The Eastern Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918 (Hardcover)

The Eastern Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918 By Nick Lloyd Cover Image

The Eastern Front: A History of the Great War, 1914-1918 (Hardcover)

$42.00


Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now

"[A] superb history…so much has been forgotten, including the course of the war in the east across multiple theaters of operation and the strategies pursued by both sides. It is all this and more that Mr. Lloyd has resurrected in compelling detail." —Economist



The first major history in fifty years of the often overlooked Eastern Front of the First World War, where a more fluid conflict resulted in the destruction of great empires and the rise of the Soviet Union.


Writing in the 1920s, Winston Churchill argued that the First World War on the Eastern Front was “incomparably the greatest war in history. In its scale, in its slaughter, in the exertions of the combatants, in its military kaleidoscope, it far surpasses by magnitude and intensity all similar human episodes.” It was, he concluded, “the most frightful misfortune” to fall upon mankind “since the collapse of the Roman Empire before the Barbarians.” Yet Churchill was an exception, and the war in the east has long been seen as a sideshow to the brutal combat on the Western Front. Finally, with The Eastern Front—the first major history of that arena in fifty years—the acclaimed historian Nick Lloyd corrects the record.


Drawing on the latest scholarship as well as eyewitness reports, diary entries, and memoirs, Lloyd moves from the great battles of 1914 to the final collapse of the Central Powers in 1918, showing how a local struggle between Austria-Hungary and Serbia spiraled into a massive conflagration that pulled in Germany, Russia, Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria. The Eastern Front was a vast theater of war that brought about the collapse of three empires and produced almost endless suffering. As many as sixteen million soldiers and two million civilians were killed or wounded in enormous battles that took place across as much as one hundred kilometers. Unlike in the west, where stalemate ruled the day, the war in the east was fluid, with armies embarking on penetrating advances. Lloyd narrates the repeated invasions of Serbia as well as the great battles between Russian, German, and Austrian forces at Tannenberg, Komarów, Gorlice–Tarnów, and the Masurian Lakes. All along, he takes us into the strategy of the generals who decided the war’s course, from the Germans Ludendorff and Hindenburg to the Austro-Hungarian chief, Conrad von Hötzendorf, to the brilliant Russian Brusilov.


Perhaps the most radical aspect of the struggle in the east was that the violence was not confined to combatants. The Eastern Front witnessed calculated attacks against civilians that ripped the ethnic and religious fabric of numerous societies, paving the way for the horrors of the Holocaust. Lloyd’s magisterial, definitive account of the war in the east will fundamentally alter our understanding of the cataclysmic events that reshaped Europe and the world.



Nick Lloyd is a professor of modern warfare at King’s College London and the author of four books on World War I, including Passchendaele and The Western Front. He lives in Cheltenham, England.
Product Details ISBN: 9781324092711
ISBN-10: 1324092718
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 27th, 2024
Pages: 672
Language: English
[A] superb history…so much has been forgotten, including the course of the war in the east across multiple theaters of operation and the strategies pursued by both sides. It is all this and more that Mr. Lloyd has resurrected in compelling detail.
— Economist

No one is better at recreating the drama of the Great War than Nick Lloyd.… Even specialists will learn a great deal from this book. A masterpiece of First World War history.
— Sean McMeekin, author of Stalin’s War: A New History of World War II

One of the great strengths of Lloyd’s account, a masterly synthesis of sources from various countries, is that unlike many of the war’s participants, he never lost sight of how it all began.
— Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times (UK)

Exhaustive, highly detailed and meticulously researched.
— Simon Heffer, The Telegraph (UK)

Nick Lloyd brilliantly pulls together the manifold strands and brings to life the dark realities of an often ignored but hugely important theater which paved the way for the horrors of World War II.
— Adam Zamoyski, author of 1812: Napoleon’s Fatal March on Moscow

This is the story of the First World War’s Eastern Front told on a Homeric scale. Nick Lloyd gives us not only a compelling account of warfare on the ‘long front’ from Riga to Thessalonica but also an intimate and disturbing portrait of the fighting taken from regimental histories, diaries, and the testimony of the dead.
— Martyn Rady, author of The Middle Kingdoms

The warfare that produced the fall of two empires and the socialist revolution that shook the world is presented here in all its horror and complexity by a master storyteller and an expert in the field.
— Serhii Plokhy, author of The Russo-Ukrainian War

A huge achievement. Nick Lloyd’s readable and compelling narrative takes his reader into the vast geographical expanses of Eastern Europe, Italy, the Balkans and Macedonia, showing how consequential these lesser-known fronts were to the struggle of 1914–18.
— Alexander Watson, author of Ring of Steel: Germany and Austria-Hungary at War, 1914–1918

An exemplary study of a much-neglected subject. Nick Lloyd is at the very top of his game…A fabulous historian.
— Roger Moorhouse, author of The Forgers

Nick Lloyd searingly recreates the battlefields of the Eastern Front, Italy, and the Balkans in this taut, thrilling history in which he deploys all of his marvelous gifts to maximum effect: biography, political analysis, and operational military history.
— Geoffrey Wawro, author of A Mad Catastrophe: The Outbreak of the First World War and the Collapse of the Habsburg Empire