On the Razor’s Edge
How the German Empire Lost the First World War
Was the outcome of the First World War balanced on the razor’s edge? 100 years after the German defeat, Holger Afflerbach uses a wealth of new archival research to trace the military developments, analyze the strategic political decisions and argue that the war could have gone differently. After the Western offensive failed in the fall of 1914, a German victory seemed more and more unlikely. However, victory and defeat are not the only outcomes.
Afflerbach demonstrates that a draw would have been the logical result of the First World War if the German leadership had not made some serious mistakes. In addition, the Allies’ policy should be viewed with a much more critical eye than it is today. Contrary to the general verdict of the time, Germany was not so clearly committed to sweeping conquests. Also, the Allies had their own imperialist plans and chose not respond to the German attempts at peace that might have offered an opportunity to end the war before plunging Europe into the abyss.
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