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If Germany Attacks

The Battle in Depth in the West
by
Captain G.C. Wynne
Edited by Robert T. Foley

Showcase & Reviews

Tom Donovan Editions published the second volume of their Scholars' Collection, If Germany Attacks by G C Wynne, on 11th November 2008.

If Germany Attacks was an interesting and challenging volume to prepare. The new edition is based on Wynne’s original proof copy of the first edition, the edition that was ultimately pulped in 1940, and that contains the sections that were removed for the “bowdlerised” official first edition published later that year by Faber and Faber. This copy, which has remained in the Wynne family’s possession to this date, also contains a number of corrections and amendments made by Wynne and that were either incorporated in the official edition or that were intended for further editions. Our editorial policy has been to include these corrections but to put back all the “bowdlerisations” thereby getting as close as possible to Wynne’s original intentions for this book.

Robert T. Foley has produced an illuminating introduction to If Germany Attacks and we are grateful to our General Editor, Professor Brian Bond, for identifying such an eminently well qualified editor for this volume. Robert Foley is an American who has spent much of his career in US and British academic institutions where he has established a formidable reputation in the area of the Germany Army and its strategy and tactics, notably in the First World War. In his introduction he provides a particularly interesting account of the events leading up to Wynne’s capture at Le Cateau in 1914 and the impact that this had on his subsequent writings and his work with the Historical Section of the Committee for Imperial Defence.

The dust jacket for If Germany Attacks has, like that of the other Scholars' Collection volumes, been based on original art work by John Booth. The cover depicts a brooding, dominating wall of rock  that seems to be moving “tsunami-like” over a pastoral landscape – a fiery red and black image that nicely echoes Wynne’s view of German military competence and ambitions.

 

We are pleased to be able to showcase the second volume in our Scholars' Collection; If Germany Attacks by Captain G.C. Wynne.

   

The dust jacket design is by Tom Donovan Editions’ resident artist John Booth. As with our last book John chose to take a figurative approach to the design. Reflecting the contents of If Germany Attacks, he set out to portray the strength and power of German defensive methods, with their hallmark ingenuity in the use of landscape, expressed through images of seemingly inpenetrable natural obstacles.

 

The slipcase both protects the book and complements the striking jacket. Our artist took inspiration from a typical German mourning emblem of the Great War period and designed a striking motif to decorate the case.

 

We hope that you will agree that If Germany Attacks is a fine addition to the Tom Donovan Editions collection.

Charles Messenger reviewed If Germany Attacks in Mars & Clio, the journal of the BCMH (British Commission for Military History) Spring 2009

"Robert Foley's perceptive introduction puts If Germany Attacks firmly into context. Wynne's analysis of the German concept of defence has largely stood the test of time, and the book is a valuable source for that. Certain caveats should be borne in mind when reading it, however. As Dr Foley emphasises, Wynne was looking primarily at the ideal, which was by no means practised by all German commanders all of the time. Furthermore, his failure to take into account the new weapons systems and their influence on tactics and the improvements that Germany's opponents did introduce make the work unbalanced. That said, both publisher and editor are to be congratulated on once more bringing this book to public notice."

 

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