The events that shaped modern world warfare in the guns of august a book by barbara tuchman

In the chapters, Tuchman covers the series of errors, faulty plans, poor communications, and poor logistics, which, among other things, decidedly helped the French in the west.

The events that shaped modern world warfare in the guns of august a book by barbara tuchman

In scarlet and blue and green and purple, three by three the sovereigns rode through the palace gates, with plumed helmets, gold braids, crimson sashes, and jeweled orders flashing in the sun. Subsequently, "[t]he secretary of the Army sent copies to every U. Tuchman is also the master of the literary set piece. She is prone at times to absurd overstatements, for example that the German people were gripped by the idea that divine providence had destined them to be masters of the universe. Ten years ago, I tore through it during the weekend I was waiting for my bar exam results. It is an exciting interpretation, and Book of the Month Club selection is the first salvo. She is excellent at the personalities, bringing a dry, sardonic wit to the characters populating this crowded stage. When the book ends, the pieces are all in place for the Battle of the Marne, which transformed the conflict from a war of maneuver into a war of trenches, barbed wire, and mechanized slaughter. It is hard to forget Talaat Bey, one of the Young Turks , after reading that his favourite meal was a pound of caviar, accompanied by glasses of brandy and a bottle of champagne. When we did the Tudors and Stuarts, we read constitutional documents and learned more about the divine right of kings than we did about what was going on in society. But in other areas, Tuchman excels. Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. This brings us to the heart of the book — the events of August His German counterpart, Von Moltke, was full of self-doubt, weighed down by the burden of bearing the name of his uncle, who had been the hero of the wars of German unification. Henry Morgenthau.

I decided to read it again as part of my WWI centenary reading project to gauge if my vague, decade-ago recollections were correct.

The Guns of August is not only the most famous book written about World War I, it is one of the most famous history books on any topic whatsoever. Paris defended[ edit ] The book's last four chapters 19—22 describe the fighting in France up to the beginning of the First Battle of the Marne.

I want the reader to turn the page and keep on turning until the end. The author shows how Germany planned its Belgian campaign, how General Foch developed a whole new military "mystique" to meet it, how Turkey, Russia, and Japan became involved, and how men began to die on the Western Front between Germany and France by the tens of thousands.

Indeed, as she was finishing her book, the German historian Fritz Fischer brought out his own in which he argued that the war had been deliberately brought about by Germany in an attempt to dominate Europe. She cites Thomas Mann as saying the goal was "the establishment of the German idea in history, the enthronement of Kultur, the fulfillment of Germany's historical mission".

The proud tower

The Guns of August is not only the most famous book written about World War I, it is one of the most famous history books on any topic whatsoever. I said that 'mobilization' had sometimes caused war. Kennedy ] was so impressed by the book, he gave copies to his cabinet and principal military advisers, and commanded them to read it. Similar problems occurred in the practical application of submarine, and later aerial, warfare. The critics are right. I still remember with gratitude a series for children on everyday life where we learned about the games children in other times had played and the food they ate. But at the same time, she is sympathetic to the humanity of all involved. She then conveys American reporter Irvin S. I was in my second year of history at the University of Toronto. It is hard to forget Talaat Bey, one of the Young Turks , after reading that his favourite meal was a pound of caviar, accompanied by glasses of brandy and a bottle of champagne.

Together they represented seventy nations in the greatest assemblage of royalty and rank ever gathered in one place and, of its kind, the last. In a somewhat comical passage, Tuchman even quotes from a general who criticized the master of a Belgian house for failing to sit with him at dinner and observe proper mealtime etiquette despite the fact that the Germans had violated his country's neutrality, taken over his house, and stolen or destroyed much of his property.

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Now I have gone back to it and read it with much of the same pleasure of 50 years ago. To illustrate, Tuchman repeatedly uses quotes from the diaries of German generals who commandeered the homes and supplies of civilians. She is also a wonderful storyteller, as step by step she goes from the tensions that culminate in the outbreak of the war to the first crucial battles that led to the stalemate of the western front and the inconclusive struggle in the east. Despite Moltke's concerns, German generals insisted on moving through Belgium because they needed to maneuver. It examines briefly but quite carefully the changes since Victoria's timethe power intrigues, Germany's thirst for power, England's constant incircling of her. He was angered by anyone who tried too openly to make him change his mind. I want the reader to turn the page and keep on turning until the end. Graham Allison , a political scientist who covered the Cuban Missile Crisis in Essence of Decision , noted the effect of the Tuchman's book on Kennedy, but also its implications for the proper study of decision-making and warfare. Sucking up lives at the rate of 5, and sometimes 50, a day, absorbing munitions, energy, money, brains, and trained men," it ate up its contestants.

German Kultur will enlighten the world and after this war there will never be another. As Tuchman argues, the German leaders in particular refused to consider the consequences of moving their armies into Belgium despite that country's neutrality. Her accounts of the ferocity of such German army reprisals against the general population and of the willful burning of Louvain such as its university library make it obvious why the Western Allies might feel themselves justified to condemn Germany and Germans wholesale.

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