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6 - Communication

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2023

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Summary

The German army recognised before 1914 the importance of communication to the third command task, reducing uncertainty, and evolved organisational, personal and technical means to handle it. Realities of battle in 1917 confirmed some pre-war ideas and disproved others. Headquarters expanded and were forced to the rear by firepower. Bureaucratic burden continually increased despite attempts to reverse it and partly because of failure to adopt modern methods of information handling. Personal contact remained essential to command, though 1917 conditions made it more difficult. The same conditions led to ever-greater reliance on technical communications means and organisations, which were continually developed. Performance of the communications system in the spring fighting was at least adequate, including because of the attackers’ slow tempo. Subsequent developments of doctrine and organisation. Unstoppable growth of bureaucracy and linked problem of falsified reporting were danger signals that the urge to reduce uncertainty had got out of hand.

Type
Chapter
Information
Holding Out
The German Army and Operational Command in 1917
, pp. 190 - 214
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Communication
  • Tony Cowan
  • Book: Holding Out
  • Online publication: 31 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108900553.008
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  • Communication
  • Tony Cowan
  • Book: Holding Out
  • Online publication: 31 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108900553.008
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Communication
  • Tony Cowan
  • Book: Holding Out
  • Online publication: 31 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108900553.008
Available formats
×