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The German Army Handbook of 1918 (Hardback)

Military > Frontline Books > Frontline: WWI WWI > By Year > 1918

By David Nash, Introduction by James Beach
Frontline Books
Pages: 196
ISBN: 9781844157112
Published: 18th February 2008



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Compiled by British Intelligence, for restricted official issue by the General Staff, German Army Handbook of April 1918, is a comprehensive assessment of the German Army during the latter stages of the First World War. Illustrated throughout with plates, diagrams, charts, tables and maps, it provides a detailed breakdown of the army, covering all aspects from recruiting and training, mobilization, command and organisation, weapons and signals to transportation, medical and veterinary services, and uniform. The German Army Handbook of 1918 was a remarkable achievement. It provides solutions to many questions that histories of the First World War and acounts of its battles are unable to answer. It shows how the static conventions of trench warfare usurped the traditional role of cavalry, and how the German Army were able to take advantage of the dominance of the machine-gun on the Western Front in 1915. There are also two maps, showing Army Corps Districts, and Zones of Administration and Lines of Command in June 1917.

Fascinating reference points at the rear of the book incorporates conventional signs used to represent artillery units, a map of the Army Corps Districts in Germany, Shoulder strap badges of the different Infantry Regiments.  There are also excellent photographs of German soldiers forming different elements as contained in the book, including an infantry private in marching order, infantry uniforms, a cavalry section, pioneers, as well as different artillery guns.

The handbook, as stated by Beach, 'stands as a testimony to the development of the intelligence system during the First World War. What makes this handbook have further importance is that, in comparison to the Second World War, the number of similar works during the First World War remains more limited.

Jon Sandison, Freelance

The information is every bit as valuable today to historians as it was to the British military 90 years ago.

Over the Front Magazine (US) May 2009
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