If the Kaiser Comes: Defence Against a German Invasion of Britain in the First World War

Author(s): Mike Osborne 

ISBN: 9781781555750
$16.00 $22.00
The military elements of Britain’s home front in the First World War explored in detail.

Trust Badge
  • An examination of Britain’s historical expectations of invasion

  • An exploration of Germany’s intentions to invade Britain

  • Measures taken in Britain to resist invasion by Germany

  • A survey of the defensive landscape based on fieldwork and documents

On 20 November 1914, everything pointed to the likelihood of invasion by a German Army whisked across the North Sea on a fleet of transports.

The Royal Navy prepared to sail south from bases in Scotland; shallow-draught monitors were moored in the Wash; and troops stood by to repel the enemy on the beaches. For thirty years prior to the First World War, writers, with a variety of motivations, had been forecasting such an invasion.

Britain regarded the Army as an imperial police force and, despite the experience gained in military exercises involving simulated invasions, the Royal Navy was still expected to fulfil its traditional role of destroying enemy forces.

However, as the technology of warfare developed with the proliferation of ever more powerful warships, submarines, mines and torpedoes, and the added promise of aerial assault, it became obvious that these long-established notions of the Navy’s invincibility might no longer be realistic.

BOOK ISBN 9781781555750
FORMAT 234 x 156 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 224 pages
ILLUSTRATIONS 68 black-and-white photographs



Mike Osborne’s interest in fortification began with childhood visits to castles. It has developed over the years to include all aspects of the topic from iron-age forts to Cold War bunkers. He was a volunteer-co-ordinator for the Defence of Britain Project recording the military structures of the twentieth century. After a thirty-year career in education, he took early retirement and since then has produced nearly twenty books. Topics include Civil War sieges and fortifications, drill halls, twentieth-century military structures and the best-selling Defending Britain.