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A survey of German tactics 1918.

 
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BerichtGeplaatst: 04 Feb 2010 20:19    Onderwerp: A survey of German tactics 1918. Reageer met quote

PART I. A SURVEY OF GERMAN TACTICS DURING THE CAMPAIGN OF 1918

GENERAL SURVEY


A survey of German tactics during 1918 is facilitated by the dramatic change that came over the situation on the 18th of July. Up to that date we are concerned with offensive tactics; after that date only with defensive. The subject thus naturally divides in two.
At the head of the German Army as the spring campaign opened was Field Marshal von Hindenburg, an exponent of offensive tactics, who had up till then, and quite recently in the attack on Riga, met with remarkable successes. In the early phases of the war, and on the Eastern front, Hindenburg had more or less practiced von Schlieffen's Cannae theory,óthe refusal of the centre and double envelopment of the wings. With the immense frontal developments of the later stages of the war, this tactical scheme became less and less workable and the tendency became rather to search out and exploit a weak point in the opponent's line. By making a sufficient effort to break through at such a point, envelopment could then again be practiced; though in this case from the center outwardly to the wings. The adjustment of the armies on the Western front so clearly precluded the possibility of envelopment without the previous break through that it may be assumed that this method was firmly fixed in the German Field Marshal's mind when the spring campaign opened.

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