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Germany’s Western Front

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

Mark Osborne Humphries and John Maker, editors


$95.00 Hardcover, 570 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-373-7

Release Date: September 2013

Hardcover edition is out of print.  

Order online and receive a 25% discount

$49.99 Paper, 570 pp.

ISBN13: 978-1-55458-500-7

Release Date: January 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.

Wilhelm J. Kiesselbach (translator) was born in Hamburg, Germany, where he completed a B.A. in English and journalism. After emigrating to the United States he was immediately drafted into the U.S. Army and spent seven years with Seventh Army Headquarters in Germany as translator and interpreter. For his service in Vietnam, he was decorated with the Army Commendation Medal and the Bronze Star.