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[Freeciv] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Fascism patch

[Freeciv] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Fascism patch

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To: freeciv@xxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [Freeciv] Re: [Freeciv-Dev] Fascism patch
From: Andrew McGuinness <andrew@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 29 Jul 2000 12:17:16 +0000

On Sat, Jul 29, 2000 at 03:28:56AM +0200, Patrick Schmid wrote:
> I'd like to contribute my thoughts to this discussion too. As my email
> address shows, I'm German.
  [... stuff omitted ...]
> 5. The "Blitzkrieg" wonder
> Could you please explain, what this wonder offers for benefits?
> Because I'm wondering what you understand with the term "Blitzkrieg".
> I personally don't see a certain military strategy related with this term.
> To me the military operations, that were titled as "Blitzkrieg" (which is an
> invention by the NAZIs btw) don't seem to have a unique military strategy.
> It was more a form of unprepardness of the enemy. Germany was highly
> militarized and the military completey mechanized. The opponents in Poland
> were riding horses. Sorry, but were is there a military strategy when you
> send horses against tanks?
> Stalin didn't believe Germany would attack. So Russia's military wasn't
> prepared for an attack. If you compare the figures of soldiers lost in the
> German attack on Russia, you can see, that Russia only had one thing to
> throw against Germany: people. There's an expression for that kind of
> defense: cannon fodder (this would have been btw, the main task of the
> German Bundeswehr in the case of a Sowjet attack on Germany). The German
> attack could only be stopped as Russia had upgraded his military technically
> and with people (plus the winter came).
> If you take France as example of the "Blitzkrieg", then I must disappoint
> you again. There wasn't a real military conflict with France, some "special"
> agreements had seen to this before.
> So, for what does the "Blitzkrieg" wonder stands? What are its benefits?
> If you can correct me in my knowledge of military history and the benefits
> of it are useful and in accordance with real history, then I would favorize
> the adding of it to the main stream code of freeciv.

I think there were genuine innovations, particularly at the tactical level,
that were represented by the term "Blitzkrieg".

The military doctrine of that period elsewhere dictated that on reaching
opposition, commanders at company and platoon level would stop, carry out 
reconnaissance, and work out a plan of attack.  The Germans, on the other
hand, developed the idea that infantry should immediately attempt
to outflank the enemy, without pausing.  The theory was that the benefits
in speed and surprise would outweigh the dangers of friendly fire and of
getting cut off.

This tactical emphasis required a higher responsibility on junior officers.

My source is "Infantry tactics 1939-1945" by Anthony Farrar-Hockley,
Almark Publishing Co Ltd London 1976.  ISBN 85524 255 8

Incidentally, this book has photographs of German armoured vehicles, and they
carry the cross emblem, not the swastika.

I don't know whether it is really fair to associate the Blitzkrieg approach
directly with Fascism - my impression was it was a development of the 
German military independent of the political leadership, but I might be

The war in France was a real war - If the British leadership had expected
it to be as one-sided as it was, they wouldn't have been caught out at

The early successes against Russia were also due in great part by poor
tactics on the Russian side - mainly lack of mobility and  attempting
to hold positions that had been outflanked.  As the Russian military
got the idea of a "fighting retreat" to avoid large formations being
cut off, their casualties went down and German casualties went up.

(of course this is not to deny that in July 1941 the Russian army was
massively outmatched in terms of equipment)

(Source, "Stalingrad", Anthony Beevor, Penguin 1999 ISBN 0-14-924985-0)

The thing against representing Blitzkrieg as a Wonder is that it was
very quickly learned from and imitated by the other armies.  In that sense
it was more like a tech development.

Back on the main issue, the modern German restrictions on use of Nazi
symbols etc. is quite understandable if possibly excessive, and I think
we should respect them at least as far as the main distribution goes.

Andrew McGuinness             andrew_mcguinness@xxxxxxxxxxx

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