Michael Epkenhans (born June 27, 1955 in Wiedenbrück ) is a German modern historian specializing in military and naval history . From 1996 to 2009 he was director of the Otto von Bismarck Foundation . He is an adjunct professor at the University of Hamburg and a senior scientist at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr . Epkenhans is one of the leading naval historians in Germany thanks to his research. His specialty is the First World War .
Michael Epkenhans studied history and English from 1975 to 1982 at the University of Münster . In 1982 and 1985 he passed the state examinations for teaching at secondary level I and II. In 1989 he was promoted and supervised by Manfred Botzenhart and Marie-Luise Recker on the Wilhelmine armament from 1908 to 1914 to the Dr. phil. PhD. From 1989 to 1991 he was a scientific volunteer at the Provincial Institute for Westphalian State and Folk Research in Münster.
From 1992 to 1996 he was a research assistant at the Reichspräsident-Friedrich-Ebert-Gedenkstätte Foundation in Heidelberg. From 1994 to 1996 he was a lecturer in modern history at Heidelberg University . From 1996 to 2009 he was director of the Otto von Bismarck Foundation based in Friedrichsruh near Hamburg. In 2004, Wilhelm Deist initiated the habilitation for Albert Hopman at the University of Hamburg in the subject of modern history. Epkenhans is an adjunct professor at the History Department (German History Department) at the University of Hamburg. In February 2009, Epkenhans became the research director of the Military History Research Office in Potsdam, which existed until the end of 2012. Since 2013 he has headed the research department at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr . Since 2014 he has been the lead scientist at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr. Since 2016 he has been the executive officer and deputy commander in the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr in Potsdam.
Epkenhans is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Strategic Studies . He is a member of the Military History Working Group , the Navy Records Society , the German Society for Shipping and Marine History and the Association of Historians in Germany as well as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the German Naval Museum , member of the scientific advisory board of the Otto von Bismarck Foundation and Chairman of the Circle of Friends the Mürwik Naval School .
Epkenhans is best known for his work on the Imperial Navy . In his doctoral thesis on German naval policy, published in 1991, he dealt with the period from 1908 to 1914, which had hitherto been neglected in research. The work is divided into three parts. The first part deals with the Reichsmarineamt in the interweaving of German domestic and foreign policy up to 1912. The second part examines the connections between economy and naval construction during the same period. The last part deals with the final decay of the “ Tirpitz Plan ” in the period from 1912 to 1914. In the last section, he examined the much discussed “ July Crisis ” in 1914 and the German decision-making process from the perspective of the naval command. He advocated the thesis that in July 1914 the Reich had finally chosen “the flight to the front”. With this study he made an important contribution to the history of Wilhelmine Germany. Based on his dissertation, he is rated as one of the best experts on the Wilhelmine naval armor. His other publications include depictions of German history in modern times, especially the 19th and 20th centuries. He is the author of numerous textbook contributions and was the editor of 37 booklets in the Friedrichsruher Contributions series on historical and political education of the Otto von Bismarck Foundation . Together with Karl Teppe, Epkenhans published the anthology Westphalia und Prussia in 1991 . Integration and regionalism , which brings together the results of a conference of the Provincial Institute for Westphalian State and Folk Research. The central theme of the 14 contributions is the interrelationship between Prussian rule and Westphalian regionalism. The editors intend to examine the “real history of integration and regionalism”.
In 2003, Michael Epkenhans discovered copies of a total of 51 letters from Admiral Reinhard Scheer to his wife from the last months of the war in 1918 in a second-hand bookshop in Bremen. Epkenhans supplemented his source edition in 2006 with a detailed introduction designed as a biographical sketch (pp. 11–71 ). In view of the lack of a scientific biography about Scheer, the edition of the letters is of great documentary importance. The letters published by Epkenhans give insights into Scheer as a politician, military man and private man. Also in 2003, Epkenhans published an anthology with Gerhard P. Groß , which goes back to the 44th International Conference on Military History in Reinbek on the subject of the military and the dawn of modernity from 1860 to 1890 . The articles examine the relationship between the military and the respective political system, the relationship between the military and social change processes, and the relationship between technological change and the military. A fourth chapter is devoted to the military museum as a place of instruction.
