by John Mosier
In the 1920s two new theories of warfare / strategy were postulated: blitzkrieg and airpower. The two theories shared a fascination with inventive technology, surprise, and the concept of a breakthrough to the opponent’s rear area. The theories were used to explain how World War One was fought and why one side was successful and the other was not. After World War Two, military historians applied the two theories and used them to account for the initial sucesses of Germany and Japan, and for the eventual victories of the USA, Great Britian and the USSR.
The problem, according to Mosier, is that historians were systematically reworking the facts to fit the theories. The preoccupation with the theories of blitzkrieg and airpower led the allies to misunderstand the reasons for the German victories over Poland and France. In turn the allies made plans consistent with the theories that led to disasters like the Market Garden airborne assault into Holland in 1944.
Mosier is a contrarian. He maintains (and supports his analysis with an impressive marshalling of facts and military records) that in both world wars, the victors won the old-fashioned way – by bringing larger numbers of troops to bear on the enemy and destroying the enemies military forces. Blitzkrieg and airpower per se had nothing to do with it.
Mosier is an good writer and makes a clear and convincing case for his thesis. This book will force you to rethink much of the conventional wisdom about World War Two… and also about how wars are fought in general.
Director, Schaeffer Study Center