• Collision of Empires

  • The War on the Eastern Front in 1914
  • By: Prit Buttar
  • Narrated by: Roger Clark
  • Length: 21 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (264 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The fighting that raged in the East during the First World War was every bit as fierce as that on the Western Front, but the titanic clashes between three towering empires - Russia, Austro-Hungary, and Germany - remains a comparatively unknown facet of the Great War.

With the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the war in 2014, Collision of Empires is a timely expose of the bitter fighting on this forgotten front - a clash that would ultimately change the face of Europe forever. Drawing on firsthand accounts and detailed archival research, this is a dramatic retelling of the tumultuous events of the first year of the war, with the battles of Tannenberg and the Masurian Lakes in East Prussia followed by the Russo-Austrian clashes in Galicia and the failed German advance toward Warsaw.

©2014 Prit Buttar (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about Collision of Empires

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best book non-fiction book ever on the Eastern Front in 1914

This title is not only an outstanding work of military history on any period, it is by far the best non-fiction book ever on the Eastern Front in 1914.

The narration of the Audible version is excellent. I very much hope Audible will produce the authors’ other titles as well.

25 people found this helpful

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Let’s hope they release the next books

This book and the next 3 books on this series are the best I’ve found on the subject of the Great War on the east front , a subject I find fascinating. . It touches on the Franco Prussian and the Austrian Prussian wars . It explains the summer of 1914 in depth in Berlin , St. Petersburg and Vienna . Finally , the majority of the book is the actual fighting that took place in Prussia , Galicia and Serbia in 1914 . A number of high profile personalities are also looked at in detail .
The narration is a bit dry but satisfactory. The book itself is A+ fantastic .

22 people found this helpful

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Interesting Topic, Difficult to Finish

I've always loved World War I history, and an examination of the lesser known fronts always manages to pique my interest, but i had the most difficult time finishing this audiobook. Despite a daily total of 2.5 hours commuting and a 3 hour plane ride, it took me two months to finish this one, and I'm not sure why. The story is good and well-written, putting emphasis on the personalities responsible for the debacle on the Eastern Front. The narrator, while a bit dry in that academic fashion, is nonetheless engaging and manages to keep everything interesting. I think the big problem is that it's attempting to fill a research gap and sacrificing pacing in order to capture every detail, which is great for historians, not so much for listeners.

13 people found this helpful

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Excellent Review of a Little Knows Theater of War

I am retired miltary after 32 years service and hold two bachelor's and one Master's Degree. I also am a student of military history but,actually knew very little about the day to day fighting on the Eastern Front of World War One. I learned a great deal from this book. There was so much information provided that I will need to listen to the book a second time (this time with an atlas open) in order to digest it all.
I had assumed that it was the conglomerate makeup of the Austro-Hungarian forces that caused their debacle. The "Collision of Empires" clarifies the many other reasons that the Austro-Hungarian Forces did so badly in WW-I...

13 people found this helpful

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Boring reader, too much to cover without maps

Need dynamic map with fog of war as seen by general discussed at that time

8 people found this helpful

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Excellent Military History

Fantastic book if you’re a fan of military history. Excellent narration and fascinating subject that is difficult to find material that is anywhere close to what you find here. 10/10.

5 people found this helpful

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Extremely detailed, succinct Eastern Front intro

Prit Buttar is an Eastern Front expert in regards to both world wars, and no doubt in general. His knowledge is such that it would be very possible for the reader to not comprehend anything he is trying to convey. It could be extremely over the reader's head, if he wasn't such a good writer. But he's able to translate and make the movements along the WWI eastern front discernible to the reader. And this is just the entry book! Roger Clark makes a most reliable narrator in every book. I can't wait for the German Ascendant, and the rest of the series.

3 people found this helpful

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Very difficult to follow

The history covered by this book is fascinating. But it's VERY difficult to follow as an audio book. The continuous references to so many different people, places and military units makes it almost impossible to follow. The written version is probably much better with access to maps and indexes of people and units.

