Doctrine and Dogma: German and British Infantry Tactics in the First World War

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Greenwood Press, 1992 - History - 225 pages

This is the first in-depth comparison of German and British infantry tactics, training, and leadership techniques during World War I. Samuels' study undercuts some traditional views about the reasons for German successes and British failures during the Great War and points to how different value systems in the two countries affected their military prowess. This historical study of the doctrines underlying the British and German strategies and their implementation is intended for students of military history and contemporary military strategy.

This history first analyzes the development of German infantry tactics and the role of the Storm Battalions and then examines the British attempt to adopt the German defensive systems and points to reasons for flaws in the British doing so. In comparing and contrasting the British and German armies, Samuels outlines the key concepts on which the German defensive system was based and analyzes how forces were trained and leadership was decentralized to produce a dynamic and flexible system. British efforts to adopt the key concepts failed because leadership was centralized and poor training contributed also to combat ineffectiveness.

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About the author (1992)

Martin Samuels is studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. His PhD thesis in Military Studies will be on command in the German and British Armies, 1864-1918, and a degree will be awarded by the University of Manchester.

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