The Eastern Front

The Eastern Front

A History of the First World War


'The First World War from a refreshingly unfamiliar angle . . . masterly' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

'Compelling . . . The Eastern Front is essential reading' Margaret Macmillan, Financial Times

‘A masterwork . . . This is the history of the Eastern Front I’ve waited all my life to read’ Simon Sebag Montefiore

The definitive history of the Eastern Front in the First World War, from the acclaimed military historian and author of Passchendaele and The Western Front


In the second volume of his landmark First World War trilogy, Professor Nick Lloyd tells the story for the first time of what Winston Churchill once called the 'unknown war': the vast conflict in Eastern Europe and the Balkans that brought about the collapse of three empires.

Much has been written about the fighting in France and Belgium, yet the Eastern Front was no less bloody. Between 1914 and 1917, huge numbers of people - perhaps as many as 16 million soldiers and two million civilians - were killed, wounded or maimed in enormous battles that sometimes ranged across a front of 100 km in length.

Through intimate eyewitness reports, diary entries and memoirs - many of which have never been translated into English before - Lloyd reconstructs the full story of a war that began in the Balkans as a local struggle between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, and which sucked in Russia, Germany and Italy, right through to the final collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918.

The Eastern Front paints a vivid and authoritative picture of a conflict that shook the world, and that remains central to understanding the tragic, blood-soaked trajectory of the twentieth century, and the current war in Ukraine.


  • This masterly history makes well-known events feel refreshingly unfamiliar . . . One of the great strengths of Lloyd’s account, a masterly synthesis of sources from various countries, is that unlike many of the war’s participants, he never loses sight of how it all began
    Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

About the author

Nick Lloyd

Nick Lloyd is Professor of Modern Warfare at King's College London, based at the Defence Academy UK in Shrivenham, Wiltshire. He is the author of four previous books, including Passchendaele: A New History, which was a Sunday Times top ten bestseller. He lives with his family in Cheltenham.
Learn More

More from this Author

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more