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Opinions on "Ring of Steel" by Alexander Watson

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  • Opinions on "Ring of Steel" by Alexander Watson

    Has anyone read "Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary at War, 1914-1918"? It lies infront of me on my desk, next to several other books I want to read, so it would be good to know if its worth the investment
    "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier" - Samuel Johnson

    "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?"

  • #2
    Judging by the blather on amazon.co.uk, he's a good historian and the book has been well received in the press and by purchasers. However, I'm surprised there isn't a similar publication in German.

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    • #3
      I try to avoid current German publications about WW1. Despite some notably exceptions, these are all highly left-wing politicized... British and American publications are mostly much more objective, which is somehow funny
      "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier" - Samuel Johnson

      "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?"

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      • #4
        The Austrians too, or are they just seen as Germans? Thanks for that - it's not the aspect of the historigraphical debate we're exposed to in the Anglo world. The French have some useful works, though my French is somewhat rusty and weak..

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        • #5
          The book was discussed briefly today by Professor Bill Phillpot (kings) and Professor Stephen Badesly (Wolverhampton) at the Study Day " Winter 1915/16 The Hinge of the War" The view was that it's in general very good especially when it comes to the war on the Eastern Front but its a bit inconsistent and unsound on the Somme (Bill Phillpot is the author of Bloody Victory and somewhat of an authority on the various battles of the Somme - especially where French involvement is concerned).
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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          • #6
            These study days are. not recorded. I think the logic is people are not going to be willing to travel the distances involved and fork out £20 if they know they can stay at home and watch it on U tube for free.

            Whilst they are in theory open to anyone to come if one is not on Phylomena Badsey's list one doesn't get to hear about them so there is an element of "by invitation"
            Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
            Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

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            • #7
              Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
              The Austrians too, or are they just seen as Germans? Thanks for that - it's not the aspect of the historigraphical debate we're exposed to in the Anglo world. The French have some useful works, though my French is somewhat rusty and weak..
              The Austrians are mostly portrayed as weak, with the driving force, the Germans, behind them. Much of the German writing focuses on these aspects.. who started the war, who was responsible etc. However, not on the aspects how it was waged, how battles were fought and what tactics etc were used. Interestingly enough, current Austrian historiography focuses more on these facettes!
              "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier" - Samuel Johnson

              "Kerls, wollt ihr denn ewig leben?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                The French have some useful works, though my French is somewhat rusty and weak..
                Philpott made some interesting comments on French bibliography - mainly to the effect that

                a. Verdun has had a mesmeric effect on French writers so that there are some serious gaps in French material
                b. the gaps are not quite the ones you might expect - he mentioned a serious French work on the Somme that utterly ignores the French involvement!

                he also commented that whilst the Germans are happy to produce translations of many of the English language works the French do very little ( he mentioned that as far asd he knew Bloody Victory is not available in French.)
                Last edited by MarkV; 08 Dec 15, 04:47.
                Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
                Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

                Comment

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