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The Fortress

The Fortress

The Siege of Przemysl and the Making of Europe's Bloodlands

A prizewinning historian tells the dramatic story of the siege that changed the course of the First World War

In September 1914, just a month into World War I, the Russian army laid siege to the fortress city of Przemysl, the Hapsburg Empire’s most important bulwark against invasion. For six months, against storm and starvation, the ragtag garrison bitterly resisted, denying the Russians a quick victory. Only in March 1915 did the city fall, bringing occupation, persecution, and brutal ethnic cleansing.

In The Fortress, historian Alexander Watson tells the story of the battle for Przemysl, showing how it marked the dawn of total war in Europe and how it laid the roots of the bloody century that followed. Vividly told, with close attention to the unfolding of combat in the forts and trenches and to the experiences of civilians trapped in the city, The Fortress offers an unprecedentedly intimate perspective on the eastern front’s horror and human tragedy.

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Genre: Nonfiction / History / Military / World War I

On Sale: February 25th 2020

Price: $32

Page Count: 400

ISBN-13: 9781541697300

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"Watson's account of these men's experience of battle is a brilliant distillation of their letters, diaries and memories. The voices of the siege convey its horror and the terror of men who had to endure it and suppress their fear of death... The vividly written and well-researched The Fortress is a masterpiece. It deserves to become a classic of military history."—The Times (UK)
"[The Fortress] is excellent history, a marvelously readable, though tragic, story of its time and of how the clock can be made to turn backwards under siege conditions; and in its account of the Habsburg commanders' unshakable vanity, philandering and cockiness it has plenty of modern resonances as a parable of arrogant exceptionalism, imperial conceit and perilous isolationism."—The Daily Telegraph (UK)
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