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3 - Organisation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 March 2023

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Summary

The first command task involved control as well as decentralisation. Chapter explains the military organisation which exerted control and implemented the two further traditional principles involved, establishing a point of main effort (Schwerpunkt) and maintaining the chain of command. Describes the roles of the four levels of command covered by the book, army groups, Armies, corps and divisions, focusing on often-misunderstood changes brought about by the strain of modern battle.

Case study illustrates the difficulties and successes of implementing the Schwerpunkt and chain of command principles as the German army prepared for the Entente offensive. Concluding section links organisational change in 1917 to pre-war thinking on command and stresses the difficulty of striking the right balance between the two elements of the first command task, decentralisation and control. Outcome depended on the complex interplay of principles, formal organisational responsibilities, events and in particular personal factors.

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Chapter
Information
Holding Out
The German Army and Operational Command in 1917
, pp. 91 - 116
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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  • Organisation
  • Tony Cowan
  • Book: Holding Out
  • Online publication: 31 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108900553.005
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  • Organisation
  • Tony Cowan
  • Book: Holding Out
  • Online publication: 31 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108900553.005
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.

  • Organisation
  • Tony Cowan
  • Book: Holding Out
  • Online publication: 31 March 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108900553.005
Available formats
×