The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II

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9780060009779: The Blitzkrieg Myth: How Hitler and the Allies Misread the Strategic Realities of World War II

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.C.F. 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 1939 and the fall of France in spring 1940 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 1944. 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. The book includes maps and photos.

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About the Author:

John Mosier is the author of The Myth of the Great War. He is full professor of English at Loyola University in New Orleans, where, as chair of the English Department and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he taught primarily European literature and film. His background as a military historian dates from his role in developing an interdisciplinary curriculum for the study of the two world wars, a program funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. From 1989 to 1992 he edited the New Orleans Review. He lives in Jefferson, Louisiana.

From Publishers Weekly:

In this revisionist history, Mosier (Myth of the Great War) attempts to debunk the conventional understanding of European theater warfare during World War II by declaring that Blitzkrieg-style assaults occurred less often and were less effective than commonly believed. Mosier's reassessment of the military importance of Blitzkrieg-where an army rapidly breaks through its enemy's defenses with a coordinated barrage of ground and air artillery-is certainly worthwhile, and the English professor and amateur military historian presents his case with breezy confidence. But despite a detailed bibliography and notes for each chapter, noticeable omissions undercut Mosier's argument. In the chapter on the fall of France, for example, he does not mention French officer and historian Marc Bloch's classic, firsthand account and analysis Strange Defeat. Mosier also lifts lesser-known commanders, like English general Montgomery, to the exalted heights of Rommel, Patton and Eisenhower (he extols Montgomery as a master of conventional tactics that he considers generally more effective than Blitzkrieg). Although an admirable project, this revision demands that the reader suppose a new, half-baked "historical truth" in lieu of much of the previous literature on Blitzkrieg warfare and WWII. No doubt this will spark plenty of controversy. 10 b&w photos and 11 maps.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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.C.F. 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 1939 and the fall of France in spring 1940 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 1944. 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. The book includes maps and photos. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060009779

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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Inc, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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.C.F. 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 1939 and the fall of France in spring 1940 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 1944. 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. The book includes maps and photos. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780060009779

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