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Trying to Learn About Ludendorff's Infiltration Techniques

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  • Trying to Learn About Ludendorff's Infiltration Techniques

    I read about it somewhere a long time ago, possibly in Liddel Hart's book The Real War 1914-1918, but the memory has gotten pretty foggy. I'll probably be looking it up in the book, but I thought I would bring up the subject.

  • #2
    The Hutier technique

    The technique you're speaking of is called the Hutier Technique, after the officer who developed it.

    The Germans had an excellent system of learning battlefield lessons quickly in WW1 (it was used by the US in WW2 and is being used in Iraq now), where "lessons learned" could be quickly analyzed and a solution found, then taught to troops close to the front, where you know they're paying attention. They had a special unit designated to solicit ideas and work with them that worked very well.

    Wiki has a good write up on it here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infiltration_tactics).
    Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
    Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


    "Never pet a burning dog."

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    • #3
      Thanks for the good info; I find it ironic

      that the French conceived of this idea but the Germans implemented it.

      "Ironically the idea for infiltration tactics was first proposed by French Army captain Andre Laffargue [1]. Laffargue published a pamphlet "The attack in trench warfare" in 1915, based upon his experiences in combat that same year. He advocated that the first wave of an attack identify hard-to-defeat defenses but not attack them; subsequent waves would do this.

      The French published his pamphlet "for information", but not implemented. The British did not even translate it. Germany captured copies of the pamphlet in 1916 and put its ideas into practice."

      The irony for me comes from the fact that a British soldier, the later-to-be- famous theorist Liddell Hart, came up with the blitzkrieg idea (or that is the name we know it by.) No army really followed up, but Hans Guderian, charged by the German army to develop tactics for an "armored reconniasance in force" cheated and instead developed the decisive, victory-deciding tactic of his time. And his starting point was a paper by Liddell Hart (not secret, I guess, becuase it was peace time.)

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      • #4
        You're welcome, and yes, it is amazing. Innovation makes a winner, lethargy makes a loser.
        Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
        Time Magazine's Person of the Year for 2003 & 2006


        "Never pet a burning dog."

        RECOMMENDED WEBSITES:
        http://www.mormon.org
        http://www.sca.org
        http://www.scv.org/
        http://www.scouting.org/

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        • #5
          I have a book that covers the topic, "Stormtroop Tactics, Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918", by Bruce Gudmundsson. German units were trying out what came to be called "Stormtrooper Tactics", before the war. The problem is it took a long time for them to evolve and reach fruition. One could start with "Boer Tactics", and progress from that to Stormtroop Tactics.

          The Frenchman was also ignored by his side. The Germans did get Laffargue's pamphlet and did examine it. The Germans copied it and issued it as an information asset on possible French tactics.

          The Germans were able to combine several independent lines of thought to achieve Stormtroop Tactics. One was work did with Flamethrowers by Pioneers. Another was on use of Infantry Guns to provide mobile support (even if direct fire). Bruchmuller's Artillery work also was an important step in reaching the goal.

          Remember the Allies also had to cooperate to create the situations that made these tactics work so well.

          Basically there were many "Fathers" for such an important infant!

          Pruitt
          Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

          Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

          by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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          • #6
            An excellent paper online is The Dynamics of Doctrine: The Change in German Tactical Doctrine During the First World War by Timothy T. Lupfer. ( http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/car...fer/lupfer.asp ).

            Also invaluable is Jonathan House's Combined Arms Warfare in the Twentieth Century published by the University Press of Kansas in their outstanding Modern War Studies series. An earlier edition of House's book is located online at http://cgsc.leavenworth.army.mil/car...ouse/House.asp

            Despite his claims to military genius, Liddell Hart was not the inspiration for the martial successes (and excesses) Germany had in the first half of the twentieth century. What came to be called blitzkrieg was, in fact, the latest manifestion of the German tradition of "short and lively wars" as Robert Citino makes clear in his book The German Way of War: From the Thirty Years' War to the Third Reich. Liddell Hart encouraged German officers to give him credit post World War Two, and since they needed him to help get their books published in Britain they often wrote things about him that did not appear in the German editions. Reviews, however, of prewar German military literature show that Liddell Hart was not very influential. For example, see Guderian's prewar book Achtung Panzer. Aside from a couple of comments in passing, Liddell Hart is barely mentioned. Charles De Gaulle, Giffard Martel, and J.F.C. Fuller are featured much more prominently.
            "The legitimate object of war is a more perfect peace." General William T. Sherman , 20 July 1865

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
              I have a book that covers the topic, "Stormtroop Tactics, Innovation in the German Army, 1914-1918", by Bruce Gudmundsson. German units were trying out what came to be called "Stormtrooper Tactics", before the war. The problem is it took a long time for them to evolve and reach fruition. One could start with "Boer Tactics", and progress from that to Stormtroop Tactics.


              Pruitt
              Thanks very much for your excellent reply, all of which was quite interesting, and I'm sorry I could not myself reply much sooner. This is been a bit of a horrendous period for me as far as work. I especially appreciate the reference to the book which I will be attempting to obtain.

              In lieu of that, I have picked out one part of your reply to quote that is most interesting to me. Did the Germans study the Boer war and derive the storm trooper idea from that conflict? Also, might you give me a thumbnail sketch of what storm trooper tactics actually are?

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              • #8
                The Germans studied lots of wars. Since they felt a degree of kinship (some "Dutch Boers" were actually descended from Germans and French Huegenots), they wanted to see what tactics worked and which did not. The ideas gleaned was mostly common sense. Boers hid behind cover and shot up British troops that did not go to cover. The Boers were also just about all Mounted Infantry compared to the other Cavalry types found in the British Army. The Boers also traveled light and had no train in support. In theory when a Boer ran out of food or ammo, he went home for more!

                Storm troopers were a combination of Assault Troops from the German Pioneer Corps (Flamethrowers, Mortars), Jaegers (Light Infantry) and Infantry Guns. Support came from hurricane bombardment of short duration with a healthy dose of gas shells in enemy artillery areas (choking and blistering)). Gaps were blown in the enemy wire and gas neutralized the counter bombardment and settled into the enemy trenches. Hard targets were taken out by flamethrowers, or infantry guns (easier to manhandle forward) . The Infantry bypassed resistance and tried to get into the support trenches to finish off the artillery and reserve troops.

                Storm Troops were often of Company size and occasionally up to Battalion. They tended to use the younger, more fit troops. That is because they tended to attack at a run, instead of along a line in mass. The troops did take advantage of any cover offered. The secondary assault came in from older units to take out bypassed areas of resistance. Of vital importance was the use of verbal command and delegation of authority. Picture it as an NCO assault rather than a General's assault. Objectives were more of a general concept. The main target was to disrupt the enemy communication grid and blow a large hole in the defense.

                Pruitt
                Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dowding View Post
                  Thanks very much for your excellent reply, all of which was quite interesting, and I'm sorry I could not myself reply much sooner. This is been a bit of a horrendous period for me as far as work. I especially appreciate the reference to the book which I will be attempting to obtain.

                  In lieu of that, I have picked out one part of your reply to quote that is most interesting to me. Did the Germans study the Boer war and derive the storm trooper idea from that conflict? Also, might you give me a thumbnail sketch of what storm trooper tactics actually are?
                  Essentially the tactics the British used for the first two years of the war before adopting infiltration tactics in 1916.

                  See for an overview: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=P...ai-s90#PPP1,M1
                  "[T]he worst that could be said of the Peninsula campaign was that thus far it had not been successful. To make it a failure was reserved for the agency of General Halleck." -Emory Upton

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