Wehrmacht Support Vehicles (Armor at War 7024)
By Robert Michulec
Publisher: Concord Publications 1999 72 Pages
PDF 73 MB
With the end of WWI, the military services of" the nations involved, set otit to sttidy and evaluate their combat experiences. One conclusion, above all, was evident - that mechanization would play an important role in any future conflicts. Frontline troops would utilize specialized vehicles to transport them into combat, arm them and keep them supplied. The main offensive weapon of the future would be the tank. Indeed, the concept of tank warfare was of such importance, that Germany was prohibited From developing her own armored force by the Treaty of Versailles.
The tank had captured the imagination of military men the world over. I n the post war years, the doctrine of mechanized warfare was being slowly created and tested in exercises by the victors. Germany was forced to patiently sit back and wait, all the while studying the methods being developed by the other nations, primarily. Great Britain.
There were two different philosophies on the employment of AFVs in combat. The first stemmed directly from the experiences of WWI, when tanks were used to storm enemy positions in support oi" the infantry. In this form, the tanks were subordinated to the infantry and provided the means by which the enemy position could be assaulted and occupied with a minimal number of casualties. The other philosophy dictated that tanks play the primary role, with all other weapons being subordinated to the armored force. The faster and more maneuverable tanks would be used in decisive assaults to break through at the point oi* least resistance and rampage through the enemy rear echelons, clisrupting communications and supplies and demoralizing their troops, while motorized infantry protected the tanks and consolidated the territorial gains. This was the doctrine to which fvlajor Heinz Guderian and other tank enthusiasts in the German Army subscribed.