be used to compliment other books on this campaign.