The German army on the Western Front: 1914 – 1918

Sheldon, J.A. 2011. The German army on the Western Front: 1914 – 1918. PhD thesis University of Westminster School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages

TitleThe German army on the Western Front: 1914 – 1918
TypePhD thesis
AuthorsSheldon, J.A.

This major historical project concerning the German army during the First World

War will provide an original, revisionist and complete series of carefully

researched books, which will equip the Anglophone audience for the first time

with a detailed description from the German perspective of all the major

campaigns and battles along the Western Front 1914 – 1918. Each book, five of

which have so far been published, stands alone, but complements those already

written and those still to be produced. The books are a synthesis of a narrative historical approach, analysis and original archival materials.

A major preoccupation since the research programme began some nine years ago,

has been to devise ways of dealing with the loss of the bulk of the Prussian

archives when Potsdam was bombed by the Royal Air Force in April 1945. The

solution, which has permitted work of complete originality and lasting value to be produced, has been to exploit fully the resources of the surviving archives of the non-Prussian contingents of the old German army and to blend the analysis of

these documents with material derived from the approximately 1,600 regimental

and other histories which were written during the interwar period. In the process, maximum use has been made of predominantly Prussian published personal

accounts, so as to compensate as far as possible for the absence of so much other primary documentation.

The single book and selected chapters from two other books which comprise this

submission represent only a fraction of the work I have achieved to date, but they are strong exemplars of my approach, argumentation and unique revisionist

version of four turbulent years on the decisive front of the war.

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