Difference between revisions of "What was Blitzkrieg and Who Created it"

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[[File:Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1981-070-15, Frankreich, Panzer IV.jpg|300px|left|thumbnail|Panzer IV in France 1940]]
[[File:Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1981-070-15, Frankreich, Panzer IV.jpg|300px|left|thumbnail|Panzer IV in France 1940]]
During World War Two, Germany used Blitzkrieg warfare or "Lightning War" to quickly sweep through Europe. Poland, Norway, France, the Low Countries, the Balkans, North Africa, and the Soviet Union were quickly overwhelmed, and Germany's victories were incredibly fast and efficient. France's famed Maginot Line proved utterly useless in the face German forces new approach to mechanized warfare.  
During World War Two, Germany used Blitzkrieg warfare or "Lightning War" to quickly sweep through Europe. Poland, Norway, France, the Low Countries, the Balkans, North Africa, and the Soviet Union were quickly overwhelmed, and Germany's victories were incredibly fast and efficient. France's famed Maginot Line proved utterly useless in the face of German forces new approach to mechanized warfare.  
Remarkably, instead of inventing a new form of warfare, Hans von Seeckt (Commander of the Reichswehr from 1920-1926) used traditional German/Prussia warfare tactics but updated them for armored/mechanized infantry and airpower to create Blitzkrieg. Hans von Seeckt was both the architect of the German Wehrmacht and Blitzkrieg tactics used so successfully in World War Two. These victories were so stunning that they gave rise to the myth of German military supremacy—a myth that has persisted to this day.
Remarkably, instead of inventing a new form of warfare, Hans von Seeckt (Commander of the Reichswehr from 1920-1926) used traditional German/Prussia warfare tactics but updated them for armored/mechanized infantry and airpower to create Blitzkrieg. Hans von Seeckt was both the architect of the German Wehrmacht and Blitzkrieg tactics used so successfully in World War Two. These victories were so stunning that they gave rise to the myth of German military supremacy—a myth that has persisted to this day.

Latest revision as of 17:34, 10 February 2021

Panzer IV in France 1940

During World War Two, Germany used Blitzkrieg warfare or "Lightning War" to quickly sweep through Europe. Poland, Norway, France, the Low Countries, the Balkans, North Africa, and the Soviet Union were quickly overwhelmed, and Germany's victories were incredibly fast and efficient. France's famed Maginot Line proved utterly useless in the face of German forces new approach to mechanized warfare.

Remarkably, instead of inventing a new form of warfare, Hans von Seeckt (Commander of the Reichswehr from 1920-1926) used traditional German/Prussia warfare tactics but updated them for armored/mechanized infantry and airpower to create Blitzkrieg. Hans von Seeckt was both the architect of the German Wehrmacht and Blitzkrieg tactics used so successfully in World War Two. These victories were so stunning that they gave rise to the myth of German military supremacy—a myth that has persisted to this day.

How is Blitzkrieg or "Lightning War" defined?

The early German successes have long been closely associated with the catch-all (and catchy) blitzkrieg term—the “lightning war.” What was blitzkrieg? John Keegan’s definition of it is fairly representative of the popular conception of the German war-making style:

“[Blitzkrieg was] essentially a doctrine of attack on a narrow front by concentrated armor, trained to drive forward through the gap it forced without concern for its flanks…"[1]

Keegan’s reductivist definition of the term encompasses most of the popular stereotypes of blitzkrieg: speed, aggression, and the massed use of armored fighting vehicles, specifically tanks. Blitzkrieg's simplified view also assumes it was a new tactic, one that arose out of the stalemate of trench warfare during World War I.[2] The Germans were the only ones to find the “correct” way to use tanks and aircraft and created a strategy or tactic that enabled them to win wars quickly and cheaply.

The historical reality was somewhat more complicated. While the German military was indeed concerned with speed and maneuver in warfare, it is probably not true that their fighting style was either doctrinaire or even new. First, a formal and established doctrine of blitzkrieg probably did not exist in the German military. The term “blitzkrieg” appeared only rarely in official Wehrmacht literature before or during the war, and the term seems to have much more popular with foreign journalists.[3] Second, the tactics of maneuver and speed in warfare were not an interwar discovery by the Germans but were a reversion to traditional German/Prussian war styles.

