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The purpose of this site is to share information about Imperial German stuff and keep my own findings straight. I don't sell anything. Ok I take offers on postcards. I am no expert. I am a collector. I give several opinions a day on things.  It is what it is an opinion and you get what you pay for.  It is free.  It might not be right, and I have been wrong before and will be wrong again.  But it is a heck of a lot of fun. I have been told this site is like a gold mine -- true -- you have to dig around a lot to find anything of value.

Stand To! Number 101 had the following review of The Great War Dawning. It also won a 2014 bronze medal for a work on history from the Military Writers Society of America.


Dr. FRANK BUCHHOLZ, Col. (Ret.) Joe Robinson & Col. (Ret.) JANET ROBINSON

The Great War Dawning – Germany and its Army at the Start of World War 1

Verlag Militaria, Vienna, Austria, Euros 59.00, 532 pp., 80 ills, two unbound maps/charts.

It's a question a book reviewer is asked all the time; 'Do you actually read all the books you write about?' For once I admit - I am about to offer unalloyed praise for a book of which I have read little; indeed scarcely scratched its massive surface. My defence? Few, if any, military works have impressed me as much on first examination and none that I can recall, more. From its table of contents to the last page - 531 - The Great War Dawning is a big book. (Not least both libraries and collectors will need to store in one of those annoyingly unruly 'oversize book' shelves where the big books lurk. It is 0.5" high, 7.5" wide and 2 .25" thick. As well as it 500 plus pages of dense, but clear, type it offers numerous charts and seventy-five pages of well-reproduced photographs, maps and illustrations. It contains seventeen chapters, bolstered by seven impressive and valuable appendices - one with eight subsections - and ten closely-spaced pages, all of which bibliography comprise 166 pages.

This authors' tour de force is the definitive work of reference on the Germany's Army in 1914, and to call it impressive would be a huge understatement. It the most complete work on the subject in the English language, (and probably German). This is no mere vade mecum, but, effectively, a one volume library on the topic which also includes a valuable an analysis of the nation's social, political and economic structure before the war.

In addition to an evaluation of the German Army, from its structure and organisation to its officer corps and from its doctrines - infantry, army and artillery – to its material of logistical services, The Great War Dawning offers critical evaluation of the nation's plans for war, mobilisation and the 'cracks' in its edifice which appeared when Germany sought to execute its plans. Amongst other areas, the appendices evaluate the nation's Imperial Constitution, the structure and organisation of the Imperial Army in 1914, including that of Bavaria, Saxony and Wurttemberg, the rank and pay structure and the staffs and orders of battle of the German Armies after mobilization.

There is no question, the writing team's research has been massive, their authorship, and the book's editing, which has enjoyed considerable input from Jack Sheldon, is hugely impressive. No one privileged to receive a review copy of this valuable new work can fail to echo Sheldon's words in the book's introduction: 'This timely and authoritative book should be on the shelf of every serious student of the First World War. I commend it highly and hope that it will be widely read.'

The Great War Dawning will represent a magnificent addition to my own collection of reference books and one to which I will return with regularity. Despite its cost, it is impossible to praise the work too highly. It is the book of the year about the Great War in 2014 and I suspect for years to come for anyone with a serious interest in Germany and its army in the Great War.

David Filsell

This review, written by David Filsell, was first published in Stand To! the Journal of the Western Front Association, No. 101, September 2014.

Much cheaper from the publisher than Amazon.

The vast majority of the history questions I get are simply answered by giving a reference page number. Whether you are into ancestry or German history or World War I you need this book. Coming in at 4 1/2 pounds there is a lot of data, maps, and pictures in this one! Extremely handsome a present for anyone.

We are finished at least in the short run with book writing. The Last Great Cavalry Charge is going to be published by Fonthill Media. It looks like April 2015 in the United Kingdom and July 2015 for the United States.


German Tactical Symbols 1914

NCO Helmets

Master Infantry Sheet

Master Cavalry Sheet


Two articles giving examples of helmet markings:

There is also an article on helmet makers and their marks:

 Our other books still in print.

I am done... from all who think I have said to little or too much, I beg pardon." St. Augustine -- The City of God.

Last Updated April 21, 2015

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I get an awful lot of questions about family history, pictures of relatives and background of pictures and family history. Many people from  The first thing I would advise is to buy the book on the left. This explains a great deal.

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This site has aged while we were writing books. We're done writing and slowly very slowly we're cleaning up our files and updating some of the articles. This is a slow process that my son Nicholas warned me about. He said that the organization was absolutely key. He was right – I did not follow his design or advice very well.

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