One of the great misconceptions of the Second World War is the notion that the German Army was the epitome of mechanical efficiencycombining lightning speed with awesome military power. R. L. DiNardo argues that, although the elite panzer divisions were indeed formidable units, about 75 percent of the German Army were infantry divisions who relied primarily on the horse for transport. So, DiNardo asks, how modern was the Wehrmacht during World War II? Could it have achieved a higher level of modernity than it actually did? This book takes an unusual approach to the study of the much mythologized German Army.
In dealing with horses specifically, DiNardo shows how the German Army was in many ways a throwback to the nineteenth century. How extensive was this antiquated dependence on horses, and was this a conscious decision on the part of the leaders of the German war machine? Did it have an effect on the army's organization and battle strength? What problems did the Germans encounter due to their use of horses? This study answers these questions from a unique perspective and will be invaluable to military historians, courses in military studies, and the collections in public and academic libraries.