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Lossberg's War: The World War I Memoirs of a German Chief of Staff

by Fritz von Lossberg edited by David T. Zabecki and Dieter J. Biedekarken foreword by Holger H. Herwig

Availablecloth$65.00s 978-0-8131-6980-4
AUSA Books - Foreign Military Studies
480 pages  Pubdate: 09/15/2017  6 x 9  13 b&w photos, 10 maps

General Fritz von Lossberg (1868–1942) directed virtually all the major German defensive battles on the Western Front during the First World War. Hailed as “the Lion of the Defensive,” he was an extremely influential military tactician and, unlike many other operations officers of his era, was quick to grasp the changes wrought by technology.

Now available for the first time in English, Lossberg’s memoir explains how he developed, tested, and implemented his central principles—flexibility, decentralized control, and counterattack—which were based on a need to adapt to shifting conditions on the battlefield. Lossberg first put his theory of elastic defense combined with defense-in-depth into practice during the Battle of Arras (April–May 1917), where it succeeded. At the Battle of Passchendaele (June–November 1917), his achievements on the field proved the feasibility of his strategy of employing a thinly manned front line that minimized the number of soldiers exposed to artillery fire. Lossberg’s tactical modernizations have become essential components of army doctrine, and Lossberg’s War: The World War I Memoirs of A German Chief of Staff will take readers inside the mind of one of the most significant military innovators of the twentieth century.

Major General David T. Zabecki, USA (Ret.), is the author or editor of many books, including Germany at War: Four Hundred Years of Military History and The Schlieffen Plan: International Perspectives on the German Strategy for World War I. He was a distinguished visiting professor at the US Naval Academy. He is an honorary senior research fellow in the War Studies Programme at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

Lieutenant Colonel Dieter Biedekarken, USA (Ret.),
is coeditor of Order in Chaos: The Memoirs of General of Panzer Troops Hermann Balck, 1893–1948.

This is an essential work for anyone seriously studying military operations during World War I or for those interested in the Germany Army and staff system. -- NYMAS Review

Military historians and enthusiastic readers of military strategy will devour this book. -- New York Journal of Books

This book is a work of detail and scholars can now envision the campaigns and battles of the First World War from a high-level German perspective. This book belongs on the shelf of every scholar of the Western Front. -- Journal of Military History

Thanks to the herculean feat of translation and editing, [this book] is available to the entire Anglophone audience—and what a valuable piece of work this is for all who study the Great War. Make no mistake about it, the appearance of this book is one of the most significant Great War publishing events of the year. It deserves to be on the shelf of every serious student of this titanic conflict. -- Stand To!

This memoir is arguably the best of its genre: objectively presented, seeking explanations as opposed to assigning blame, eschewing the backbiting and recriminations that increasingly permeated the German high command as defeat loomed ever larger. -- Michael Neiberg, author of Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I

David Zabecki brings a lifetime of real military experience as well as deep understandings of Germany, command, staff work, and World War I, among other topics. He has worked in the archives at Freiburg more often than probably any other non-German and can therefore place Lossberg in the widest historical context. -- Dennis Showalter, author of Instrument of War: The German Army 1914–18