The regular armies which marched off to war in 1914 were composed of massed riflemen, screened by cavalry and supported by artillery; their leaders expected a quick and decisive outcome, achieved by sweeping manoeuvre, bold leadership and skill at arms. Eighteen months later the whole nature of field armies and their tactics had changed utterly. In sophisticated trench systems forming a battlefield a few miles wide and 400 miles long, conscript armies sheltered from massive long-range bombardment, wielding new weapons according to new tactical doctrines. This first of two richly illustrated studies explains in detail the specifics of that extraordinary transformation, complete with ten full colour plates of uniforms and equipment.

Table of Contents

Open field warfare in 1914 - archaic tactics of infantry, cavalry and short range field artillery · The triumph of firepower & the cost of open field tactics - the Mame and Tannenberg · Digging in - the early trench systems, 1915 · Development of weapons and minor tactics 1915-16 - machine guns, trench mortars, grenades, sniping, gas, helmets & armour, new artillery · Increased sophistication of trench systems - support and reserve lines, deep dug-outs · Attempts to break the trench deadlock - the battles of Loos and Verdun.

Product details

Published May 27 2021
Format Ebook (Epub & Mobi)
Edition 1st
Extent 64
ISBN 9781472852533
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 64 b/w; 10 col
Series Elite
Short code ELI 78
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Stephen Bull

Dr Stephen Bull worked for the National Army Museu…


Adam Hook

Adam Hook studied graphic design, and began his wo…


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