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Germany’s Western Front: 1914

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

Edited by Mark Humphries & John Maker
Subjects History, Military History, German Studies, Language Arts & Disciplines, Translation
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Paperback : 9781554585007, 580 pages, February 2014
Hardcover : 9781554583737, 580 pages, October 2013
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781554583959, 580 pages, October 2013

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Germany's Western Front: Translations from the German Official History of the Great War, 1914, Part 1 edited by Mark Osborne Humphries and John Maker

List of Maps, Sketches, and Figures




Part I: The Battle of the Frontiers in the West

1. Introduction

The Two-Front War and Comparison of Strengths

The Outbreak of War

The War's Duration and Economic Management

2. The Campaign Plan for the Western Front

The Historical Development of the Operative Idea

The Campaign Plan in 1914

3. The Deployment

The German Deployment in the West

Initial Border and Railway Security Operations in the West and the Occupation of Luxembourg

The Capture of Fortress Liège

The Strategic Reconnaissance

The Execution of the German Deployment in the West

4. The Beginning of Major Operations

The German OHL before the Start of the Advance

The Advance of the German Wheeling Wing, 18–20 August

The Right Wing (First, Second, and Third Armies)

5. The Battle of the Frontiers

The OHL before the Start of the Battle of the Frontiers

The Battles of Mons and Namur

The Operations of First, Second, and Third Armies on 21 August

The Operations of First, Second, and Third Armies on 22 August

Second and Third Armies, 23 August

The Capture of Namur

First Army's Operations on 23 and 24 August

The OHL during the Frontier Battles

6. The Pursuit

1. The Operations of the German Right Wing until 27 August

Second Army on 25 August

Third Army on 25 and 26 August

Second Army on 26 August

First Army's Pursuit of the British from 25 to 27 August

Second and Third Armies on 27 August

The OHL during the Pursuit-Operations to 27 August

7. Review

Part II: From the Sambre to the Marne

8. The OHL at the Beginning of the New Phase of Operations

9. Operations on the Meuse and Aisne

1. Third Army's Battle North of the Aisne, 28–30 August

2. The Operations of Third and Fourth Armies on the Aisne, 31 August and 1 September

10. The Operations of First and Second Armies to the Oise

1. The Operations of First Army on the Somme and Avre, 28–30 August

2. The Battle at St. Quentin

The Beginning of the Battle, 28 August

The Battle on the Right German Flank on 29 August

The Battle on the Left German Flank on 29 August

Continuation and Conclusion of the Battle on 30 August

11. The OHL, 29–30 August

12. The Pursuit by the German Right Wing to the Marne, 31 August-2 September

1. First Army's Crossing of the Oise (31 August)

2. Second Army's Halt (31 August)

3. First Army's Advance across the Aisne

4. Second Army's Advance on the Aisne

5. First Army's Pursuit Battle South of the Aisne

6. Second Army's Crossing of the Aisne

7. Third Army's Pursuit East of Reims

13. The OHL, 31 August–2 September

14. The Pursuit of the German Right Wing across the Marne on 3–4 September

1. First Army Crosses the Marne

2. Second Army's Advance towards the Marne

3. Third Army's Pursuit Battles up to the River Vesle

4. First Army's Operations South of the Marne

5. Second Army's Pursuit across the Marne

6. Third Army Reaches the Marne

15. The OHL, 3-4 September


Appendix 1

Comparison of the Organization of German, French, British, and Belgian Units

Appendix 2

The Strength of the Mutual Forces on the Western Front on 22 August 1914




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 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.


  • Choice - Outstanding Academic Title 2015


``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, CHOICE, May 2014