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War of Attrition

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War of Attrition

William Philpott

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ISBN 13: 978-1-4683-0268-4
Trim Size: 6 x 9

Product Description

The Great War of 1914–1918 was the first mass conflict to fully mobilize the resources of industrial powers against one another, resulting in a brutal, bloody, protracted war of attrition between the world’s great economies. Now, one hundred years after the first guns of August rang out on the Western front, historian William Philpott reexamines the causes and lingering effects of the first truly modern war.

Drawing on the experience of front line soldiers, munitions workers, politicians, and diplomats, War of Attrition explains for the first time why and how this new type of conflict was fought as it was fought; and how the attitudes and actions of political and military leaders, and the willing responses of their peoples, stamped the twentieth century with unprecedented carnage on—and behind—the battlefield.

War of Attrition also establishes link between the bloody ground war in Europe and political situation in the wider world, particularly the United States. America did not enter the war until 1917, but, as Philpott demonstrates, the war came to America as early as 1914. By 1916, long before the Woodrow Wilson’s impassioned speech to Congress advocating for war, the United States was firmly aligned with the Allies, lending dollars and selling guns and opposing German attempts to spread submarine warfare. War of Attrition skillfully argues that the emergence of the United States on the world stage is directly related to her support for the conflagration that consumed so many European lives and livelihoods. In short, the war that ruined Europe enabled the rise of America.

Praise for War of Attrition:

"'The armies have outgrown the brains of the people who direct them,' French general Ferdinand Foch worried before the war and, initially, he was correct. William Philpott has written an incisive, colorful book that details the race by both sides first to understand and then to master a long war of attrition that had been planned by every power as a short war of annihilation. War of Attrition succeeds both as an argument and as a gripping narrative of the dreadful process by which the armies (and navies) swerved from the objective of breaking though to that of killing men in a vast, globe-spanning war of exhaustion."—Geoffrey Wawro, author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of World War I and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire and Director of the University of North Texas Military History Center

Praise for Three Armies on the Somme:

“A thoughtful and important book by a first-rate historian” —Literary Review

“Philpott displays a great mastery of detail. . . . He can certainly claim to have made a solid contribution to what has been an extraordinarily long-running debate.” —The Times

“Philpott brushes aside traditional mythmaking by Winston Churchill and Basil Liddell Hart for a fresh appraisal of this four-year ‘massacre of the innocents.’ . . . A knowledgeable, all-encompassing dissection of this supreme example of ‘the consummate killing power of the machine age.’” —Kirkus Reviews

William Philpott is Professor of the History of Warfare in the Department of War Studies at King’s College, London. He is a specialist in the operations on the Western Front and has published extensively on the subject. He is the author of Three Armies on the Somme: The First Battle of the Twentieth Century.

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