What was the German Way of War?

Robert Citino has been the most responsible for theorizing the existence of a “German Way of War.”[4] According to Citino, the origins of Germany’s military-style came out of the particular strategic position of Germany’s founding state: the Kingdom of Prussia. From the days of Frederick William, the Prussians have had to contend with enemies who both came from all sides because of Prussia’s central location, but who were also better endowed with workforce and economic resources. Prussia could not afford to fight long, protracted wars against such enemies—it simply did not have the resources or staying power to do so. The need for “short and lively” wars, compounded by a lack of strategic depth, meant that the Prussians tended to attack even if they were not the ones who initiated the conflict. The Prussian warfare style emphasized maneuvering to find the enemy flank or rear and then surrounding the enemy, thereby creating a Kessel or “cauldron.”

So instead of speaking of blitzkrieg, it is more appropriate to use the more traditional German term of “Bewegungskrieg”—“war of movement.” Bewegunskrieg was the favored form of fighting, as opposed to “Stellungskrieg” or “fortress war” or “Materialschlacht” or “Materiel Warfare.” The last two terms implied slow and costly wars that the Prussians thought that they could not win.

Frederick the Great by Anton Graff 1781

Equally important to the German way of war was the peculiar relationship of the Junkers to the Hohenzollern monarchy. The hereditary Junkers nobility became the officer class of the Prussian army. In exchange for their loyalty and military service, the Hohenzollern monarchs gave them great domestic and considerable latitude in command. In warfare, this translated into allowing subordinates a high degree of leeway when trying to achieve their tasks in combat.[5] This is now known as Auftragstaktik or “mission tactics”—a system of command whereby subordinates are not given specifics but a general “mission” that they can fulfill according to their best judgment. Like “blitzkrieg,” the historicity of the term “Auftragstaktik” is somewhat doubtful, but the devolution of authority and command initiative in German warfare cannot be denied.

The greatest exemplar of the Prussian way of war was the warrior-king Frederick the Great. His victories in Rossbach and Leuthen were won with speed and daring maneuvers where Frederick the Great tried to find the enemy army’s flanks. The 19th-century head of the Prussian General Staff, Helmuth von Moltke, was also a role model for this operational style. His victories in Sedan and Koenigsberg during the Wars of German Unification all involved Prussian armies outmaneuvering and surrounding their enemies in quick and relatively low-cost wars.

When the Hohenzollern monarch became the Kaiser of Germany, the Prussian Way of War became the German Way of War. The Prussian General Staff became the main conduit for this tradition, and it continued to advocate “short and lively wars.” This military weltanschauung persisted even though Germany rapidly became one of the most industrialized and populated countries in Europe during the 19th century and was thus more capable of winning long, attritional wars.

World War I

World War I seemed to nullify bewegungskrieg when both sides were unable to maneuver in the face of the defense's superiority. Unfortunately, almost all of the major combatants of the First World War initially favored aggression and attack—the so-called “cult of the offensive.” [6] So in the opening months of the war, all of the major combatants launched massive attacks that all bloodily failed. Why was the Western Front locked in a stalemate for almost four years?

First, firepower in machine guns, bolt-action rifles, and—especially—quick-firing artillery like the French 75mm or the British 18-pounder favored the defensive over the offensive. The new weapons technology had made the attack difficult and costly, almost to the point of futility. “Crossing the deadly ground” or attacking across terrain covered by these new weapons extracted a huge toll on exposed attackers, who also could not stop to fire without disrupting the momentum of the advance.[7] Conversely, defenders sheltering in even improvised field fortifications presented much less of a target to the attackers’ firepower and were far less vulnerable.

German Trenches on the Aisne

It is something of a myth that the period's militaries were unaware of the dangers posed by modern firepower. [8] There were some attempts to develop tactics to overcome the dangers of defensive fire, and some of the combatants had alternatives to massed attacks in close order.[9]

The problem was that these solutions were not enough, and attacks still suffered horrendously even when successful. Tactical attacks did not necessarily fail in the sense that they were unable to reach trench lines. The attacking infantry often actually did reach the enemy trenches despite all of the defensive firepower. The problem lay in consolidating and reinforcing success and thereby turning a tactical success into an operational one.

