The Advance from Mons 1914

The Experiences of a German Infantry Officer

Walter Bloem

Date Published :
October 2011
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Helion Library of the Great War
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781907677045
Pages : 128
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available
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This is an outstanding personal memoir penned by a German infantry officer recalling his experiences during the initial days and weeks of the war in the West, July-September 1914. Walter Bloem was a Captain in the German 12th Grenadier Regiment (Royal Prussian Grenadier Regiment Prinz Carl von Preußen, 2nd Brandenburg, Nr 12 - to give his unit its full title). His narrative gives a superb insight into the outbreak of war and his regiment's mobilization, followed by the advance through Belgium and France, including the author's participation at the battles of Mons, Le Cateau, the Marne and the Aisne.

His account of what it was like to face Britain's 'Old Contemptibles' at Mons is particularly valuable. Before the war, the author was a novelist, and The Advance from Mons clearly shows this - it is written with a great eye for detail, careful yet vivid descriptions abound and importantly, from a historical perspective, the book was penned whilst Herr Bloem convalesced from a wound he received at the battle of the Aisne. Such was the quality of his writing, that J.E. Edmonds, the British official historian of the Great War commented: "Some of the scenes … are so truly and vividly depicted that I gave translations of them in the Official History, feeling that they could not be bettered." This is a high quality reprint of the 1930 original, newly typeset.

About The Author

Bloem, Walter (Elberfeld, Wuppertal, 1868-1951, Lübeck), a lawyer, turned in 1904 to literature and from 1911 to 1914 was a theatrical producer. He served in both wars. His strongly nationalistic novels were widely read, but he was not whole-heartedly acknowledged by the National Socialists. A 10-volume edition of his novels appeared in 1928, after which he continued to write novels (and stories), Kämpfer überm Abgrund (1944) being his last. During his early career he also wrote plays which were seen on the stage, including a tragedy on Heinrich von Plauen (1902).


“…what makes this book special is the fact that Bloehm was a novelist in civilian life, and uses his literary skills to describe in detail the actions and emotions from the perspective of a front line soldier….Bloehm wrote in late 1914 while convalescing from wounds, so the vivid details of these first two months of the war were still fresh and unclouded. “

- Military Modelcraft International

“ … extremely well written and serves as an outstanding snapshot of life during the hectic and dynamic days of the summer and fall of 1914.”

- War History Online

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