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The Great War: Third Volume, The Original German Plan and Its Culmination


The Great German Plan is now referred to as the Schlieffen Plan. The Three volume of the Great War are unique because they were researched and written as events happened, making these almost (almost) primary-source perspectives. From the author: The Great German Plan of Campaign! For years it had he,en the object of anxious speculation. I ts existence had lurked in the background of the imagination like a vague, but stupendous. apparition. There were indications that beneath the peaceful surface of German society dwelt a latent, unfathomable force which could be invoked to action in accordance with a mysterious design with results that would baffle all human prevision. There as a dim consciousness of the existence of a power which could instantaneously galvanize the whole outward machinery of life with a terrible, frenzied energy. Often at night the great square block of the building of the General Staff with all its windows illuminated stood out in striking con­trast to the deep shadows of the quiet Tiergarten, Ii k a great factory working overtime. Whoever is familiar with German method and thoroughness can conceive how laboriously provisions were perfected in anticipation of every emergency. The general outline may have been some individual’s flash of inspiration, or the complex product of the sagacity of a group of eminent authorities. But just as a building is erected gradually brick by brick in accordance with the architect’s design, so the general ideas for hypothetical campaigns were diligently worked out and elaborated in every detail by a vast num­ber of individual contributions, ranging in scope from the comprehensive treatises of a General von der Goltz, embodying mature reflections based upon a lifelong experience, down to the myriad of petty dissertations, mono­graphs, and articles written by students and young aspiring officers. Military science had become an obsession in Germany. About seven hundred books were added to the literature on the subject every year.

696 pages

Categories: All Books, World War II


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