This is a really great book. So you don’t have got read any further…. the book covers the German way of war dating from the lessons they learn in the 1870s. The author introduced us to Helmut Karl Bernhard von Moltke who uses the Augtragstaktik as the centrepiece of what becomes the underlining principle of German military doctrine for the coming two world wars.
A central element within the Prussian/German Army is Auftragstaktik, a tactical management concept that dates from the middle of the nineteenth century and is still very advanced in terms of management and organization.
While the Germans ultimately lost both wars., when you look at the case studies in the book, of which there are a lot, it is clear that German military thinking was way advanced of the rest of the world.
This will possibly be uncomfortable reading for some but the author simply lays out the facts in his chosen case studies and historical reports from both sides to create a picture of what happened. Comparing things such as how officers and men were treated, how command structures worked and how replacements were integrated – it’s a very interesting read.
I wonder if wargamming rules need to be amended to take it account the seemingly endless flexibility of the German war machine of WW1 and WW2.
You will not be surprised to learn the author is a management consultant, and the book reads like an instruction manual with simple easy to follow case studies that explain the concepts discussed. Reading the case studies in this context will effect your view on some of these battles, at least it has for me.
This will be a book I read over again.
You can buy the book here from Pen and Sword books.
Please note I was not paid to write this review but was sent a review copy of the books. All comments are my own, and the publishers have not amended the review in any way.