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Leavenworth Papers No. 4: The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During the First World War
Leavenworth Papers No 4 The Dynamics of Doctrine The Changes in German Tactical Doctrine During the First World War Author:Timothy T. Lupfer During the First World War a tactical stalemate developed on the western front which lasted for nearly four years. In this period the adversaries sought to develop ways of breaking the stalemeate. The Allies tried strategic solutions (Gallipoli, Salonika), technological solutions (the tank), and most frequently a tactical solution using vast q... more »uantities of munitions to create a penetration in the front. The Germans responded to the Allied use of firepower in a very flexible way, developing in 1917 an elastic defense-in-depth which caused the Allies to waste much of their efforts, while the Germans conserved theirs. When strategic conditions favored a German offensive in the west in spring 1918, the Germans developed an offensive doctrine whic incorporated many of the virtues of their elastic devense-in-depth and which avoided several of the pitfalls into which the Allied tactical doctrine had fallen.
The changes to the German tactical doctrine were profound. ...The tactical doctrine was disseminated to the units through a remarkable training program, and the entire procedure was directed with the knowledge that conditions and unique situations would always affect teh application of the tactical doctrine.« less