Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book: 'The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle the Changed the World' by Holger H. Herwig

I remember when Holger Herwig's 'The Marne, 1914' was first released in 2009. The reviews were quite favourable and it was often applauded that he utilized previously unreleased German archival material to support his work. So when I saw that the book was available in unabridged audiobook format I jumped at the chance to 'read' it.  To be clear whenever I listen to a 'dense' history in audio format I alway make an effort to get the book in paper as well (analogue format!). This way I can re-read passages, refer to any enclosed maps, footnotes, bibliography, etc. in order to better reflect on the writer's work as a whole, allowing a more balanced view.

Herwig's thesis is that the battle of the Marne "was the most decisive land battle since Waterloo" to which he follows that his book "raises a fundamental question: Was it truly the Battle of the Marne?" Okay, my first impression was that this seemed somewhat overwrought and perhaps a little pedantic but I forged ahead.