- Gebundene Ausgabe: 272 Seiten
- Verlag: The History Press Ltd (1. August 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 075249144X
- ISBN-13: 978-0752491448
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 15,2 x 2,5 x 22,9 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 420.014 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Ten Days in August: The Siege of Liege 1914 (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. August 2014
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Terence Zuber was a U.S. Army infantry officer from 1970 to 1990. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for counter-espionage operations. His other books include The Battle of the Frontiers and The Real German War Plan 1904-14, and he has written numerous articles for War in History, History Today, and Intelligence and National Security. He lives in New Martinsville, West Virginia.
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I had a hard time reading this book. I wish more attention had been given organization and presentation of the topic. The detailed accounts could have been shown in conjunction with geographical and chronological templates to ease understanding and make the presentation less dense. I concur with comments on the B&W maps; superposition on a screened topographic background would have helped, as well as consistent use of graphic map index.
Zuber’s claim to fame is his refutation of the Schlieffen Plan, and since then his works have focused on providing details on the 1914 campaign in France. I suspect he attempting to systematically document the actual German war plan (as fought) was a far cry from the Schlieffen Plan mythos.
The book covers the first ten days of the German invasion of Belgium in exacting (down almost to the individual platoon level) detail. The reader will end up getting lost in the scatter-shot detail as the German & Belgium forces descend into the inevitable "fog of war". That said, both the strengths and weaknesses of the forts are revealed as well as the effectiveness of both the Belgium fortress guns and the German siege guns.
Some critical points to note if you read this book:
1) Gun/shell diameters are mostly done in centimeters. The rule is 2.54 cm. = 1 in. and 10 mm. / cm. So as an average a 21 cm. gun = an 8 inch gun. The Austrian 30.5 cm is about 12 in. & the German 42 cm. is about 16.5 in. ...
2) Field guns were all about 3 inches: The French 75 and the German 77 are both in play here. (The British 18-pounder, while not engaged in this battle, was a bit larger in diameter, but, like the French 75 & German 77, was also horse drawn with a very quick fire capability.)
3) Many of the new(er) guns had recoil springs and breaks in order to allow them to remain (somewhat) stable during firing. They also had metal shields to protect the gunners from counter-battery fire (shrapnel) and small arms fire. Additionally, they had a rear loading breach that allowed the gunners to remain behind the gun 's shield. This breach also greatly improved upon the force exerted by the propellent charge! Most of these guns had a screw design breach (as the sliding block breach that we see today was just in its infancy & not generally available at this time).
4) Machine guns and rifles were all operating at the .30 caliber ( 0.30 of an inch). The Mauser K98 had an 8mm bore & the French Lebel was also 8mm. As a comparison The US Springfield was .30 caliber & the British Lee-Enfield was .303 caliber. All were very close in design, firepower, and range. The machine guns of the era almost all used the same ammunition. (As an aside, the Soviet Union's AK-47 in 1946 used a 7.62mm cartridge, i. e. a .30 caliber bullet!)
The failings of the Belgium forts were many, but the most glaring ended up to be obsolescence of design, material, & gunnery. In the German side, the advances in heavy gun design were telling!
PS. For the armchair reader who wants a less (super) detailed story of what happened, I would suggest "The Guns of August", which is also available on Kindle.