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The German Way of War From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich Modern War Studies

Ores the role played by the Prussian army in elevating a small vulnerable state to the ranks of the European powers describes how nineteenth century victories over Austria and France made the German army the most respected in Europe and reviews the lessons learned from the trenches of World War. A fantastic sweeping overview of the PrussianGerman war history of the last 400 years Insightful relating the Prussian historical teachings of techniues and strategies to both modern German war efforts and also American admirers of the German way of war An approachable easy read with plenty of references for those looking to dive deeper into specifics Cenote made the German army the Sottomissione most respected in Europe and reviews the lessons learned from the trenches of World War. A fantastic sweeping overview of the PrussianGerman war history of the last 400 years Insightful relating the Prussian historical teachings of techniues and strategies to both

Characters The German Way of War From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich Modern War Studies

Time and time again Citino focuses on operational warfare to demonstrate continuity in German military campaigns from the time of Elector Frederick Wilhelm and his great sleigh drive against the Swedes to the age of Adolf Hitler and the blitzkrieg to the gates of Moscow Along the way he undersc. Kurz und vives short and lively If one had to pick a catchphrase to describe the typical fashion in which German armies tended to wage wars this is likely the one you would chose And as author Robert Citino showcases it would be uite apt To be fair the title is a tad of a misnomer we can t even properly call it German warfare until 1871 or at the close of the Franco Prussian War and the creation of the German Empire Rather up until then Citino focuses on the Prussian methodology of war fighting And it is Prussia and her particular doctrinal approach to making war that formulates the entirety of the future German method of war fighting Prussia as Citino describes it was a small sandbox in the northeastern corner of Central Europe barely fertile and surrounded by larger wealthier hostile states The Holy Roman Empire to the south Denmark and Sweden to the north and west and Poland to the east It was as a conseuence both of the geographical circumstances that Prussia found itself in and the relative impoverished nature of Prussia s infrastructure and agricultural system that drove the formulation of Prussian military doctrine Any conflict would have to take into consideration that as a Prussian you were likely to be outnumbered outgunned poorer and with a fairly fragile logistical network that couldn t hope to support a long drawn out conflict Therefore Prussian war fighting was aggressive highly aggressive sought out the flanks and pitched into them with a fury Speed was placed at a premium and the independence of commanders in the field and their ability to make snap judgements on the fly even if they contradicted orders of the King were sacrosanct All of these elements of Prussian war fighting were absorbed into the German Empire and carried on through the apocalypse of WW2 Citino rather than making his case by detailing and narrating every single conflict in exhaustive detail prefers the snapshot method taking a particular scenario and focusing his historical lens on that moment His selections read as a who s who of great military commanders and their battles From the Battle of Warsaw in the mid 1600 s through the wars of Frederick the Great the catastrophe of Napoleon s 1806 victories the 1813 War of Liberation the Wars of German Unification where Citino focuses first on Koniggratz and then the opening stages of the Franco Prussian War the First World War and finally ending with succinct analytical summaries of the campaigns in Poland Norway France Low Countries and Barbarossa in WW2 Throughout all of these examples you see the common theme of the PrussianGerman methodology of war making and largely Citino does a superb job of proving his main thesis There are a few uibbles however His treatment of Frederick the Great during the Seven Years War while detailing enough to prove Citino s main point on the unchanging nature of Prussian war making failed to mention that Frederick failed to settle the war in a short and lively way The Hapsburg forces and the Russians proved than capable of bouncing back after repeated drubbings and in truth the Allies won at least tactically battles against the Prussians than vice versa In fact Prussia was utterly exhausted bled white and nearly broken entirely by the war It was only a miracle divine in its provenance that rescued Prussia due to a death of a Russian leader and the subseuent political collapse of the coalition against Prussia While none of that disproves Citino s main thesis it could have been used to draw a parallel to the somewhat similar situation the Germans found themselves in during both World Wars And why the author didn t make than passing mention of the Spring Offensives of 1918 was a uestion I was asking myself as I finished the book Regardless of any of that however this is a stellar work and one that should be on any military historians bookshelf

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For Frederick the Great the prescription for warfare was simple kurz und vives short and lively wars that relied upon swift powerful and decisive military operations Robert Citino takes us on a dramatic march through Prussian and German military history to show how that primal theme played out. Robert Citino s book is a very good compendium of the art of making war according to the Prussian Germans from the 17th century to the 20th The common thread that links all the wars of the Prussian and later German state during that time period is a basic concept called Bewegungskrieg in German or or less translated as war of movement in EnglishThis concept does in fact recovers a number of other aspects as the war of movement aims at attacking the flank or rear of the enemy in order to keep the wars short and lively kurz and vives and done through Auftragstaktic or flexible commandCitino s analyzes highlights of the major Prussian German wars during three centuries to demonstrate these most important aspects of the German war making and also shows how the Germans usually got defeated when they could not fight their wars as per this model His writing is fluid enough considering the dry topic and he especially pays attention to the human factor by describing in details the actual impact of specific personalities on the evolution of this art of war starting from the Great Elector going through Frederick the Great Moltke Schlieffen and Guderian to name a fewRecommended reading for anyone with an interest in the history of European wars


About the Author: Robert M. Citino

Robert M Citino is an American history professor scholar and writer currently teaching at the University of North Texas He specializes in German military history and has earned acclaim by writing several historical books on the subject He has appeared as a consultant on the History Channel several times on the subject of World War II and German military tactics



10 thoughts on “The German Way of War From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich Modern War Studies

  1. says:

    Robert Citino is one of the leading historians of the German Army in the period 1919 1945 although he has extended his scope to the s

  2. says:

    Robert Citino's book is a very good compendium of the art of making war according to the Prussian Germans from the 17th century to the 20th Th

  3. says:

    At first I'm sorry to say that I don't like North American authors when they speak about European History Lots of them do a very shallow job to understand our way of thinking our cultures even our languages Some of them may be too nationalist in their essays when they speak about a nation with not even 250 years of historyBUT Citino is prob

  4. says:

    Prussian German war machine has always fascinated historians and military buffs alike They were either sweeping the battlefield and winning German wars of unification or putting up so much of a fight that it took a coalition of most powerful states to finally bring them down WW1 WW2Citino asks himself is there a German way of war that makes them such formidable force unlike any other? Is there some secret ingredient that makes

  5. says:

    Kurz und vives short and lively If one had to pick a catchphrase to describe the typical fashion in which German armies tended to wage wars this is likely the one you would chose And as author Robert Citino showcases it would be uite apt To be fair the title is a tad of a misnomer we can't even properly call it 'German' warfare unti

  6. says:

    To some degree your mileage with this book may vary depending on how much you buy into the ways of war school of thought that argues that various nations have identifiable ways of war on the operational level that can be analyzed and compare

  7. says:

    Citino presents the history of the Prussian Army small surrounded and feudal Geography left Prussia with fewer resources than it's powerful neighbors and meant that if it was to survive as a nation it needed to be aggressive and fight short wars It couldn't survive wars of attrition WWI was just one of the wars thru Prussia's history that reinforced this military doctrineWhy I started this book Inter library loan is a fa

  8. says:

    A fantastic sweeping overview of the PrussianGerman war history of the last 400 years Insightful relating the Prussian historical te

  9. says:

    A little too selective in its choice of battles and ridiculously blinkered in its definition of German

  10. says:

    I'm hit or miss with this particular historian Up front there are parts of this book that unless you are REALLY into pre 20th Century military history you're skimming Most of the utility here in my opinion is in the big pict

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