german tactics

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
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sithlord72
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Post by sithlord72 » 01 May 2003 05:53

Lady from hell, not only didnt that make sence, but I think we are all a little dumber for having read it.

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tigre
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Re: german tactics

Post by tigre » 29 Dec 2018 20:50

Hello to all :D; sorry for bumping up this old thread but............................................

The German tactics.

Since 1939, the attention of the world has been focussed upon what appear to be new doctrines in military tactics and strategy. New expressions have been added to our military vocabularies. We have learned to talk about “Blitzkriegs,” “Panzers,” “Stukas,” “encirclements,” and “total warfare” and have been exposed to the propaganda virus of “German invincibility on the battlefield.” In a campaign, which is an integral part of their psychological warfare, they have led us to believe that their successes ou the battlefield are the result of new and startling doctrines of warfare. They have carefully refrained, however, from indicating the basic factor in these successes.

Modern battles may be initiated by the rapid thrusts of armored divisions aided by a powerful air force, but they are won by the ground troops which move in behind these steel-clad monsters and hold the ground which has been overrun. The Infantry is still “Queen of Battle,” and the arms and services which facilitate infantry successes are her handmaidens.

The principles of warfare are not new. They are as old as warfare itself. It is merely the application of modern means to these principles which is new. This is the feature of modem warfare which the Germans would have us overlook while our attention is diverted by the battle prowess of tank and dive bomber. (Note: This was written as far back in time as 1942.)

So "Blitzkrieg" would be the application of modern means to the old principles of warfare..........i.e. in 2005, the historian Karl-Heinz Frieser summarized blitzkrieg as the result of German commanders using the latest technology in the most beneficial way according to traditional military principles and employing "the right units in the right place at the right time". Modern historians now understand blitzkrieg as the combination of the traditional German military principles, methods and doctrines of the 19th century with the military technology of the interwar period.

Sources: “The German Foot Infantry Division" Lieutenent Col. LouIs S. N. PHILLIPP, Cavalry, Instructor, Command and General Staff School. Military Review. July 1942.
Frieser, Karl-Heinz (2005). The Blitzkrieg Legend: The 1940 Campaign in the West [Blitzkrieg-legende: der westfeldzug 1940]. trans. J. T. Greenwood. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 978-1-59114-294-2.

Any thoughts? Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year - feliz Ano Novo - gluckliches Neues Jahr - Bonne Année - Felice Anno Nuovo - Szczęśliwego nowego roku!! :thumbsup:

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doogal
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Re: german tactics

Post by doogal » 30 Dec 2018 11:04

The principles of warfare are not new. They are as old as warfare itself. It is merely the application of modern means to these principles which is new. This is the feature of modem warfare which the Germans would have us overlook while our attention is diverted by the battle prowess of tank and dive bomber. (Note: This was written as far back in time as 1942.)

So "Blitzkrieg" would be the application of modern means to the old principles of warfare..........i.e. in 2005, the historian Karl-Heinz Frieser summarized blitzkrieg as the result of German commanders using the latest technology in the most beneficial way according to traditional military principles and employing "the right units in the right place at the right time". Modern historians now understand blitzkrieg as the combination of the traditional German military principles, methods and doctrines of the 19th century with the military technology of the interwar period.
Basic definition: (RMA) Revolution in military affairs are considered to have happened when doctrines strategies, tactics and technology are irrevocably altered. There must also be adaptation of existing doctrines and strategies.... (I pulled this definition of wiki its not a direct quote because each definition given for an RMA only differs in words rather than meaning)

We must ask if Germany / Wehrmacht achieved such a state: I would answer not completely:

While the Wehrmacht used and deployed the most successful all arms armoured formations in 1939 and 1940 they were not alone in developing them. There were theorists in all the nations armies who experienced armour on the western front and all sought to include armour within a mixed arms environment. For Germany Guderians work drew upon study which had been conducted from 1915/16 onwards, theorists include Ernst Volckheim his friend Colonel Lutz and other German officers.
The operational concept of all arms formations acting independently when required and in concert is similar to the Napoleonic concept of the demi brigade and army corps. And motorization pre dated the German WW2 operational concept as well. They did however put radios in each vehicle which irrevocably altered communication command and control.
(I think this was quite revolutionary)

As for operations and tactics partial army motorisation caused as many problems for the Wehrmacht as it resolved. The balance of the Wehrmacht was not mobile in an automotive sense which produced a two tier unbalanced force. And while some rightly considered the infantry "the queen of the battlefield" its inability to keep pace with mobile formations became an obvious deficiency. Manoeuvring to encircle and annihilate an enemy was rooted not only in 19th c German military academia, (whose roots are multitudinal) but also with Moltke (the elder) who practiced this, and schlieffen who studied it as a future operational concept (no revolution there ).

So as to the question "did the Wehrmacht adapt existing doctrines and strategies", we can answer yes. They drew on there own experiences from several conflicts, and used technology to enhance there pre existing approach to war fighting.
Did they though irrevocably alter military doctrines/strategies/tactics. I do not think they did as it was a global phenomenon rather than just a German one.

I basically agree with what tigre quoted in his post:

I'm sure each will have there own opinion .....




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Last edited by doogal on 30 Dec 2018 19:31, edited 1 time in total.

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tigre
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Re: german tactics

Post by tigre » 30 Dec 2018 18:50

Interesting point of view, thanks for sharing it :wink:. Cheers. Raúl M 8-).

Feliz Año Nuevo - Happy New Year - feliz Ano Novo - gluckliches Neues Jahr - Bonne Année - Felice Anno Nuovo - Szczęśliwego nowego roku!! :thumbsup:

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Re: german tactics

Post by jesk » 31 Dec 2018 18:59

tigre wrote:
29 Dec 2018 20:50
in 2005, the historian Karl-Heinz Frieser summarized blitzkrieg as the result of German commanders using the latest technology in the most beneficial way according to traditional military principles and employing "the right units in the right place at the right time"
Absolutely precisely. Nothing changed from 1 world war. If then one machine gunner could stop break of a cavalry regiment, with the advent of tanks, armored cars it began to make more difficult.

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Re: german tactics

Post by Peter89 » 06 Jan 2019 06:25

The Prussian military doctrine was about fighting short, sharp wars as Prussia was economically and demographically weaker than his neighbours. The name of the warmaking of their style was Bewegungskrieg, meaning a War of Movement. Large encircling operations, army-sized pincer movements and a independently thinking officier staff were hallmarks of the Bewegungskrieg.

Historically, it did and also didn't work from time to time, eg. it did work at Königgrätz, and it didn't in WW1. The cause of this was the technology of respective ages. Eg. in WW1, the defense was much easier than the offense.

In WW2 the technology made possible the perfect employment of this doctrine.

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