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Buy It Now. Add to cart. Be the first to write a review About this product. About this product Product Information A bold reinterpretation of some of the most decisive battles of World War II, showing that the outcomes had less to do with popular new technology than old—fashioned, on—the—ground warfare. The military myths of World War II were based on the assumption that the new technology of the airplane and the tank would cause rapid and massive breakthroughs on the battlefield, or demoralization of the enemy by intensive bombing resulting in destruction, or surrender in a matter of weeks.
The two apostles for these new theories were the Englishman J. Fuller for armoured warfare, and the Italian Emilio Drouhet for airpower. Hitler, Rommel, von Manstein, Montgomery and Patton were all seduced by the breakthrough myth or blitzkrieg as the decisive way to victory. Mosier shows how the Polish campaign in fall and the fall of France in spring were not the blitzkrieg victories as proclaimed. He also reinterprets Rommel's North African campaigns, D—Day and the Normandy campaign, Patton's attempted breakthrough into the Saar and Germany, Montgomery's flawed breakthrough at Arnhem, and Hitler's last desperate breakthrough effort to Antwerp in the Battle of the Bulge in December All of these actions saw the clash of the breakthrough theories with the realities of conventional military tactics, and Mosier's novel analysis of these campaigns, the failure of airpower, and the military leaders on both sides, is a challenging reassessment of the military history of World War II.
War Myths: An Exchange | Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers
The book includes maps and photos. He demonstrates that German military doctrine was far different than many have believed. They did not use armored spearheads to inflict panic on Allied rear areas. Instead, they used a broad-front strategy, attacking in many different places at the same time, overwhelming the defenses and making it so they couldn't react.
When they did attempt the Breakthrough strategy, it never worked or caused huge casualties when it did work like the airborne drops on Belgium and Holland.
In point of fact, Hitler was one of the few Germans who believed in the Breakthrough doctrine, and he attempted to use the strategy once he took over military affairs. He tried it twice Avaranches in France and the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium , and both times the result was a hastened German defeat. Allied generals who tried the strategy inevitably found that the Germans were able to quickly shift defenses to halt the attacks. If Hitler hadn't wasted German resources on futile offensives, the Germans could have held on a lot longer than they finally did.
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Mosier attacks the concept of strategic bombing, making a vivid case for how immoral it was. This was because it ended up killing hundreds of thousands of civilians despite having no real effect on the war. He shows that German industrial capacity did not go down in , when the bombing process really began. It did start going down in , but a large part of that can be attributed to the loss of natural resources in areas where the Allies were taking back territory and depriving the German war machine of these resources. Mosier attempts to discredit those who say the bombing campaigns contributed to the ending of the war, and criticizes those who massage the numbers or completely ignore them to make it look like it did have an effect.
The Blitzkrieg Myth is compelling reading and will force the reader to rethink many of the things you thought you knew about the war. While the book is excellent, it does have a few mild faults. First, Mosier stays away from the Eastern front completely, only talking about the Soviets when it comes to their war with the Finns.
The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II
He comments on Italy and states often how erroneous it was for the Allies to invade it when the real war would be won in France, but he doesn't concentrate on it though he does keep referring to the waste of Allied lives there. He does mention the fact that most of the battles with the Soviets would only strengthen his arguments, but it would have been nice to have him show that. At pages, this book could stand to have been expanded to include it. Secondly, he spends a lot of time defending Montgomery, one of the most disliked British generals in the war.
This is not a fault, as Mosier goes far to prove that Montgomery was one of the most misunderstood generals. But sometimes he overemphasizes it, going out of his way to clear the maligned general's name. Thankfully, he does acknowledge Montgomery's shortcomings, especially when it comes down to Operation Market Garden, the ill-advised plan to drop airborne troops in Holland to take a bunch of bridges and then have an armored spearhead drive up the road to meet them.
That's what makes this a minor fault rather than a major one.