In 2004, Epkenhans published a highly regarded edition of the diaries, letters and records of Albert Hopman , one of the most senior admirals in the Imperial Navy, as a further "ego document" of an important member of the Navy. In his introduction, Epkenhans characterizes Admiral Hopman as a typical “ Wilhelminer ”: like all the military of this era, he claimed a leading role for the German Reich. His hope on the 100th anniversary of Sedan , "to see Germany [...] great again in the world [...] as the primus inter pares among the other peoples of Europe", was not fulfilled. Epkenhans comes to the conclusion that the naval circles around Alfred von Tirpitz, represented by Hopman, were not directly involved in the political-diplomatic events surrounding the outbreak of World War I , since "the political decisions were made solely in the Foreign Office and in the Reich Chancellery". Hopman's closeness to the political control centers of the time and his precise and sober comprehension make his self-testimonies a key document in research into the causes and objectives of war, as they trace important foreign and marine policy decisions from the years before 1914 and during the First World War through direct observation.
Together with Karen Hagemann and Stig Förster , Epkenhans published an anthology with 16 articles in 2006 as a result of a conference on the topic of military culture of remembrance . In their introduction, the editors discuss the possibilities and limits of evaluating personal testimonies for research into military history. Also in 2006, Epkenhans took part in the conference “90 days of the Skagerrakschlacht ” in Reinbek , which looked at the prehistory and course of the important naval battle of the First World War, as well as its historical processing. The income was published in a 2009 anthology edited by Epkenhans, Jörg Hillmann and Frank Nägler .
In 2007 Epkenhans published the book Leben im Kaiserreich together with Andreas von Seggern . Germany around 1900 . The presentation is aimed “as a modern 'reader' [...] for the historical layman”. The “reading book” was divided into the three large sections “The Authoritative State”, “The Departure into Modernity” and “Between Tradition and Progress”, which at the same time highlighted the main features of the era. With Andreas Biefang and Klaus Tenfelde , Epkenhans published an anthology in 2008 on the importance and development of the "political ceremony" in the German Empire , which bundles the results of a joint conference of the University of Bochum and the Otto von Bismarck Foundation in 2006. The volume also establishes the book series “Parliament and the Public” by the “ Commission for the History of Parliamentarism and Political Parties ” sponsored by the German Bundestag .
Following on from the work by Michael Salewski from 1979, Epkenhans submitted a brief biographical sketch of Grand Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz in 2008 . In 2010, Epkenhans published an anthology on Friedrich Alfred Krupp together with Ralf Stremmel . The portrait, composed of seven individual contributions, is intended to serve as a preliminary contribution for an overall biography. The two authors intend to locate Krupp in the area of tension between persistence and new beginnings and to shed light on the many facets of his personality as well as to trace his “unusually broad spectrum of interests and fields of action”. In his contribution, Epkenhans dealt with the behavior of Friedrich Alfred Krupp "in the area of tension between company interests and politics". He comes to the conclusion that with regard to the transition to naval and world politics, Krupp was “by no means the driver, but rather the one who was soon increasingly driven”. Also in 2010, a meeting of the Otto von Bismarck Foundation took over the economic policy approach of Otto von Bismarck instead. The corresponding conference proceedings were published in 2013 by Epkenhans and Ulrich von Hehl . Summarizing remarks on Bismarck's pragmatism in the economic policy of the German Empire conclude the conference proceedings.
On the occasion of the 300th birthday of Friedrich II. Epkenhans published in 2011 together with Gerhard P. Groß , Burkhard Köster a "non-fictional book" (so the blurb) about Prussia. Their concern was "to describe the diversity of Prussia [...] and to review the worlds of past eras." The authors "primarily want to reach those for whom non-fiction books are too 'dry'."
Also in 2011, appeared in the UTB series, the first in 2008 by Epkenhans in Konrad Theiss publishing house published history of Germany. From 1648 until today in paperback. The main focus of this presentation is the history of the 19th and 20th centuries. In his introduction, Epkenhans characterizes his view of history in the area of tension between the materialistic and idealistic conception of history and thus positions himself in relation to the socio - historical approach of more recent German historiography, which was shaped by Hans-Ulrich Wehler : “History is made by people, even if social and economic processes of change, above all but also ideas like the Enlightenment, liberalism or socialism influence their actions. "
In 2014, the English translation of the military-historical documentary analysis Der Schlieffenplan, published in 2006 by Hans Ehlert , Michael Epkenhans and Gerhard P. Groß, received the Arthur Goodzeit Book Award . In 2015 Epkenhans was honored with the Bundeswehr Cross of Honor . On the occasion of Otto von Bismarck's 200th birthday, Epkenhans published in 2015, together with Andreas von Seggern and Ulrich Lappenküper, an account of Bismarck's life and the years of his political work. Also in 2015 he published an account of the First World War. For Epkenhans, the decisive step towards war was taken by the German Empire .
- with John Zimmermann : The Wehrmacht - War and Crime. Reclam, Ditzingen 2019, ISBN 978-3-15-011238-0 .
- The First World War 1914–1918 (= UTB. Bd. 4085). Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2015, ISBN 978-3-8252-4085-1 .
- with Ulrich Lappenküper , Andreas von Seggern : Otto von Bismarck. Departure into the modern age . Bucher, Munich 2015, ISBN 978-3-7658-1962-9 .
- with Gerhard P. Groß , Burkhard Köster : Prussia. The rise and fall of a great power. WBG, Darmstadt 2011, ISBN 978-3-8062-2418-4 .
- Online edition: Konrad Theiss Verlag, Stuttgart 2015, ISBN 978-3-8062-3085-7 .
- History of Germany. From 1648 until today. Theiss, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8062-2159-6 (several editions).
- Tirpitz. Architect of the German High Seas Fleet. Potomac Books, Washington DC 2008, ISBN 978-1-57488-732-7 .
- with Andreas von Seggern: Life in the Empire. Germany around 1900 . Theiss, Stuttgart 2007, ISBN 978-3-8062-2030-8 .
- The Wilhelmine naval armor 1908–1914. Striving for world power, industrial progress, social integration (= contributions to military history. Vol. 32). Oldenbourg et al., Munich et al. 1991, ISBN 3-486-55880-3 (At the same time: Münster, University, dissertation, 1989).
- with Gerhard P. Groß, Markus Pöhlmann, and Christian Stachelbeck: Secret Service and Propaganda in the First World War. The records of Colonel Walter Nicolai 1914 to 1918 (= Age of World Wars. Vol. 18.). De Gruyter Oldenbourg, Berlin et al. 2019, ISBN 978-3-11-060899-1 .
- with Eberhard Kolb: Otto von Bismarck: thoughts and memories (= Otto von Bismarck. Collected works. New Friedrichsruher edition. Section IV). Schöningh, Paderborn 2012, ISBN 978-3-506-77070-7 .
- with Erik Lommatzsch: Otto von Bismarck: Writings 1877–1878. (= Otto von Bismarck. Collected Works. New Friedrichsruher Edition. Dept. III: 1871–1898. Writings; Vol. 3: 1877–1878). Schöningh, Paderborn 2008, ISBN 978-3-506-76525-3 .
- My dear sweetheart! Letters from Admiral Reinhard Scheer to his wife. August to November 1918 (= small series of publications on military and naval history. Vol. 12). Winkler, Bochum 2006, ISBN 978-3-89911-079-1 .
- Albert Hopman. The eventful life of a “Wilhelminer”. Diaries, letters, records 1901 to 1920 (= contributions to military history. Vol. 62). On behalf of the Military History Research Office, Oldenbourg, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-486-56840-X . (= At the same time: Hamburg, University, post-doctoral thesis M. Epkenhans, 2004)
- with Ewald Frie : politicians without office. From Metternich to Helmut Schmidt (= Scientific Series. Otto von Bismarck Foundation. Vol. 28). Schöningh, Paderborn 2020, ISBN 978-3-506-70264-7 .
- with Robert Bohn : Garrison towns in the 19th and 20th centuries. (= IZRG series of publications. Vol. 16). Publishing house for regional history, Gütersloh 2015, ISBN 978-3-7395-1016-3 .
- with Matthew Seligmann , Frank Nägler : The Naval Route to the Abyss. The Anglo-German Naval Race 1895-1914 (= Navy Records Society Publications. Vol. 161). Ashgate, Farnham 2015, ISBN 978-1-4724-4093-8 .
- with Ulrich von Hehl : Otto von Bismarck and the economy. Schöningh, Paderborn 2013, ISBN 978-3-506-77714-0 .
- with Carmen Winkel : The Garrison Church Potsdam. Between myth and memory. Rombach, Freiburg im Breisgau et al. 2013, ISBN 978-3-7930-9729-7 .
- with Ralf Stremmel: Friedrich Alfred Krupp. An entrepreneur in the empire. CH Beck, Munich 2010, ISBN 978-3-406-60670-0 .
- with Gerhard P. Groß: The Danish Straits and German Naval Power 1905–1915 (= Potsdam writings on military history. Vol. 13). Military History Research Office, Potsdam 2010, ISBN 978-3-941571-11-2 .