2 people found this helpful

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Blow by Blow Account of Eastern Front

The book details moves, battles and leadership on th Eastern Front in Fall 1914. On the plus side, it reminds the reader of the humanity of the generals. Sometimes skilled, sometimes struggling with outmoded notions, and often both, they smash into the reality of railroads and defensive artillery.
The book counters historical stereotypes. Most readers know that Russian failures contributed to the overthrow of the tsar. The army of the first months had flaws that ultimately crippled it, but that ignores its strengths.
My only complaint is that the book's description suggested that it might cover a broader span and include the Empire of the Ottomans. I was unprepared for the slow (but thorough) narrative.

1 person found this helpful

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Felt like a Textbook

Don’t let my title fool you. The book was good, but not excellent. I found myself zoning out at times during the reading. I would have loved if Prit captured my imagination with better story telling and recounting events with vivid imagery. Put me on the front lines of Tanenburg! Still my favorite WW1 book is “A Storm in Flanders” by Winston Groom. Talk about imagery and story telling!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. Daniel R. Kane
  • 10-27-18

At last a proper campaign history

The English language histories of World War 1 have always been dominated by the Western Front in France and Flanders to the exclusion of the huge war in the east. Prit Buttar's series goes far to redress this balance. I never thought I would ever see this series in audio. But here it is and it is just superb. The detail is just glorious so that individual actions can be followed in detail. If you want a coffee table summary of this vast conflict, this series is NOT for you. If you want to know how the various participants plans worked out in practice and how their armed forces performed, this is the book for you.

The narration by Roger Clarke is particularly good for such a long book, and his pronunciation of the original place names adds a flavour of the old world that was lost in these regions.

Whilst in some places the editing could have been a little tighter, it does not really detract from the setting of the stage, the detailed character sketches and the descriptions of the first five months of fighting.

Very highly recommended to anyone with a serious interest in the Eastern and Serbian fronts and why we are still living the the results today.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-19-19

Difficult to follow

Difficult to follow the narrative without maps. Well researched Probably better to read the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • phphoto
  • 02-27-18

Collision of Empire s

A real struggle to finish, in fact I didn't finish. It was far too dry and seemed to focus on division numbers and it all felt like it didn't go together. Disappointed.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Border Collie
  • 05-26-22

Good detail. Need a map

This book is at it’s best when describing broad themes and patterns, and the occasional summaries are the most useful parts. It’s hard to keep up with the war of movement and who is attacking who. Especially when the Russian Generals have German names… At times I felt as out of touch as the Kaiser or Tsar… Very good book and excellent performance.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie Cowan
  • 03-04-22

Nevertheless

I found this book to be quite dull to be honest, though it's more fun if you bring a bottle of vodka and down a shot every time the reader says "Nevertheless". Which is very frequently.

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  • Christopher
  • 06-19-21

The collision that dragged the world into War!

An excellent history of the so oft forgotten Eastern Front in WW1. I especially like the authors detail on the divisions and their commanders.

The narration is brilliantly executed, it includes readings of names of places that are sometimes difficult to read or pronounce.

The attention to detail about Battles such as Tannenburg and explaining just how political the placement of commanders and details on the training of armies was. This affected the efficiency of many armies in WW1 and it is shown all to well in this series of books in the case of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

An enthralling listen for anyone who wants to learn about the history of WW1, and especially useful to those who study the topic.

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  • Kendo nagassaki
  • 10-06-20

Excellent

Research and presentation of the highest standard..the reader is excellent ..the subject in great depth

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  • bishr
  • 07-11-19

Needs Maps!

I urge Audible to provide maps with these kind of books. I spent lots of time looking for suitable maps in the internet and tried my best to connect between them and the tactical/operational narrative in this book.
This book must come with MAPS... Please!

2 people found this helpful