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With the Kaiser's Army in 1914 (Hardback)

A Neutral Observer in Belgium & France

Military WWI > By Year > 1914

By Sven Hardin
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 517
ISBN: 9781783463183
Published: 31st May 2014
Last Released: 22nd May 2014



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In 1914 Swedish professor, writer, illustrator and adventurer Sven Hedin was granted a car and escort and given a comprehensive tour of the German Armies fighting in Belgium and France during September and October 1914. Hedin was given unfettered access to German armies and leadership. The resulting book, With the German Armies in the West, was quickly finished and published, originally in Swedish, in 1914 then swiftly translated and printed in early 1915 by John Lane of The Bodley Head Press, London, at a time when the events described in the book were still fresh.

During his battle-front tour, Hedin took the opportunity to roam around the Army's rear areas and to visit the frontline trench network. In the process he conducted many interviews, ranging from ordinary German privates to the most senior commanders and also with British and French POWs. He was an artist of great skill and was allowed to sketch many scenes depicting German infantry, cavalry, logistics and artillery batteries. He also documented the condition of post-August 1914 Belgium and described the situation in a very different light to the febrile tones of most neutral sources.

This invaluable study of the Kaiser's Army in the early stages of the First World War is a great addition to the literature of the Great War providing a rare glimpse into the German Army of 1914.

It is a work with vibrancy, colour, feeling and authenticity. The words flow and do not drag at any point.


This is a marvelous book and it takes the Allied Forces reader into a new world.

Barton upon Humber in the Great War

About Sven Hardin

Sven Hardin was a Swedish professor, writer, illustrator, adventurer and also a renowned Germano-phile. On the outbreak of the Great War he requested, and was given, complete unrestricted access to visit the German armies fighting in France and Belgium. As a trusted neutral with a strong academic reputation he spent a remarkable amount of time with the German leadership including most of the Corps commanders in the field and was even granted an audience with Kaiser Wilhem II. The resulting book, With the German Armies in the West, was quickly finished and published, originally in Swedish in 1914, then swiftly translated into English in early 1915.

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