The defensive advantage was technological, and it was conferred by new means of transport and communication. During World War I, transport was still primarily muscle-powered. That is, soldiers, ordnance, and supplies were either leg-borne or conveyed by animal power. Strategic mechanized transport, i.e. motor vehicles, overland was through railways. Unfortunately, railways were not responsive to rapidly changing tactical situations. If an infantry attack breached a trench line, the defender could not use the transport network to bring up reinforcements to plug the gap quickly.

Indeed, combatants built rail lines behind their trench systems precisely to ease such transport. Attackers could not match this kind of ease of transport because their railway lines ended at the no-man’s land between the two trench lines. To compound the attacker’s problems, the mud in no man’s land—often churned up by constant bombardment—was difficult to traverse and usually targeted by enemy interdicting fire. Under such conditions, the resupply and reinforcement of a successful breach were almost impossible. Because the attacks were not able to use motor vehicles to speed across no-man's land, it is was difficult to get enough troops to seize their opponent's trenches.

Hand in hand with the transport problem was the problem of communications—more specifically, the attacker’s lack thereof.[10] Long-distance communications were generally done through telegraphy, a system that was not very portable. Wireless telegraphy did exist, but the early sets were bulky, unreliable, and of short-range. The most commonly used form of telegraphy during the First World War relied on wires to transmit information. These wires were easier to lay in times of peace, when the grid’s layout could be properly plotted and when the wires could be buried underground.

During an attack, the only way for the attackers to stay in telegraphic communication with their rear was to trail the wire behind them as they crossed no man's land. This made for a very vulnerable line, one that was easily cut or disrupted. It was, therefore, difficult for a successful attack to request support from the rear. Indeed, for most of the war, the only reliable means of doing so was through runners—the most famous of whom must have been Corporal Adolf Hitler. [11]

The second major dilemma was the very nature of the armies of Europe before World War I. These armies were massive, the product of what John Keegan called a “military population explosion” brought about my nationalism and the advocacy of the “nation at arms.” [12] These armies were composed largely of conscripts or reservists who were not in the best training. There were a few highly trained regulars, but most of the soldiers did not possess the high standard of training required to overcome the challenges of modern warfare. These conscript armies lacked finesse—they were too large to command with the technology of the day, and they lacked the training to be supple. According to the post-war German Army commander, Hans von Seeckt, these armies could only move forward ponderously and crush the enemy through sheer mass. [13] The problem of poor training grew worse as the war consumed the trained reserves of manpower. By the latter half of the war, tactics had become even more simplistic almost by default—it was all that the poorly-prepared soldiers were capable of. [14]

By the end of the war, a degree of mobility was restored to the battlefield. It was not perfect mobility since the problems of sustaining an attack remained, but logistics and communications problems still constrained operational freedom. The fact remains that it was possible to overcome the trenches' challenge, and all of the significant combatants came up with ways of doing so.

A non-technological solution was infiltration tactics: infantry would sneak up to the enemy line's weakest point, attack them from the flanks or rear, often after a brief bombardment, and then push on, bypassing points of resistance. These tactics are erroneously thought to have originated with the Germans. Still, the British and the French came up with them independently—possibly even before the wide-scale German usage of them in the 1918 Spring Offensives.[15]

New artillery techniques complemented infiltration tactics, like the creeping barrage, and by the emerging technologies like chemical weapons, improved radio communication, the tank, and aircraft. All these factors helped to end the stalemate and restore some degree of mobility to the battlefield. No one solution could overcome the preponderance of the defense—the key was combined arms or the effective use of infantry, artillery, armor, and aircraft in concert. The battlefields of 1918 presaged those of World War II.[16]

British Mark I Tank could cross trenches.

Even before these new weapons and tactics, the Germans were still able to employ Bewegungskrieg in the Eastern Front. The theater of operations was too large to allow the establishment of siege lines like in the West, and enemy flanks could always be found. The East's war still dragged on longer than the Germans had hoped, but it was not the same kind of frustrating stalemate. Eventually, the pressures of war and constant defeat knocked Russia out of the conflict and the Germans essentially “won” in the East.

