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The German Army and the Defence of the Reich : Military Doctrine and the Conduct of the Defensive Battle 1918-1939 : The Cambridge Military Histories Series - Matthias Strohn

The German Army and the Defence of the Reich : Military Doctrine and the Conduct of the Defensive Battle 1918-1939

The Cambridge Military Histories Series


Published: 13th December 2010
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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

List of illustrationsp. vii
List of mapsp. ix
Acknowledgementsp. x
Introduction and Definitionsp. 1
The foundations of defensive warfare in the interwar periodp. 17
Defence doctrine before the First World Warp. 19
The lessons of the First World Warp. 36
Military planning in the aftermath of the First World Warp. 63
The Seeckt era: Years of ignorancep. 87
Hans von Seeckt and the rebirth of the offensivep. 89
The manual F├╝hrung und Gefecht der verbundenen Waffen and the conduct of the defensive battlep. 107
Adapting to reality 1923-1933p. 131
Military thought after the occupation of the Ruhrp. 133
Civil-military co-operationp. 171
The manual Truppenf├╝hrung and the increased importance of defencep. 185
Defensive warfare in the Third Reich 1933-1939p. 203
Political ideology versus military reality: Defensive warfare 1933-1936p. 205
The rebirth of offensive warfare 1936-1939p. 219
Conclusion: The defensive battle in the Second World War and beyondp. 245
Appendix: Structure of Reichswehr ministry (army only) 1921-1935p. 253
Bibliographyp. 254
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521191999
ISBN-10: 0521191998
Series: Cambridge Military Histories
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 292
Published: 13th December 2010
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 16.2  x 2.4
Weight (kg): 0.61