TITLE

Learning War's Lessons: The German Army and the Battle of the Somme 1916

AUTHOR(S)
Foley, Robert T.
PUB. DATE
April 2011
SOURCE
Journal of Military History;Apr2011, Vol. 75 Issue 2, p471
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
At the beginning of July 1916, the British and French armies launched a massive offensive against the Germans along the Somme River. Surprised by both the intensity and ferocity of the Entente battle of material on the Somme, the German army was caught completely off guard and suffered high casualties, if not great loss of terrain. Over the course of the battle, the Germans were forced by superior Anglo-French weaponry and tactics to improvise a new defensive tactical doctrine. This article makes use of contemporary German "lessons-learned" reports to explore the development of these new defensive tactics and show that the lessons-learned system refined during the battle allowed the German army to stay intellectually flexible despite the overwhelming pressures of the battle.
ACCESSION #
59582380

 

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