Accession Number : ADA264073

Title :   The Influence of the German General Staff on the American General Staff.

Descriptive Note : Study rept.,

Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s) : Greoning, William H.

Report Date : 15 APR 1993

Pagination or Media Count : 108

Abstract : The German General Staff system that evolved from the 1800's to the end of World War II was a unique institution that was both vilified and venerated. Although often misunderstood, the German General Staff system became an institution of excellence, leading the German Army and German nation to the domination of Europe by the end of the 19th century. Twice in the first half of the 20th century, it also dragged Germany into devastating wars that could not be won. On May 8, 1945, the surrender of Germany in World War II marked the end of the German General Staff system. Although in World War II Germany was hopelessly over-committed strategically, the German Army and the German General Staff still achieved many great triumphs and victories. Thus, it is appropriate to study the German General Staff system. Further, the German General Staff system had a profound influence on the creation of the American General Staff, although the American system deviated from the German model. This study project describes what the German General Staff system was, how and why it developed, and what its strengths and weaknesses were. (Part II of the study presents a succinct history of the German General Staff system, which is essential to a true understanding of the system.) The study will also uncover and illuminate the flaws of the German General Staff system that lead to its eventual downfall. Finally, the study of the German General Staff system of the 19th century will be shown to be relevant to the U.S. military of the 20th century through an examination of the joint staff system created by the Goldwater-Nichols Act.

Descriptors :   *GERMANY, *MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN), *ARMY OPERATIONS, ARMY, EUROPE, HISTORY, MODELS, NATIONS.

Subject Categories : Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE