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  • Author: Christian Stachelbeck
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: Despite the defeat of 1918, the tactical warfare of German forces on the battlefields against a superior enemy coalition was often very effective. The heavy losses suffered by the allies until well into the last months of the war are evidence of this. The tactical level of military action comprises the field of direct battle with forces up to division size. Tactics – according to Clausewitz, the “theory of the use of military forces in combat” – is the art of commanding troops and their organized interaction in combined arms combat in the types of combat which characterized the world war era – attack, defense and delaying engagement.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Author: Matt Bucholtz
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: For decades historical research dedicated to the study of the German army, or Reichswehr, before the Second World War has been dominated by a single overriding question: How did the German army create Blitzkrieg? Studies, both popular and academic, have focused on German offensive doctrine and the leading figures responsible for its creation, in an attempt to understand the stunning German victories of the first half of the Second World War. While this has led to a fuller appreciation of the various characteristics of combined arms warfare, it has also generated a skewed vision of the German army that does not accurately portray its operation, activities, strategic outlook, and doctrinal breadth. Matthias Strohn's work, The German Army and the Defense of the Reich provides a much-needed counter-weight to the existing 'Blitzkrieg' centric historiography of the Reichswehr between the First and Second World Wars.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Germany
  • Author: Dr. Michael Epkenhans
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: At least twice in the history of Imperial Germany, December seems to have been a rather critical month: On 17 December 1887, the ageing German Emperor, Wilhelm I, convened his military entourage at his bed in the castle of Berlin to listen to the reports of his generals about the military situation of the Empire. Under normal circumstances, these reports by Germany's highest-ranking generals, the Chief of Staff and his Quarter Master General, the Prussian Minister of War, and the chief of the Military Cabinet were by no means unusual. Against the background of a political situation which seemed to be deteriorating for several years now, this meeting, however, turned out to be a war-council. For many months the Quarter Master General of the Prussian Army, General v. Waldersee had been pleading for a preventive war against Russia. Germany's eastern neighbour had been quarreling with the nation's most reliable ally, Austria-Hungary, over the Balkans for more than two years now, and according to secret reports about the redeployment of troops on its western border seemed to prepare for a war against the powers of the dual alliance. From a military point of view a solution to this problem seemed urgent, not the least because of the hostile attitude of Germany's western neighbour, France. Waldersee's plea for war was supported by the 87-year-old Chief of the General Staff, Moltke the Elder, and Prince William, whose influence had become ever more important due to his father's fatal illness.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Russia, Germany, Hungary, Austria, Berlin, Prussia
  • Author: Dr. Eugenia Kiesling
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Military and Strategic Studies
  • Institution: Centre for Military, Security and Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: A common military history examination question at West Point is "Discuss the proposition that good strategy always beats good tactics." I tell my cadets that if they cannot answer an examination question, they should modify it they can. Behind our eight stimulating "Workshop Questions" lies a world view which I would summarize as follows. Strategy is literally crucial—the crux of war. Military failures, failures of what my friend Wick Murray calls "military effectiveness," usually being at the strategic level—or stem from a failure to integrate strategy with sound policy. Strategic effectiveness requires not only clear and achievable goals but good policy, sound institutions, and political will.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Germany