Conventional histories of the Battles of Mons and Le Cateau describe how, although the British were massively outnumbered, precise and rapid rifle fire mowed down rows of German troops: the staggering casualties inflicted made both British victories, and set the stage for the Battle of the Marne. But neither encounter has ever been described in English from the German point of view. Using German tactics manuals and regimental histories, Terence Zuber re-examines the battles at Mons and Le Cateau, subjecting British tactics to a critique that goes beyond admiration for rapid rifle fire and presenting new and startling perspectives, showing how the Germans employed a high degree of tactical sophistication in conducting combined-arms operations. The odds were, in fact, even, and German casualties never reached the levels described in the standard histories. The Mons Myth is the first history of these battles to take this approach in ninety years, and completely changes our understanding of what actually happened.
Terence Zuber is a retired army officer with a PhD in history from the University of Wurzburg. Having commanded rifle and mortar platoons and a mechanised infantry company, he spent eight years conducting counter-intelligence operations against the Stasi. The author of Inventing the Schlieffen Plan, German War Planning 1891-1914, The Battle of the Frontiers and The Moltke Myth.