Command or Control?: Command, Training and Tactics in the British and German Armies, 1888-1918 / Edition 1

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Overview

This is a comparative study of the fighting systems of the British and German armies in The Great War. Taking issue with revisionist historians, Samuels argues that German success in battle can be explained by their superior tactical philosophy. The book provides a fascinating insight into the development of infantry tactics at a seminal point in the history of warfare.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Investigates why the German army was consistently 20% more combat effective than the British during World War I, and finds the reason in a key difference in philosophy. The Germans considered combat essentially chaotic and so decentralized command, counted on high individual combat skill, and adopted flexible tactical systems. The British saw combat as structured and so tried to maintain order and symmetry through centralized decision making, and counted on mindless obedience from the troops and rigid tactics. Concludes that the British army was weak rather than the German being strong. Distributed by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780714642147
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 340
  • Sales rank: 861,910
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps
Foreword
Acknowledgements
Introduction 1
1 Directive Command and the German General Staff 7
2 The British General Staff and Umpiring 34
3 From Stosstaktik to Stosstrupptaktik 61
4 Restrictive Control and Timetable Tactics 94
5 The Battle of Thiepval, 1 July 1916 124
6 The Evolution of Elastic Defence 158
7 'Blob' Defence 198
8 The Battle of St Quentin, 21 March 1918 230
9 Conclusion 270
Notes 286
Bibliography 316
Index 334
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