From the acclaimed military historian, a new history of theoutbreak of World War I—from the breakdown of diplomacy to the dramatic battlesthat occurred before the war bogged down in the trenches
World War I immediately evokes images of the trenches—grinding, halting battles that sacrificed millions of lives for no territory orvisible gain. Yet the first months of the war, from the German invasion ofBelgium to the Marne to Ypres, were utterly different—full of advances andretreats, tactical maneuvering, and significant gains and losses. In Catastrophe 1914, Max Hastings re-createsthis dramatic year, from the diplomatic crisis to the fighting in Belgium andFrance on the western front and Serbia and Galicia to the east. He gives vividaccounts of the battles and frank assessments of generals and politicalleaders, and shows why it was inevitable that this first war among modernindustrial nations could not produce a decisive victory, resulting in a war ofattrition. Throughout we encounter high officials and average soldiers, as wellas civilians on the home front, giving us a vivid portrait of how a continentbecame embroiled in a war that would change everything.