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The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. Februar 2011

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

“Makes vivid the full tragedy of what the Marne set in motion.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“A thoroughly informed panorama of the immense and bloody campaign that kicked off World War I.”—The Washington Times

“As fine an addition to scholarly World War I literature as has been seen in some time.”—Booklist

“[An] engrossing narrative . . . Herwig combines colorful evocations of the horrors of the fighting with a lucid operational history of the campaign.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“The commanders you’ll encounter in The Marne, 1914 aren’t familiar names to most people today, but their mistakes, fears and courage make them excellent dramatic characters.”—The Oregonian
 
“Meticulous research and solid writing.”—North County Times

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Holger H. Herwig holds a dual position at the University of Calgary as professor of history and as Canada Research Chair in the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies. He has published more than a dozen books, including the prize-winning The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918 and (with Richard F. Hamilton) The Origins of World War I.


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Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Diese Rezension, auf deutsch, da bei "Amazon.de" erscheinend, bezieht sich auf das Buch "The Marne 1914 - the opening of world war I and the battle that changed the world", welches in englischer Sprache vorliegt.
Anfang August 1914 setzten sich die Männer der ersten und zweiten deutschen Armee während eines glühend heißen Jahrhundert-Sommers in Bewegung, um in ungeheuren Tages- und auch Nachtmärschen die Armeen Frankreichs und Englands auszumanövrieren und in einer Umfassungs-Schlacht zu besiegen. Alle deutschen Planungen, Vorbereitungen, Entscheidungen und Risikonahmen hatten (alternativlos!) diese eine Entscheidungsschlacht zum Ziel. Jedoch, aller Anfangserfolge der ersten 4 Wochen zum Trotz, war das strategische Ziel der deutschen Armee nach 6 Wochen verfehlt. Wie kam es dazu? Das vorliegende Buch von Holger H. Herwig stellt eine Antwort auf diese Frage in Aussicht.
Ist es für den Nicht-Fachmann überhaupt relevant, sich mit einer einzelnen Serie von militärischen Ereignissen des ersten Weltkrieges zu beschäftigen?
Wenn man denn überhaupt bezüglich eines Einzelereignisses der neueren Geschichte von einer "historischen" Entscheidung sprechen will, dann verfügt die Marne-Schlacht über viele Kennzeichen, die eine solche Einordnung erlaubten. Zwar hat der tatsächliche Ausgang erst einmal eben nicht entschieden und der Krieg wurde von den Alliierten erst im Laufe von mehr als 4 Jahren bei wachsender militärischer und wirtschaftlicher Überlegenheit gewonnen, aber ein deutscher Sieg in dieser ersten großen Schlacht an der Westfront hätte möglicherweise relativ früh einen anderen Ausgang des Weltkrieges nach sich gezogen.
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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen 41 Rezensionen
59 von 67 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen A useful reference work 9. Dezember 2009
Von J. Scarborough - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
It is easy to write a positive review of a book, it is far more difficult to offer meaningful criticism. I had eagerly awaited Holger Herwig's new book, "The Marne, 1914," as there has been much recent research I hoped to see distilled in a comprehensive account of the campaign.

The book contains a more detailed overview of the German III Army operations on the Meuse and of the German VI Army operations in Lorraine and against Nancy than has been presented previously.

However, I found Herwig's writing style to be dense and his arguments hard to follow. In the prolog (on page xii), he argues the Marne Campaign to be the most decisive land battle since Waterloo. But in the epilogue (on page 319), he concludes, "the great tragedy of the Marne is that it was strategically indecisive." The thread connecting these two arguments is missing.

You don't always know what Herwig is arguing, but you do know what he argues against, but not always why.

Herwig dismisses recent controversy over the Schlieffen plan in one paragraph (on Page 40) that seems to boil down to, "everyone knows there was Schlieffen plan."

Herwig does not examine tactical actions or training for either side, nor does he look and low-level tactical action on the battlefield, but none-the-less dismisses assertions of the superiority of German tactical training and doctrine (on page 214). His dismissal is based on the failure of the German attacks around Nancy in Lorraine during September. Zuber had made the claim based on his evaluation of combat in the Ardennes in August.

Herwig presents casualty figures for the campaign (pages 315-316), but not in a format that allows an apples-to-apples comparison. Mosier, in the "Myth of the Great War," showed the Germans took two casualties for every five the Allies (Britain & France) took. Both argue that artillery ruled the Marne battlefields, but neither demonstrate how heavy artillery was effectively used during the maneuver battles of the Marne campaign. Remember, radios were not used tactically, and it is hard to string wire for communication during a meeting engagement.

I disliked Herwig's recycling of the US Army WW1 Atlas maps - mapping prepared especially to support Herwig's text could have been useful and enlightening.

This book will be a useful reference on the Marne campaign, but for a good summary I recommend readers' go with Tyng's venerable, "The Campaign of the Marne,1914" or Strachan's Volume I, "To Arms." Both are referenced extensively in Herwig's book.
40 von 45 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen The Battle of the Marne in great detail 5. Dezember 2009
Von Steven Peterson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
World War I began with both sides sensing great victory in a short period of time. Germany faced the more delicate strategic situation. Russia was mobilizing to the East and France and Germany to the West; Germany could not divide its forces and hope to triumph along both fronts. Germany made the following calculation: if it used the bulk of its forces against France, using the Schlieffen Plan (invading through Belgium) and achieved a quick victory, it could send spare forces to the East to defeat Russia. France's plan was massive attack against Germany and through boldness achieve a quick victory. Of course, as we know from history, World War I was a slow bloodletting lasting for years. No quick victory happened.

This book is enriched by many German records becoming available from what was once East Germany after reunification. These records add considerable new information to the telling of this story. Another useful feature of this book is the description of key figures, giving a human dimension to the massive battles, involving armies of hundreds of thousands of soldiers each. Generals such as French, Joffre, Moltke, Lanrezac, Bulow, Foch become human rather than just cardboard characters. Given that the human frailty of some of these generals was crucial (lack of nerve, too much aggressiveness, or just the right touch of aggressiveness and caution) was often a key variable in battle, this helps make sense of the action.

The book takes a largely chronological view. It begins by outlining strategic vision of the various actors. For France, the disastrous outcome of the Franco-Prussian War weighed heavily. Germany, aware of the forces that would be arrayed against its armies, developed a plan for rapid mobilization and rapid movement of troops to the offensive (the Schlieffen Plan). As war came closer--and actually began with the aftereffects of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand--the book outlines the moves as they occurred. In the process, some myths are rejected (such as the idea that the war was something of an accident, with people not realizing the consequences of their actions). The nature of the armies by all parties are described, from army to cavalry (I was surprised to see how effective cavalry were during the first part of World War I) to artillery to airplanes.

The development of actual movement of forces and battles quickly began to depart from the careful plans of both the French and the Germans. The book demonstrates that many fights were chance engagements. Others allowed parties to prepare, as airplanes could detect enemy movements (sometimes) far away and provide valuable intelligence. The movement of forces leading to the Battle of the Marne are described in much detail (sometimes I lost track of which army was where), including the massive casualty lists that developed. We see the sometimes testy relationships among generals on both sides.

One wish: better maps. There are maps provided, but many maps are not as clear as they could be; the font is awfully small in some maps (making it hard for someone like me to read). Nonetheless, these do help.

All in all, if one wants to get a detailed sense of this monster battle, this is a good book to look at.
14 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Faulty Command & Control Doomed the Schlieffen Plan 9. April 2010
Von R. A Forczyk - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
There have been a great many books written about the Battle of the Marne in September 1914, so why you ask do we need one more? Professor Holger H Herwig's narrative of the battle seeks to diverge from the standard Anglo-French historiography of the battle and look at it from the German perspective (i.e. more on how the battle was lost, rather than how it was won). His primary hypothesis about the root cause of the German defeat is that faulty command and control (C2) techniques - including poor leadership in key positions - doomed the so-called Schlieffen Plan. It is a good hypothesis which the professor does an effective job of supporting, although he does not mention that there are competing hypotheses, such as Martin van Creveld's well-argued Supplying War (1977), which shows that the Schlieffen Plan was logistically unsound. Other hypotheses argue that von Moltke, the Chief of the German General Staff, doomed the Schlieffen Plan by excessive operational changes. Herwig also provides value-added content by incorporating documents gleaned from recently-released archives in former East Germany, although this represents only a tiny portion of his supporting evidence. Overall, the strength of Herwig's The Marne 1914 is as a fine analysis of command and control failure at the operational-level.

Unfortunately, there are a number of irksome qualities about this book, beginning with the awful maps copied from the West Point Atlas of WW1. It is extremely difficult to follow unit movements or actions on these maps (e.g. von Gronau's impressive spoiling attack on the Ourq River that robbed Joffre's counterstroke of surprise and Third Army's night bayonet attack that threw Foch's Ninth Army back (the map shows only some arrows, but no indication where the corps and divisions the author mentions were located). While there are some first-person accounts incorporated, overall the author's battle narrative is rather sterile and difficult to follow. He also put me off at the beginning when he stated that the "Battle of the Marne" was not just about the actions fought on the outskirts of Paris, but about the entire campaign fought between 1 August and 10 September 1914. His early chapters on the frontier battles seem to distract from his main hypothesis and then once the action heats up around Paris he simply drops coverage of Alsace-Lorraine. Finally, the author never really gets into the nuts and bolts of military doctrine, tactics or organization. When he claims that each German corps had 144 135-mm guns (in fact, the German Army had a total of only 4 13.5cm K09 guns in 1914), which would translate into over 4,000 13.5cm guns, it's easy to see that he has skimmed over important details. Instead, the author spends a great deal of time discussing German atrocities committed against civilians in Belgium - which again is not very germane to his hypothesis.

