German War Planning, 1891-1914: Sources and Interpretations

Front Cover
Boydell Press, 2004 - History - 312 pages
Germany's Schlieffen Plan of the First World War is much talked of but little understood. Translations of primary sources recently available clarify the issues involved.

The great deficiency in the discussion of German war planning prior to the Great War has been the dearth of reliable primary sources. Practically nothing was made public before the German Reichsarchiv was destroyed in April 1945, and this problem is compounded for Anglophone historians by the fact that the most interesting secondary literature was printed in German periodicals in the early 1920s.

This book makes available in English translationmany of the documents concerning German war planning before 1914 that survived the war, but were kept closely guarded by the East German army archives, and only became available with the fall of the wall. Included are the only archival history of German war planning, Wilhelm Dieckmann's Der Schlieffenplan, Hellmuth Greiner's secret history of the German west front intelligence estimate from 1885 to 1914, and two of the younger Moltke's General Staff exercises. The book also presents other little-known documents found in other German archives as well as the most important parts of the 1920s literature concerning the debate on the German war plan.

The picture ofGerman war planning which now emerges is both more complex and more credible than the previous single-minded emphasis on the 'Schlieffenplan'.

TERENCE ZUBER has also written Inventing the Schlieffen Plan and The Moltke Myth; born in Cleveland, Ohio, he is currently living in Wurzburg, Germany.



The German Intelligence Estimate in the West
Der Schlieffenplan
Operations against Russia
2nd 1902 Ost
1st 1904 West
Moltkes 1908 Generalstabsreise West
5th Army Aufmarschanweisung
Wenningers Description of the German War Plan
The Development of the German Operational Concept
The Schlieffen Plan Debate in War in History

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information