Therefore, the German experience of World War I was quite different from that of the French and the British, and the “lessons” they drew from it were consequently also different. They were not as wedded to the idea of stalemate or the irrelevance of the offensive and operational maneuver. They chose to view the Stellungskrieg of the trenches as an aberration that could be overcome. In the German view, Bewegungskrieg had not been rendered obsolete or untenable—it just had to be adapted to the new circumstances.

How did Hans von Seeckt develop Blitzkrieg Tactics & Strategies?

Hans von Seeckt and Otto Gessler in 1930

After the war, the Reichswehr—the successor to the Imperial German Army—set about trying to train for the next war that it knew was coming and wanted to fight. The Reichswehr was much stymied by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, but this did not stop its new chief, Hans von Seeckt, in his desire to restore German arms and bring Bewegungskrieg back from its supposed extinction.[17]

Von Seeckt had one significant advantage in his bid to remake the Reichswehr: its small size. In the words of John Keegan, Internally, however, Versailles [Treaty] had missed the mark. Designed to stunt the German army by making it ridiculous, it successfully transformed it into an elite [force].[18]

Von Seeckt exhibited “ruthless disregard” when it came to selecting which few officers could remain in the Reichswehr, making sure that only the best were retained regardless of background.[19] The same selectivity applied when it came to the rank-and-file: the Reichswehr had the pick of the best. Due to the shattered German economy of the 1920s, the German military had its choice of qualified recruits. A career in the army was appealing during unsettled economic times because it offered steady pay and benefits. To many conservatives, the army also seemed to be the repository of old Imperial values and traditions when German society seemed to be breaking down.

As a result of the selectivity of the Reichswehr, the German army training was extremely rigorous and well thought out. [20] Von Seeckt emphasized initiative, taking the principle of Auftragstaktik all the way down to the individual soldier. German soldiers were taught to think for themselves, seize opportunities, and lead when their superiors were incapacitated. According to the German manual on leadership, Die Truppenführung,

Situations in war are of unlimited variety. They change often and suddenly and only rarely are from the first discernable. Incalculable elements are often of great influence. The independent will of the enemy is pitted against ours. Friction and mistakes are everyday occurrences.[21]

Von Seeckt realized that the dispersion demanded by modern firepower and the poor battlefield communications militated against the troops' close control. Any attempt to closely supervise operations would lead to confusion, slowness, and a lack of flexibility. Therefore, individual initiative was a requirement of modern combat because it would be impossible to react to opportunities or problems with any timeliness otherwise. Commanders would merely have to formulate plans that would take such flexibility by their subordinates into account.

Therefore, the reduction in the size of the Reichswehr addressed Hans von Seeckt’s criticisms of undertrained and unwieldy mass armies. Now he could have the small elite army of well-trained experts that he preferred. The German military would expand later, and it did become the mass-based army that von Seeckt disliked. Still, the highly-trained men of the Reichswehr provided an experienced core upon which future German commanders could build. The German army’s emphasis on flexibility and initiative among non-coms and junior officers would persist well into the Second World War. In the words of Robert Citino, the Wehrmacht possessed “a seemingly uncanny ability to whip together an integrated fire team out of a handful of infantry, a single machine gun, and a light mortar.”[22]

Von Seeckt and the rest of the German general staff also undertook an intense examination of the First World War to formulate the tactics and strategies of the Reichswehr. Von Seeckt re-emphasized Bewegungskrieg, insisting that the trenches were an aberration. The key to avoiding stalemate was a mix of individual initiative, surprise, energy in conducting operations, and combined arms. This last was most important, and the Reichswehr trained hard to integrate infantry, cavalry, and artillery on the battlefield. The Germans once again trained to avoid enemy strength, exploit opportunities, and to seek enemy flanks. [23]

What type of New Technologies created a Mechanized German Army?