- with Jörg Hillmann , Frank Nägler: Skagerrakschlacht. Prehistory - event - processing (= contributions to military history. Vol. 66). Oldenbourg, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-486-58803-3 (2nd edition, ibid 2010, ISBN 978-3-486-70270-5 ).
- English edition: Jutland: World War I's Greatest Naval Battle (= Foreign military studies ). University Press of Kentucky, Lexington 2015, ISBN 978-0-8131-6605-6 .
- with Andreas Biefang, Klaus Tenfelde : The political ceremonial in the German Empire 1871-1918 (= contributions to the history of parliamentarism and political parties. Vol. 153). Droste, Düsseldorf 2008, ISBN 978-3-7700-5291-2 .
- with Stig Förster , Karen Hagemann : Military culture of remembrance. Soldiers in the mirror of biographies, memoirs and personal testimonies (= war in history . Vol. 29). Schöningh, Paderborn et al. 2006, ISBN 978-3-506-75680-0 .
- with Hans Ehlert , Gerhard P. Groß: The Schlieffenplan. Analyzes and documents (= age of the world wars. Vol. 2). Schöningh, Paderborn et al. 2006, ISBN 3-506-75629-X (2nd, revised edition. Ibid 2007, ISBN 978-3-506-75629-9 ).
- English translation by David T. Zabecki : The Schlieffen Plan. International Perspectives on the German Strategy for World War I. The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington 2014, ISBN 978-0-8131-4746-8 .
- with Gerhard P. Groß: The military and the dawn of modernity 1860 to 1890. Armies, navies and the change in politics, society and economy in Europe, the USA and Japan (= contributions to military history. Vol. 60). Oldenbourg, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-486-56760-8 ( review ).
- with Martin Kottkamp, Lothar Snyders: Liberalism, Parliamentarism and Democracy. Festschrift for Manfred Botzenhart. Cuvillier, Göttingen 1994, ISBN 3-89588-021-3 .
- with Karl Teppe: Westphalia and Prussia. Integration and regionalism (= research on regional history. Vol. 3). Schöningh, Paderborn 1991, ISBN 3-506-79575-9 .
- Literature by and about Michael Epkenhans in the catalog of the German National Library
- Works by and about Michael Epkenhans in the German Digital Library
- Search for "Michael Epkenhans" in the SPK digital portal of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
- Researcher profile of Michael Epkenhans at Clio-online
- Short biography and reviews of works by Michael Epkenhans at perlentaucher.de
- Michael Epkenhans at the Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr
- ↑ Sven Felix Kellerhoff : Michael Epkenhans heads research at MGFA . In: Die Welt , January 8, 2009, No. 6, p. 23.
- ↑ See the discussions by Franz-Josef Kos in: Historische Zeitschrift 258 (1994), pp. 235–237; Ralf Forsbach in: Archive for Social History 34 (1994), pp. 641–642 ( online ); François-Emmanuel Brézet in: Francia 19/3 (1992), pp. 249-251 ( online ); Holger H. Herwig in: The Journal of Modern History 66 (1994), pp. 212-213; Lothar Burchardt in: Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte 40 (1995), pp. 202–203; Werner Rahn in: Journal for Bavarian State History 60 (1997), pp. 1293–1296 ( online ); Katharine A. Lerman in: European History Quarterly 23 (1993), pp. 277-279; Michael Salewski in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 40 (1992), p. 387.
- ↑ See the review by Lothar Burchardt in: Zeitschrift für Unternehmensgeschichte 40 (1995), pp. 202–203, here: p. 203.
- ↑ See the review by Franz-Josef Kos in: Historische Zeitschrift 258 (1994), pp. 235–237, here: p. 237.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Karl Teppe: Introduction. In this. (Ed.): Westphalia and Prussia. Integration and regionalism. Paderborn 1991, pp. 1–20, here: p. 11.
- ↑ See the review by Jürgen W. Schmidt in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 55 (2017), pp. 179–180.
- ↑ See the reviews of Jürgen Angelow in: Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 92 (2005), pp. 327–328; Ralf Pröve in: Historische Zeitschrift 280 (2005), p. 218; Eberhard Kolb : On the powder keg. The departure of the military into the modern age from 1860 to 1890. In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , June 7, 2004, No. 130, p. 10.
