Holger Afflerbach – On a Knife Edge: How Germany Lost the First World War
On a Knife Edge: How Germany Lost the First World War
Was the outcome of the First World War on a knife edge? In this major new account of German wartime politics and strategy Holger Afflerbach argues that the end result was in the balance until late in the war.
Using new evidence from diaries, letters and memoirs, he revises our understanding of German strategy from the decision to go to war and the failure of the western offensive to the radicalization of Germany’s war effort under Hindenburg and Ludendorff and the ultimate collapse of the Central Powers. He uncovers the struggles in wartime Germany between supporters of peace and hardliners who wanted to fight to the finish. He suggests that Germany was not nearly as committed to all-out conquest as previous accounts argue. Numerous German peace advances could have offered the opportunity to end the war before it dragged Europe into the abyss.
On a Knife Edge is a fundamental reassessment of German politics and strategy during the First World War and why Germany lost.
Holger Afflerbach is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Leeds. His previous publications include a biography of Erich von Falkenhayn, and a study of the Triple Alliance. His most recent book, On a Knife Edge, is a fundamental reassessment of German politics and strategy during the First World War and why Germany lost.