Mechanization was relatively slow to come to the German army, in part because of the limitations imposed by the Treaty of Versailles and because of simple poverty. Von Seeckt himself was a traditionalist and believed that exploitation of a breakthrough was a task for cavalry. Like most other militaries, the Reichswehr initially conceived of tanks as infantry support weapons—which was logical given the unreliability, slow speed, and short operational range of early tanks.[24]

Improvements in armor technology changed German minds, however. By the late ‘20s, the idea of giving armor primacy on the battlefield was beginning to take hold in the Reichswehr. Instead of subordinating tanks to infantry, and thereby limiting their tactical and operational speed, thought was given to finding ways to subordinate the other arms to tanks instead.[25]

The development of armor in Germany has long been associated with Heinz Guderian, who claimed to be the “father” of the panzers in his autobiography Achtung Panzer! Guderian was indeed an essential figure in the history of the panzer forces, but he exaggerated his role. And while there was some resistance to the use of armor in the Reichswehr, it was not as marked as he claimed. Many other commanders and theorists had a more direct role than Guderian: men like Ludwig Beck, Oswald Lutz, Ludwig Ritter von Eimannsberger, and Ernst Volckheim, among others. The German military establishment had already agreed to use tanks as their main striking force before Guderian became involved in the panzerwaffe’s growth.[26]

Tanks and mechanized forces were eminently suited to the idea of Bewegungskrieg. Armored forces provided the necessary striking force that could punch through enemy defenses. They had the mobility to exploit any breaches they created in the enemy line without losing their momentum. Thus, while armor's German adoption was not entirely seamless, it was more measured and more balanced than the theories in other countries, like Britain or France. Through studies and exercises, the Germans understood that tanks had not eliminated the need for combined arms.

Unlike the British armor theorist J. F. C. Fuller, the Germans knew that tanks needed the support of artillery, infantry, and air power to overcome enemy defenses. Instead of advocating for an all-tank army in the same way that Fuller did, the Germans created the panzer division. This was an all-arms force whose main power came from tanks, which was heavily supported by infantry, artillery, and the logistical support mounted in trucks or other tracked or semi-tracked vehicles. Motorizing or mechanizing these supporting branches gave them the mobility to keep up with the tanks, especially during long operational maneuvers. [27]

The Germans also focused on the radio—a technology that promised to solve the problem of communications. Radio was wireless, which meant that individual units no longer had to rely on vulnerable telegraphs or telephones. Now commanders could keep in close touch with their forward forces, and it was easier to reinforce success or mitigate failure. The Germans equipped almost all of their tanks with radios and widely distributed them to their units. Just as important as their practice maneuvers with tanks and infantry were their interwar radio exercises to test their communications procedures.[28]

The Germans' problems during their mechanization drive were not negligible and had an impact on their armor doctrine. The biggest problem they faced was that the German industry could not produce the desired numbers of tanks, trucks, and transporters.[29] German industry still failed even when Adolf Hitler came to power and prioritized military procurement—and nearly destroyed the Third Reich economy in the process.[30]

Guderian and Ludwig Beck, then chief of the German army, did indeed come into conflict, but not because Beck was an anti-armor traditionalist. Instead, Beck had a broader view of the situation than Guderian, who was only concerned with the panzerwaffe. Beck was worried that concentrating all of the army’s massive assets like tanks and motorization in a few panzer divisions would reduce the military's fighting ability. He wanted to allocate some tanks to the infantry divisions to give them more offensive capability. Guderian resisted this, thinking that it would dilute Germany’s armored strength.[31]

He eventually won this debate. Germany concentrated her mechanized and motorized assets into a few panzer and light divisions—the rest of the German army remained leg-mobile infantry, not much different from their World War I counterparts. This would prove problematic in the long run, but it gave the Wehrmacht an elite, concentrated fighting force of excellent hitting power, mobility, and flexibility on the eve of war. The panzer divisions would serve as spearheads for the mass army.

What Role did Airpower and the Luftwaffe play in German Blitzkrieg?

The air arm was a crucial component of Germany’s success in World War II, and its development during the interwar period should also be mentioned. The Luftwaffe has usually been thought of as an adjunct to the Heer, or ground forces, of Germany and not as invested in the strategic bombing fervor that gripped Britain and America.[32] This is a simplification since some commanders in the fledgling Luftwaffe (in the 1930s) wanted to create a strategic bombing force along the lines advocated by such theorists Guilio Douhet.[33]

Buckley points out that Douhet’s influence may have been overestimated and mythologized. Indeed, at the outbreak of the war, the Germans had a fleet of bombers like the He-111 or the Do-17 that were capable of reaching most cities within Central and Western Europe and had the navigational aids to bring them there. These capabilities stood in marked contrast to the RAF or the USAAF, which had serious deficiencies in navigation, accuracy, and aircraft survivability despite their professed faith in strategic bombing. [34]

Hitler was himself a believer in Douhet-ian ideas of the utility of the terror brought about by bombing civilians, even if it is unclear whether he had ever read Douhet. Throughout the war, he would advocate retaliation as a means of deterring strategic bombing on the Reich. This obsession would lead to technological and economic diversions such as the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket.

