Thursday, December 10, 2015

'Germany Ascendant'

I recently finished reading the volume 'Germany Ascendant The Eastern Front 1915'  (ISBN 978 4728 0795 3, first published 2015) by Prit Buttar.

The eastern front has long been a source of fascination for me, perhaps because I had that classically anglo centric mentality that suggested that anything western front was awful and anything anywhere else in the first world war was somehow less than awful.

Regardless of the reasons, it has until recently been difficult to find material on the battles and campaigns that were waged through Galicia (modern day Poland), the Baltic states and Russia. I read Norman Stones' excellent book several years ago, but there seemed to be little else available.

This book is the second by Buttar on the eastern front (his first, 'Collision of Empires' is sitting in my TBR pile as I write) and provides an excellent overview of the campaigns and battles of 1915, offering both political and military perspectives on the events of that year.

Buttar has drawn on  a wide range of secondary sources from German, Austro-Hungarian and Russian writers and so presents a balanced view of activity from all three perspectives. My only criticism is that there appears to be a lack of reference to primary sources in the work. This may of course be entirely due to a lack of surviving material and so shouldn't be read as suggesting anything less than rigorous historiography on Buttar's part.

Regardless, this is  avery readable account of a not so well known aspect of the first world war and I recommend it to readers.


  1. I haven't read this yet and I'm looking forward to it. I have read Collision of Empires and found it very good.

  2. Excellent.. there are other books recently out on the theatre that I am keen on too, like 'Ring of steel' etc


  3. Excellent, Norman Stone does a pretty good treatment of the Eastern Front war too