Historical research on the German army of the interwar period has concentrated on the development of the so-called 'Blitzkrieg'. However, Matthias Strohn shows that for most of the time the German army, restricted by the terms of the Versailles Treaty, was too weak to launch an offensive war or even effectively repel an invader. Accordingly, the army focused instead primarily on planning a defensive war against superior enemies, especially France and Poland. Making extensive use of German archival sources, Strohn explores the development of military thought and doctrine for the defence of Germany and shows how these ideas were tested in war games and staff rides. His findings comprehensively revise our understanding of the German army in this period, shedding new light on the ideas of leading figures in the German military and how events, such as the occupation of the Ruhr in 1923, influenced military planning.
About the Author
Matthias Strohn was educated at the Universities of Munster, Germany, and Oxford where he obtained a Masters degree and a doctorate. He teaches military history to British army officer cadets and officers at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He currently holds the rank of Captain in the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) reserve and is attached to the German staff college where he lectures on military history to international staff and German general staff officers.
'Strohn's stimulating study of German military thought during the interwar period ably tracks the development of a defensive doctrine in which the offensive remained paramount at the tactical level. It will appeal not only to military historians interested in the nuts and bolts of the tactical defensive but also to scholars more generally interested in military decision making and diplomacy during the interwar period.' Journal of Contemporary History
'Matthias Strohn's work is complex, detailed, and well situated. Moreover, the author deserves a great deal of credit for managing a huge cast of officers and politicians.' H-Soz-u-Kult
"... a serious attempt at understanding German interwar military thought."
MacGregor Knox, The Journal of Modern History
"Strohn's book, based on extensive archival research and the effective use of professional military journals, adds a new twist to the debate about German military doctrine during the interwar period."
William Mulligan, European History Quarterly
"... will appeal not only to military historians interested in the nuts and bolts of the tactical defensive but also to scholars more generally interested in military decision making and diplomacy during the interwar period."
Jeff Rutherford, Journal of Contemporary History
"Matthias Strohn's work is complex, detailed, and well situated. Moreover, the author deserves a great deal of credit for managing a huge cast of officers and politicians."
|List of illustrations||p. vii|
|List of maps||p. ix|
|Introduction and Definitions||p. 1|
|The foundations of defensive warfare in the interwar period||p. 17|
|Defence doctrine before the First World War||p. 19|
|The lessons of the First World War||p. 36|
|Military planning in the aftermath of the First World War||p. 63|
|The Seeckt era: Years of ignorance||p. 87|
|Hans von Seeckt and the rebirth of the offensive||p. 89|
|The manual Führung und Gefecht der verbundenen Waffen and the conduct of the defensive battle||p. 107|
|Adapting to reality 1923-1933||p. 131|
|Military thought after the occupation of the Ruhr||p. 133|
|Civil-military co-operation||p. 171|
|The manual Truppenführung and the increased importance of defence||p. 185|
|Defensive warfare in the Third Reich 1933-1939||p. 203|
|Political ideology versus military reality: Defensive warfare 1933-1936||p. 205|
|The rebirth of offensive warfare 1936-1939||p. 219|
|Conclusion: The defensive battle in the Second World War and beyond||p. 245|
|Appendix: Structure of Reichswehr ministry (army only) 1921-1935||p. 253|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: Cambridge Military Histories (Hardcover)
Number Of Pages: 277
Published: 13th December 2010
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.49
Weight (kg): 0.6