TM-E 30-451 Handbook on German Military Forces

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Technical Manual, TM-E 30-451: Handbook on German Military Forces published in March 1945. — Figures and illustrations are not reproduced, see source details. — As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. — Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]



1. General

In German doctrine the object of the defense (Verteidigung, or Abwehr) is to halt the hostile attack, or to gain time pending development of a more favorable situation for resumption of the offensive. Thus German and U.S. doctrine are essentially the same: only the offensive leads to decisive successes.

In the last two years German defensive operations have become increasingly passive in nature. The Germans formerly placed the greatest stress on immediate and violent counterattacks as effective means of destroying the attacking enemy. This required great mobility and large reserves. At present more emphasis is placed on the construction of defensive positions, and counterattacks are frequently local in character. It is most likely that this passive type of defense is only an expedient due to German shortages of mobile equipment and manpower.


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