- ↑ See the reviews of Holger H. Herwig in: The Journal of Modern History 78 (2006), pp. 762–764; Andreas Leipold in: Yearbook for European Overseas History 9 (2009), p. 295 f .; Marian Nebelin in: Research on Brandenburg and Prussian History 18 (2008), p. 130 f .; Jost Dülfer: Sailor ahoy! In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung February 12, 2007, No. 36, p. 7 ( online ); Dieter Fricke in: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 53 (2005), pp. 850–852; Franz-Josef Kos in: Historische Zeitschrift 280 (2005), pp. 772–774.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans: Albert Hopman. The eventful life of a “Wilhelminer”. Diaries, letters, records 1901 to 1920. Munich 2004, p. 93.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans: Albert Hopman. The eventful life of a “Wilhelminer”. Diaries, letters, records 1901 to 1920. Munich 2004, p. 45.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Stig Förster, Karen Hagemann: Self-testimonials in military history - possibilities and limits. In this. (Ed.): Military culture of remembrance. Soldiers in the mirror of biographies, memoirs and personal testimonies. Paderborn 2006, pp. IX-XVI.
- ↑ See the review by Jürgen W. Schmidt in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 57 (2009), pp. 180–181.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Andreas von Seggern: Life in the Empire. Germany around 1900. Stuttgart 2007, p. 9. See the review by Martin Kohlrausch in: sehepunkte 8 (2008), no. 9 [15. September 2008], online ; Thomas W. Probst in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 56 (2008), p. 269.
- ↑ See the reviews by Jakob Vogel in: H-Soz-Kult , February 1, 2011, ( online ); Matthias Stickler in: sehepunkte 10 (2010), No. 2 [15. February 2010], ( online ).
- ↑ Michael Salewski: Tirpitz: Rise, Power, Failure. Göttingen 1979.
- ↑ See the reviews by Björn Hofmeister in: Zeitschrift für Geschichtswwissenschaft 59 (2011), pp. 574–576; Jörg Lesczenski in: H-Soz-Kult , June 24, 2011, ( online ); Christoph Mecking in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 59 (2011), pp. 317-318.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Ralf Stremmel: Interpretations of a life. In this. (Ed.): Friedrich Alfred Krupp. An entrepreneur in the empire. Munich 2010, pp. 7–25, here: p. 7.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Ralf Stremmel: Interpretations of a life. In this. (Ed.): Friedrich Alfred Krupp. An entrepreneur in the empire. Munich 2010, pp. 7–25, here: p. 24.
- ^ Michael Epkenhans: Friedrich Alfred Krupp: A large industrialist in the field of tension between company interests and politics. In: Michael Epkenhans and Ralf Stremmel (eds.): Friedrich Alfred Krupp. An entrepreneur in the empire. Munich 2010, pp. 77–107, here: p. 107.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Ulrich von Hehl: Otto von Bismarck and the economy. Paderborn 2013. See the reviews of Jörg Lesczenski in: Historische Zeitschrift 301 (2015), pp. 540–542; Boris Gehlen in: H-Soz-Kult , October 15, 2014 ( online ); Salvador Oberhaus in: Sehepunkte 14 (2014), No. 3 [15. March 2014], ( online ); Hubert Kiesewetter in: Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte 100 (2013), pp. 527-528 ( online ).
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans: Otto von Bismarck and the Economy - Pragmatist or Programmatiker? In: Michael Epkenhans, Ulrich von Hehl (ed.): Otto von Bismarck and the economy. Paderborn 2013, pp. 229–246.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Gerhard P. Gross, Burkhard Köster: Preussen. The rise and fall of a great power. Darmstadt 2011, p. 6.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Gerhard P. Gross, Burkhard Köster: Preussen. The rise and fall of a great power. Darmstadt 2011, p. 7.
- ↑ See the discussion by Dirk Fleischer in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 60 (2012), pp. 459-460.
- ^ Michael Epkenhans: History of Germany. From 1648 until today. Paderborn 2011, p. 8.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans: Review of the Senior Scientist. In: Center for Military History and Social Sciences of the Bundeswehr (Ed.): Annual Report 2015. Potsdam 2016, p. 4–7, here: p. 6.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans, Ulrich Lappenküper, Andreas von Seggern: Otto von Bismarck Aufbruch in die Moderne. Munich 2015. See the review by James Stone in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 63 (2015), pp. 352–353.
- ↑ Michael Epkenhans: The First World War. Stuttgart 2015. Cf. the reviews of Gerd Krumeich in: sehepunkte 17 (2017), No. 7/8 [15. July 2017], ( online ); Ludger Tewes in: Das Historisch-Politische Buch 64 (2016), p. 9.
|BRIEF DESCRIPTION||German military historian|
|DATE OF BIRTH||June 27, 1955|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Wiedenbrück|