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Germany’s Western Front

Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1914, Part 1

Mark Humphries and John Maker, editors

Hardcover 580 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-373-7

Release Date: October 2013


Hardcover edition is out of print.  

Paper 580 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-500-7

Release Date: February 2014

Online discount: 25%

$49.99  $37.49


eBook availability

Selected by Choice (American Library Association) as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2014

This multi-volume series in six parts is the first English-language translation of Der Weltkrieg, the German official history of the First World War. Originally produced between 1925 and 1944 using classified archival records that were destroyed in the aftermath of the Second World War, Der Weltkrieg is the inside story of Germany’s experience on the Western front. Recorded in the words of its official historians, this account is vital to the study of the war and official memory in Weimar and Nazi Germany. Although exciting new sources have been uncovered in former Soviet archives, this work remains the basis of future scholarship. It is essential reading for any scholar, graduate student, or enthusiast of the Great War.

This volume, the second to be published, covers the outbreak of war in July–August 1914, the German invasion of Belgium, the Battles of the Frontiers, and the pursuit to the Marne in early September 1914. The first month of war was a critical period for the German army and, as the official history makes clear, the German war plan was a gamble that seemed to present the only solution to the riddle of the two-front war. But as the Moltke-Schlieffen Plan was gradually jettisoned through a combination of intentional command decisions and confused communications, Germany’s hopes for a quick and victorious campaign evaporated.

Mark Humphries is an assistant professor of history at Memorial University of Newfoundland where he teaches war and society and military history. His books include The Last Plague: Spanish Influenza and the Politics of Public Health (forthcoming) and The Selected Papers of Sir Arthur Currie (2008). His article “War’s Long Shadow: Masculinity, Medicine, and the Gendered Politics of Trauma, 1914—1939” won the 2010 Canadian Historical Review Prize.

John Maker received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Ottawa in 2010. He currently teaches for the Royal Military College and is a professional researcher in Ottawa, Ontario.


“This is history from the command level; the book contains an amazing amount of information.... With skillfully translated documents, italicized summaries tying the documentation together, enormously informative footnotes and citations, appendixes, and maps, this scholarly endeavor is not for general readers, but is a major contribution to WWI historiography. Professional and popular historians will ignore it and future volumes at their own risk. Summing Up: Essential.”

— C.L. Egan, formerly, University of Houston, CHOICE