Professor Herwig is on firmer ground with the faulty C2 hypothesis. He points out that unlike the elder von Moltke in the successful 1870-71 France-Prussian War, the younger Moltke made no effort to get out of his headquarters in Luxembourg and spent the entire campaign hundreds of miles from the front. This "chateau generalship" could have been mitigated if Moltke had used telephones and couriers to keep in touch with his advancing armies, but Herwig does a good job pointing out how little the German army made use of the latest means of communication in 1914. Not only did Moltke not have reliable communications with each army, but the armies could barely communicate with their neighbors on each flank or with their subordinate corps. Finally, once the Allies began their counterattack on the Marne, the weakness of key commanders such as von Bulow aggravated the inability of Moltke to orchestrate the campaign. Some of this more a question of leadership rather than C2 per se. Overall, this a very well-argued hypothesis, but whether or not it was THE key reason why the German invasion failed is less certain. Van Creveld's hypothesis also demonstrated that the Germans simply could not effectively supply their armies outside Paris, while the French were fighting right next to their main supply base. Herwig also comments that the French commander, Joffre, relied on interior lines and railroads to shift troops to the Paris area to gain a numerical superiority at the critical point, while Moltke was relying on exterior lines and infantry marching on foot; this seems like a no-brainer at any military staff college, but apparently it never occurred to von Schlieffen or Moltke. In short, why were the Germans surprised that the French could quickly transfer troops to defend their capital? Another related reason for the German defeat that the author brings up, is that the Germans were surprised that the French still had the spirit to launch furious counterattacks after weeks of retreating - this suggests that the General Staff based too much of their planning on the enemy they fought in 1870, not the one they would face in 1914.

In the end, the author essentially concludes that the great German General Staff and a few key commanders suffered a mental melt-down on 6 September 1914 and robbed Imperial Germany of possible victory. He does not claim that German victory was inevitable if they had not retreated from Paris, but he does suggest that they might have at least walked away with some tactical victories on the Ourq and against Foch's 9th Army that could have left them in a better position for the fall campaigns. Perhaps.
19 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Truly the battle that changed the world 7. Dezember 2009
Von Theodore A. Rushton - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Awesome!

It's the fairest way to describe this book; an awesome portrait of utter trust and complete stupidity on an industrial mass production scale. It succinctly explains the emotion behind Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's statement, "I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."

Herwig explains why the five mellenia style of war in which commanders sent men into face-to-face combat while watching from positions where they could see the entire battlefield, ended on Nov. 11, 1918. By August 1914, war was industrialized; sadly, the intellect of commanders was far less than what Caesar or even Pharaoh Cheops would have recognized or accepted.

He has an eye for fine detail of the bloated or blasted corpses of horses and cows ... left in the sun as the German "gray machine of death" rolled forth. In a time without porta-potties, he quotes an American reporter for 'Colliers Weekly' magazine who wrote of "...a smell of which I have never heard mentioned in any book on war -- the smell of a half-million unbathed men, the stench of a menagerie raised to the nth power. That smell lay for days over every town through which the Germans passed."

These half-million men went into battle against like numbers of French soldiers, with senior commanders sometimes being out-of-touch with officers in the field for days at a time. Charles de Gaulle, a lieutenant when the war opened, later wrote, "Morally, the illusions behind which the soldiers had taken refuge were swept away in a trice."

It took years for this truth to sink into the outdated thinking of senior commanders; Herwig explains in chilling detail how vast masses of trusting soldiers eagerly went into the cauldron of death. In today's world, intelligence and communication are key elements; in World War I, courage and spirit of soldiers was considered all-important.

Herwig concludes "the great tragedy of the Marne is that it was strategically indecisive."

Perhaps. My view is the "great tragedy" is senior commanders who act without knowledge, which to me is the brilliant theme of this book. When faced with an obstacle, such bullet-headed commanders know of nothing better than to redouble their efforts to drive troops forward in a vain attempt to prove themselves right despite their complete ignorance of battlefield realities.

The industrial impact on war was obvious in the American Civil War of 1861-65; sadly, most military commanders never learned from this clear concise example. By outlining this battle and events leading up to it in careful detail, Herwign shows the folly of trusting faith, heritage and tradition to make up for the lack of intelligence, innovation and ingenuity.

This was truly the battle that changed the world, even though some military commanders still don't understand. Iraq, until the "surge" of 2007, is a recent example.

'The Marne, 1914' is an awesome collection of facts, some never before available. It explains the nature of the follies in which 10 million men died and 20 million were wounded, out of 60 million who served. That alone is an example of massive stupidity; Herwig concisely explains how such ignorance ruled the conduct of a war-to-end-all-wars.

In brief, "Awesome!"
14 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Eminently Readable, yet detailed account of the 1914 Battle 7. Dezember 2009
Von Writing Historian - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
I was impressed by the author's ability to weave together source material from English, French and German language sources. Too often English speaking historians limit their research to English language sources and a smattering of German or French accounts. Herwig has managed to combine these disparate (and sometimes contradictory) sources into an even-handed, comprehensive and seamless account of the Battle of the Frontiers, fighting in Belgium, and the first Battle of the Marne. While I have not been drawn to accounts of the First World War prior to this book, I am going to make it a point to keep an eye out for Herwig's work in the future. Highly recommended. One note - I do share the other reviewers concern about better maps.
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