However, it was once again Germany’s central position that dictated strategy. Since the country faced the prospect of immediate invasion from any number of neighbors, it always had to use its air force in conjunction with its ground forces. At the very least, it had to secure German airspace, and the Luftwaffe could certainly not afford to engage in strategic bombing to the detriment of other military requirements:

Thus it would scarcely improve Germany’s strategic position if-- at the same time that the Luftwaffe launched aerial attacks on London, Paris, and Warsaw-- Germany’s enemies defeated the Wehrmacht on the border and overran Silesia, East Prussia, and the Rhineland.[35]

There was also an important economic consideration to the Luftwaffe development-- Germany could not afford the “luxury” of a strategic bomber force with an independent mission.[36] So even if the Germans did have a “medium” bomber force capable of carrying out what the US Army Air Corps or the RAF might deem as “strategic” missions, it could only do so in the context of greater operational considerations.

So like its armored theorists, German air advocates had a much more balanced and pragmatic approach to airpower use. This was quite unlike the hyperbolic or grandiose claims of air power's decisiveness made by people like Billy Mitchell, Hugh Trenchard, or Douhet in other countries.

The Luftwaffe’s mission was essentially formulated by its first Chief of Staff, Walther Wever, a member of the General Staff who was transferred to the air force. And like a good German staff officer, Wevel’s focus was operational-- the German air force would help the German army achieve its goals of war of movement but not by being tied to it in a limited “airborne artillery” manner or strictly as a close air support tool.[37]

The Luftwaffe would first win air superiority and secure German airspace to provide its air, naval, and ground forces with the operational freedom to maneuver; however, they wanted. After winning air superiority, it would then constrain enemy operational maneuver through what would now be thought of as interdiction missions, bombing enemy lines of communication, logistics networks, and follow-on or reinforcing units. Strategic bombing of enemy cities or economic assets would only be carried out in conjunction with these previous missions. For instance, cities' terror bombing would be carried out to paralyze enemy leaders and impede their decision-making cycle, not to win the war on its own. [38]

The result was a balanced air force of tremendous utility. The Luftwaffe could win air superiority, conduct various bombing missions, transport supplies or men, and perform surveillance-- all with high proficiency. Somewhat ironically, given its current reputation, the Luftwaffe was at its weakest in the close air support role.[39]


It must finally be mentioned that political and social factors come into play as well. The German armed forces were united with the German leadership to rebuild military power and embark on wars to restore German position. This position was widely accepted, and unlike countries like France or Britain, Germans were not anti-war.

The German desire for revenge for Versailles' slights and her perceived humiliation combined with her armed forces doctrine of warfare. The result was an ability to engage in aggressive combat that was far more balanced and studied than Germany’s prospective opponents. The years of preparation also stood the Germans in good stead, and the Wehrmacht was generally better trained, had better procedures, and had far better integrated its equipment than its opponents.

The German way of war was not perfect, and the test of war would show up its weaknesses in strategy, logistics, and intelligence. But in 1939, on the eve of war, it had a system of war that was had the advantages of efficiency and surprise. France, England, Poland, Russia, and many other countries would learn how well the Prussians had adapted their Bewegungskrieg to the new war conditions.

Updated February 2nd, 2021.


