The dynamics of doctrine: the changes in German tactical doctrine during the First World War (Google eBook)

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DIANE Publishing, 1981 - Tactics - 73 pages
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Contents

III
2
V
37
VI
55
VII
59
VIII
63
IX
71

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Page 50 - Consequently, although a desperate resistance was offered by the survivors of its garrison, the Forward Zone as a whole was overrun at the first rush, the machine guns still in action hardly firing a shot. Making good use of the valleys, where the fog lay heaviest, the leading waves of German infantry swept onwards towards the Battle Zone, leaving the posts and redoubts still holding out in the Forward Zone to be dealt with by special parties.
Page 40 - From overhead, low flying aircraft ... bombed and machine gunned the British defenders, causing further casualties and, especially, distraction at the critical moment. Nevertheless, few posts appear to have been attacked from the front, the assault sweeping in between to envelop them from flanks and rear.' ( The Official History ...) The phrase 'infiltration tactics' has been widely used to describe the German infantry's new offensive technique.
Page 9 - Army in tactics and in equipment. On the Eastern front we had for the most part adhered to the old tactical methods and the old training which we had learned in the days of peace.
Page 47 - I made practice attacks with the company on complicated trench systems, with live grenades, in order to turn to account the lessons of the Cambrai battle ... we had some casualties ... A machine gunner of my company shot the commanding officer of another unit off his horse, while he was reviewing some troops. Fortunately the wound was not fatal.
Page 34 - They were heralded by very accurate artillery fire concentrated on the point of attack. The ground the Germans intended recapturing would be turned into a field of smoke and flame under a roaring, screeching sky that seemed about to collapse, forcing down the heads of the defenders; trenches would rock and cave under the violence of the explosions, then the air would buzz as the steel wasps of German machine gun bullets came over ... Suddenly the range would lengthen and, looming out of the smoke...
Page 58 - There is no panacea. A formula is harmful. Everything must be applied according to the situation.
Page 41 - Acknowledging the impossibility of destroying all enemy forces in such a deep penetration, the German tactical doctrine did not require complete destruction. Instead, disruption of enemy units and communications was essential. Throughout the doctrine, keeping the enemy off balance, pressing the attack continuously, and retaining the initiative received great emphasis.
Page 34 - ... turned into a field of smoke and flame under a roaring, screeching sky that seemed about to collapse, forcing down the heads of the defenders; trenches would rock and cave under the violence of the explosions, then the air would buzz as the steel wasps of German machine gun bullets came over ... Suddenly the range would lengthen and, looming out of the smoke of the last explosions, shadowy forms would rush forward, gesticulating wildly, enemy soldiers throwing grenades. (Spears, Liaison 1914)...
Page 48 - It all works marvelously, there isn't silence for a moment, it just went on uninterruptedly, rumbling and banging away; rapid fire of every calibre was rattling down on the French, and we hoped they still had no notion of what was coming. Not a single battery had done any range-firing, but our shooting was a masterpiece of accuracy, all worked out and plotted according to the latest principles of ballistics.
Page 57 - In their offensive principles, the Germans did not aspire to achieve total destruction at the thin area of initial contact; they used firepower and maneuver in a complementary fashion to strike suddenly at the entire enemy organization.

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