Cover image for The defeat of imperial Germany, 1917-1918
The defeat of imperial Germany, 1917-1918
Paschall, Rod, 1935-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 1989.
Physical Description:
xvii, 247 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D530 .P38 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The Defeat of Imperial Germany, 1917-1918 by Rod Paschall is the first volume in the Major Battles and Campaigns series under the general editorship of John S. D. Eisenhower. Designed for the "armchair strategist," this book offers striking proof of the inaccuracy of the conventional depiction of the trench warfare of the First World War, in which commanding generals are seen as mediocre and unimaginative, having stubbornly sent hundreds of thousands of troops over the top to be mowed down by the lethal weaponry of modern war. Paschall builds a compelling case that the generals on both sides invented ingenious new strategies that simply failed in the context of a war of attrition. In a series of vivid analyses of successive offenses, Paschall describes the generals' plans, how their plans were aimed at dislodging the entrenched enemy and restoring maneuver and breakthrough on the Western Front, and what happened when the massed soldiery under their command sought to carry out their orders. Though these strategies and tactics largely failed at the time, they would prove successful when implemented twenty years later during World War II. Dozens of photographs, many never before published, as well as theater and battlefield maps help make The Defeat of Imperial Germany, 1917-1918 an outstanding and original contribution to the body of knowledge of the Great War.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The first volume in a new series designed for "armchair strategists," Paschall's book features attractive photographs and excellent maps. Focusing on the defeat of Germany on the Western Front after 1917, Paschall argues that the strategies and tactics developed by the military leadership on both sides were ingenious but failed because of the nature of the war of attrition. In sharp contrast to the conventional interpretations that viewed the general as mediocer and callous, the author sees their strategies and tactics as portents of WW II when they were successful. He has few heroes and villains and he has written a judicious and sympathetic account of both sides of the battlefield. The best chapter is on the German offensive of 1918 although Americans will probably take some exceptions to his views of US forces. The book is written in a lively style without the usual academic footnotes but with a small bibliographic essay. Designed for general readers, experts and advanced students will also find it useful. -E. L. Homze, University of Nebraska--Lincoln