  1. Keegan, John, The Mask of Command. USA: Penguin Books, p. 259.
  2. For a fairly representative view of blitzkrieg, see Fred Majdalany, The Battle of El Alamein. Philadelphia & New York: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1965, pp. 23-24; Robert Wernick, Blitzkrieg. USA: Time-Life Books, 1976, p. 23.
  3. Friesser, Karl-Heinz, The Blitzkrieg Legend. Trans. John T. Greenwood. USA: Naval Institute Press, 2005, pp. 4-5.
  4. This was drawn from Robert M. Citino, The German Way of War. USA: University of Kansas Press, 2005.
  5. Citino, The German Way of War, pp. 307-311.
  6. Jack Snyder, The Ideology of the Offensive. USA: Cornell University Press, 1984, pp. 41-106.
  7. The term is from Perry D. Jamieson, Crossing the Deadly Ground. Tuscaloosa, Alabama: The University of Alabama Press, 1994.
  8. Howard Bailes, “Technology and Tactics in the British Army, 1866-1900,” pp. 21-47. From Men, Machines, and War, eds. Ronald Haycock and Keith Neilson. Canada: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1988; Jamieson, Crossing the Deadly Ground; Robert Citino, Quest for Decisive Victory. USA: University Press of Kansas, 2002, pp. 31-132.
  9. With the notable exception of the French. See Robert A. Doughty, Pyrrhic Victory. USA and UK: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2005.
  10. Paul Gannon, “WW1: First World War communications and the 'Tele-net of Things.'” http://eandt.theiet.org/magazine/2014/06/links-for-victory.cfm, retrieved on 25 Sept. 2015.
  11. Keegan, Mask of Command, pp. 241-243 and pp. 251-252.
  12. Keegan, Mask of Command, p. 244.
  13. Citino, The German Way of War, p. 243.
  14. John Keegan, The Face of Battle. USA: Penguin Books, 1976, pp. 229-230.
  15. Jonathan Krause, Early Trench Tactics in the French Army. England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2013; Paddy Griffith, Battle Tactics of the Western Front. New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1994.
  16. Williamson Murray and Allan Millett, A War to be Won: Fighting the Second World War. Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2001, pp. 18-21; Peter Hart, The Great War. United States: Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. 447-448.
  17. For the interwar German army and Hans von Seeckt, see: Citino, The German Way of War, chapter 7.
  18. Keegan, Mask of Command, p. 268.
  19. Murray and Millett, A War to be Won, p. 22.
  20. Robert T. Elson, Prelude to War. USA: Time-Life Books, 1976, pp. 96-105
  21. , Elson, Prelude to War, p. 23.
  22. Citino, The German Way of War, p. 242.
  23. Murray and Millett, A War to be Won, pp. 22-23.
  24. Richard Ogorkiewicz, Armored Forces. New York: Acro Publishing Company. 1970, p. 13.
  25. For a detailed account of the German forces’ interwar development see Mary R. Habeck, Storm of Steel. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2003; Robert Citino, The Path to Blitzkrieg. USA: Lynne Rinnier Publishers, Inc, 1999.
  26. Dennis Showalter, Hitler’s Panzers. USA: The Berkley Publishing Group, 2009, pp. 22-70.
  27. Citino, The German Way of War, p. 241 and pp. 253-255.
  28. Citino, The German Way of War, pp. 255-256.
  29. Richard L. DiNardo, Germany’s Panzer Arm in World War II. USA: Stackpole Books, 2006.
  30. Richard Overy, War and the Economy in the Third Reich. UK: Clarendon Press, Oxford, 2002, pp. 183-204.
  31. Showalter, Hitler’s Panzers, pp. 45-46; Friesser, The Blitzkrieg Legend, pp. 28-33.
  32. Robert Doughty, “Myth of Blitzkrieg,” from Challenging the United States Symmetrically and Asymmetrically. USA: US Army War College, 1998, p. 62; Williamson Murray, Strategy for Defeat. USA: Air University Press, 1993, p. 1.
  33. John Buckley, Air Power in the Age of Total War. UK: UCL Press, 1999m pp. 74-77.
  34. Murray and Millett, A War to be Won, pp. 33-34.
  35. Murray, Strategy for Defeat, p. 1.
  36. Murray, Strategy for Defeat, pp. 1-3 and 7.
  37. James Corum, The Luftwaffe. USA: University of Kansas, 1997; Buckley, Air Power in the Age of Total War, pp. 84-87; Murray, Strategy for Defeat, pp. 5-9.
  38. Buckley, Air Power in the Age of Total War, pp. 77-90.
  39. Murray and Millett, A War to be Won, p. 34; Buckley, Air Power in the Age of Total War, pp. 85-86.