Tunes of Blood & Iron. Part 1: Infantry

German Regimental & Parade Marches from Frederick the Great to the Present Day

Antony Dean, Robert Mantle, David Murray, Ian Smart

Date Published :
February 2014
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
c 40 b/w ills, 8pp color ills.
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781909384231
Pages : 184
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


This is an extremely thorough 4-volume guide to the regimental march tunes and other parade music, which inspired loyalty, pride and battlefield motivation for generations of Germans over three centuries.

Built around a translation of the previously unpublished works of two great German military music historians - the late Lieutenant Colonel Joachim Toeche-Mittler and Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Werner Probst - it describes the history of every march in the official collections sanctioned by successive kings of Prussia, German Emperors, and later by Chief Inspectors of Music of the German Republic and Third Reich. In these descriptions, one discovers that the collections are not just German, but a pan-European treasure trove of labyrinthine musical influences. The books detail how even today these tunes are still used by German armed forces units, providing the only officially permitted link between them and the military history of the German nation. They describe how the use of this superb parade march repertoire spread around the world, far beyond Germany's borders; it can often be heard in use today especially in Britain and America. The authors detail how modern regimental military music began to develop during the reign of Frederick the Great of Prussia in the mid-18th Century, before its development reached its zenith during the German Empire established by Bismarck from 1871 to 1918. They also trace the potent cultural influences on the march composition styles of the Stahlhelm, Wehrmacht, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe of the 20th Century. This work is no apology or eulogy for a militaristic culture now long gone amongst the German people, but a description of the international and home sources for the march repertoire, and the personalities involved in composing, commissioning, and dedicating marches to the leading personalities of the age, and their adoption as regimental music by the fighting units of Prussia and the other Old German States, Imperial Germany, and the later German Reich and Post War Republics of East and West Germany. The series will provide information about how the regimental bandsmen and signaler musicians on fife, drum and bugle paraded and performed this repertoire, the manufacture and embellishments of their instruments, Schellenbaum 'Jingling Johnnies' and Drum Majors' Staffs, and their employment and deployment in the ranks of the fighting units on parade and in battle. A huge number of rare black & white and color images showing all aspects of German military music support the detailed text and appendices. Much more than a series of books about music, the volumes will together provide a definitive guide to a colorful and tuneful aspect of Germanic culture, whose lasting influence is still with us, and is about the stirring sounds that can still be heard on parade around the world today. The very concept of cataloguing a collection of parade marches encompassing music gathered over centuries emanated in the early 19th Century from a country abolished by the Allies in 1947 as the fount of German militarism; this music is however Prussia's legacy to the world - indeed, Prussia's Glory! After a short introduction, Volume 1 concentrates on the vast official Royal Prussian collection of ‘regimental’ and ‘neutral’ quick marches. Translated from previously unpublished original research by the late Luftwaffe Lt. Col. Joachim Toeche-Mittler, it provides a definitive description for each march, its composer, and how and by whom it was used, in many cases on campaign as well as on parade. With only one exception before 1914, every Prussian, and most non-Prussian regiments, had their regimental march from within this collection.

More from this publisher