Our Fascination With German Military

This one is worth reading.
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American blitzkrieg
The United States military's infatuation with the German military has
led to it seeing war as a creative science, not a man-made disaster,
with rapid, decisive victories such as Desert Storm celebrated as
artful "blitzkrieg". The army may have forgotten that the Third Reich
was defeated not by military elan, cutting-edge weaponry or tactical
finesse, but by the unbreakable spirit of citizen-soldiers. - William
J Astore (Feb 19, '10)
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PaPa Peng
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War IS politics.
But more importantly, war is what humans do best unfortunately. So if we are going to do it, we might as well be the best at it of all the nations that are around.
It's not pretty nice, or useful of resources. But it HAS to be done. Because war is human nature. And whether it be business, war or playing cards, what war really represents is competition. Which is one of the basis of ALL human instinct traits...
We are a competitive species. To think otherwise is folly.
And the only species we have to compete with is ourselves.
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May be more of a cultural artifact than we thought - recent research on the civilisation in the Indus Valley (3,000 years of relative peace and prosperity with no trace of Great Leaders and apparently quite a narrow band between rich and poor, so little envy). It was a climate change that finished them off, couple of thousand years back now, but they traded with most of the rest of the world. No axe to grind, too old to worry much about these things.
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Mike Smith
...and so are trade and commerce...which are also war...
War is just Darwin - mechanized...
...pretty much my take on the human condition - we occasionally just plain get out there and kill the crap out of each other...no matter how "civilized" we think we've become...
...OTOH, there really aren't many technological innovations in modern warfare which cannot be traced back to the WWII era, IMO. We just do a lot of the same stuff faster and with greater precision now, probably because we divvied up all the German scientists after WWII. Except for networking and body count, it's all status quo.
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I can't find anything in the author's article that I agree with. The author of the article is arguing with success, success in the 1990-91 Gulf War and success in Iraq 2003-08. That to me ultimately is a fool's errand that pays off no dividends. He seems to draw the wrong conclusions on just about every tack he takes in regards to his presumption of an inappropriate influence on modern US military doctrine by Wehrmacht-philes and students of von Clausewitz. The Blitzkrieg was a watershed shift in military doctrine - disregard it at your own peril. The US in WWII thankfully, did not - they did it one better and incorporated it into a global strategic and operational doctrine the Germans could never have gotten their minds around, much more to have employed it effectively.
His overall cheeky point seems to be the Germans lost and a faith in a professional army via von Clausewitz is misplaced. Well, I'd say to the Lt Colonel that a military education isn't what it used to be if that's all he can derive from a study of WWII German operations and all that he appreciates in a standing professional army. Operation Desert Storm (and its all important Desert Shield build-up component) can trace a straighter line to their Operation Overlord lineage (and that signature WWII American strategic and operational doctrine I mentioned above) than anything the Germans showed the world in 1940 during Fall Gelb and Fall Rot.
As for von Clausewitz, I suppose the author would argue against Napoleon who famously said "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake" - on the basis that Napoleon was ultimately defeated or that the French have never won anything since 1918.
I give the author credit for striking the appropriate patriotic tone in support of our citizen soldiers, sleepily awakened and aroused to the fight - but had we begun a serious mobilization in 1938 as opposed to 1940, we might have enjoyed the benefits of a large standing professional army in places we needed it most - places like Kasserine and the Huertgen Forest. US infantry was paper thin in late '44 on into '45 - and we were the ones that were WINNING!
I will admit I was taken aback the first time I saw the steel helmets and the ODs supplanted by the new Kevlar helmet and the BDU camo ensemble. They didn't call it the Fritz helmet for nuthin'. The Teutonic warrior's profile was unmistakable - but I got over it. If our soldiers feel better and fight better because they look and function like the guys in the Tamiya panzergruppe boxart as opposed to the sadsack, snuffy smith appearance of Willie and Joe and their broken down jeep - so be it.
US military thinkers reasoned in the late 70s that a conscious and visible break from the appearance of the Vietnam and Post-Vietnam soldier was what was needed in their formulation of a new professional all volunteer army. They seem to get their fair share wrong in the military - but that's one decision they aced. The writer of that article can argue with success all he wants.
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