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If Germany Attacks

The Battle in Depth in the West

Captain G.C. Wynne

Introduction by
Dr. Robert T. Foley

 

 
 
 

Tom Donovan Editions is delighted to announce the First Unexpurgated Edition of If Germany Attacks, including an expert new historical introduction, to include a profile of its interesting but neglected author and his work on, inter alia, the British Official History.

If Germany Attacks is a classic assessment of the German tactical doctrine on the Western Front – particularly during the latter part of the war – and an uncompromising critical assessment of British command performance during the campaign.

To reinforce his argument – the thrust of which is that German tactical success can largely be attributed to “the work of one master-mind,” General Fritz von Lossberg – Wynne surveys all the major operations in France and Flanders from Neuve Chapelle in March 1915 to the end of Passchendaele in 1917. If Germany Attacks was based on articles Wynne contributed to the Army Quarterly in the 1930s, expanded in the light of newly available material including von Lossberg’s own memoirs which were published in Berlin in 1939.

When published in 1940, at a time of fast moving events and a new war, the book quickly disappeared from view. It received favourable reviews but there was only one printing and the original edition is now of great rarity.

The little-known secret history of If Germany Attacks is that a version was actually printed and bound ready for publication, but at the last moment Faber and Faber appear to have got cold feet and “it was decided that it would be inappropriate to issue the volume during hostilities as the text was highly critical of the British Command and would lead to discouragement and lack of confidence in the army authorities.” All but four or five copies of this first version were pulped and the subsequent published edition had major chunks of text altered or removed in entirety.

Having access to Wynne’s original proof copy, marked up with changes to both the unpublished and published versions, Tom Donovan Editions has been enabled to piece together the complete unexpurgated text, which is now published for the first time with all the offending passages reinserted (and clearly identified) in a limited edition of 300 numbered copies.

Dr. Robert T. Foley was until recently a lecturer at the Joint Services Staff College, Camberley and is currently a lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Liverpool. He is a specialist in the German Army and - alongside his other published work - his prize winning German Strategy and the Path to Verdun: Erich von Falkenhayn and the Development of Attrition, 1870-1916 (Cambridge University Press, 2005) has been highly acclaimed.