The Roots of Blitzkrieg: Hans von Seeckt and German Military Reform

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"This well-written, well-organized, and comprehensively researched work fills a significant gap in the literature on Germany's way of war in the 20th century. Corum integrates principles and hardware in a way inspiring emulation."?Dennis E. Showalter, author of Tannenberg: Clash of Empires and Railroads and Rifles: Soldiers, Technology and the Unification of Germany

"A splendid work. Corum moves away from the conventional political concentration on military-state relations. He looks below the level of the high ...

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Overview

"This well-written, well-organized, and comprehensively researched work fills a significant gap in the literature on Germany's way of war in the 20th century. Corum integrates principles and hardware in a way inspiring emulation."—Dennis E. Showalter, author of Tannenberg: Clash of Empires and Railroads and Rifles: Soldiers, Technology and the Unification of Germany

"A splendid work. Corum moves away from the conventional political concentration on military-state relations. He looks below the level of the high command to discuss the intellectual and technical debates by the largely unknown colonels, majors, and even captains. This well-written and exhaustively documented work not only provides a clearer understanding of military thinking, reform, and reorganization in post-World War I Germany but raises valuable questions regarding fundamental processes in the study and development of military doctrine, issues that remain pertinent."—Gunther E. Rothenberg, author of The Art of Warfare in the Age of Napoleon

"Corum's extremely thorough labor in the German sources of the period gives English-speaking readers their first look at the internal studies and analyses that emerged from the Reichswehr's systematic examination of that experience. This very important work provides an interesting case study for comparative historical analysis of the way various national armies attempted to assess their World War I experiences."—Harold R. Winton, author of To Change an Army: General John Burnett Stuart and British Armored Doctrine, 1927-1938

Author Biography: James S. Corum is professor of comparative military studies at the School of Advanced Airpower Studies at Maxwell Air Force Base and the author of The Luftwaffe: Creating the Operational Air War, 1918-1940.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This well-written, thoroughly researched book makes a powerful case that the tactical concepts used so effectively by the German army in World War II originated with Hans von Seeckt in the 1920s. Corum (military studies, Air Univ., United States Air Force) deserves particular credit for demonstrating that the German army's tactical orientation reflected not indifference to strategic questions but recognition that Germany's national interests were best served by short wars ending in decisive victories. In a state disarmed by the Versailles Treaty, Seeckt established a body of doctrine independent of armies and weapons. He broke with many aspects of the Prussian-German military tradition to develop concepts of offensive mobile war by elite combined-arms forces, closely supported from the air. He also emphasized high standards of leadership and training at all levels--standards that persisted in the Wehrmacht and contributed greatly to its wartime efficiency. Recommended for military history collections.--D.E. Showalter, U.S. Air Force Acad., Colorado Springs
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700605415
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Series: Modern War Studies
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.22 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
1 The Lessons of World War I 1
2 Von Seeckt and Rethinking Warfare 25
3 Debate within the Reichswehr 51
4 Training the Reichswehr 68
5 Developing Modern Weaponry 97
6 The Development of German Armor Doctrine 122
7 Developing a Reichswehr Air Doctrine 144
8 The Reichswehr as a Mature Military Force 169
9 Epilogue 199
Appendix: Proposed Reichswehr Tables of Organization and Equipment from the 1920s 207
Notes 211
Selected Bibliography 251
Index 271
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