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The Myth and Reality of German WarfareOperational Thinking from Moltke the Elder to Heusinger$
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Gerhard P. Gross

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813168371

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813168371.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Myth and Reality of German Warfare
Author(s):

Gerhard P. Gross

, David T. Zabecki
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813168371.003.0001

While many German military historians resist studying operational theory directly in favor of examining the political and cultural efforts necessary to sustain warfare, this introduction argues for a holistic approach to military history, which embraces the cultural studies advanced by “New Military History” without neglecting the significance of war proper—battles, killing, and strategy. Just as it is impossible to understand war without considering the battles themselves, it is impossible to fully understand the thinking behind world war campaigns without examining earlier German military theorists, especially Field Marshal Helmuth Graf von Moltke the Elder and Alfred von Schlieffen. This book studies German operational thinking in five armies from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century within the context of their respective economic, political, and social environments.

Keywords:   German operational thinking, Alfred von Schlieffen, Moltke the Elder, New Military History

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