Imperial Germany and War, 1871-1918

Daniel J. Hughes and Richard L. DiNardo

An in-depth, finely detailed portrait of the German Army from its greatest victory in 1871 to its final collapse in 1918, this volume offers the most comprehensive account ever given of one of the critical pillars of the German Empire—and a chief architect of the military and political realities of late nineteenth-century Europe.

Written by two of the world’s leading authorities on the subject, Imperial Germany and War, 1871–1918 examines the most essential components of the imperial German military system, with an emphasis on such foundational areas as theory, doctrine, institutional structures, training, and the officer corps. In the period between 1871 and 1918, rapid technological development demanded considerable adaptation and change in military doctrine and planning. Consequently, the authors focus on theory and practice leading up to World War I and upon the variety of adaptations that became necessary as the war progressed—with unique insights into military theorists from Clausewitz to Moltke the Elder, Moltke the Younger, Schlichting, and Schlieffen. Ranging over the entire history of the German Empire, Imperial Germany and War, 1871–1918 presents a picture of unprecedented scope and depth of one of the most widely studied, criticized, and imitated organizations in the modern world. The book will prove indispensable to an understanding of the Imperial German Army.

“Hughes and DiNardo provide a fine-grain portrait of the Imperial German Army from its greatest victory in 1871 to its final collapse in 1918. Written by two of the scholarly world’s leading authorities, it offers in-depth research into the German sources, judicious verdicts on men and events, and a breadth of vision greater than any previous work. It is an indispensable book that will dominate the narrative on the German Army for decades.”

—Robert M. Citino, author of The Wehrmacht’s Last Stand: The German Campaigns of 1944–1945

“Few institutions were more important to European history between 1871 and 1918 than the German army. This study provides a detailed analysis of how it responded to the rapid societal and political changes around it. No student of this period of Germany will want to miss it.”

—Michael S. Neiberg, author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I

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About the Author

Daniel J. Hughes is professor emeritus, United States Air Force Air War College. Richard L. DiNardo is professor of national security affairs, US Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the author of Germany and the Axis Powers: From Coalition to Collapse.

Additional Titles in the Modern War Studies Series