Accession Number:



Getting it Right Quickly When the Moment Arrives: Lessons from the Interwar German Army for the 21st Century.

Descriptive Note:

Strategy research rept.,

Corporate Author:


Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



What institutionally cnaracterizes armies wno successrully navigated through periods of rapid technological, political, and social change What kinds of leaders were needed At the risk of addressing a topic that has been analyzed and dissected by historians and military writers for well over 50 years, I submit there is still much we can learn from the German Army. In particular, the interwar German Army, or Reichswehr, was an organization that shared many of the same challenges we do today. Emerging from a major conflict WWI vs. the Cold War into an age of breathtaking technological change the era of mechanization vs. the Information Age, the Reichswehr can provide valuable lessons applicable to the U.S. Army of the 21st Century. Of all the armies to emerge from WWI, it was the German Army that took a systematic, holistic approach to breaking the stalemate of the trenches, first observed in the initial phases of WWII. Initially, the Allies were awed by this new form of warfare that they, not the Germans, dubbed Blitzkrieg, or Lightening War. In truth, Blitzkrieg was simply the product of an evolutionary process which had its roots firmly set in the traditions of the German Army. Initially, we observe the embryonic stages of Blitzkrieg in the development of Stormtroop Tactics on the Western Front in 1916. Later, building on this wartime experience, General Hans von Seeckt, Chief of the Reichswehr from 1919-1926, established the foundation for combined arms warfare that most conventional armies would eventually adopt by 1944.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: