New PDF release: Cassino 1944: Breaking the Gustav Line

By Ken Ford

Книга Osprey crusade №134. Сassino 1944 Osprey crusade №134. Сassino 1944 Книги Исторические Автор: K.Ford Формат: pdf Издат.:Osprey Страниц: ninety eight Размер: forty two Mb ISBN: 084176 623 2 Язык: Английский0 (голосов: zero) Оценка:Серия военныхкниг Campaignот Osprey.

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Additional resources for Cassino 1944: Breaking the Gustav Line

Sample text

This army won several minor clashes, but always the main van of the Russian army eluded capture or destruction. Probably every student of history knows something about the terrible winter that played a crucial role in destroying Napoleon’s army during the retreat from Moscow. In at least general texts, however, the toll exerted by the terrible heat of the June and July days of 1812 is not usually mentioned. 30 Furthermore, it soon became obvious that, despite Napoleon’s special preparations regarding supplies, the vast distances that had to be covered by the emperor’s army in its seemingly hopeless attempts to bring an elusive foe to battle would render such insuf¤cient.

This was an exercise in eighteenth-century diplomatic and military formalism, something that, while it did not rule out that Vernichtungskrieg so adored by later practitioners of what is sometimes referred to as “military science,” made such a thing highly unlikely. 48 The result was that the eighteenthcentury realities that had made campaigns of annihilation impossible for Frederick in this case served his interests rather well. At Kunersdorf, Frederick violated virtually every principle he had espoused in his earlier writings on war.

52 T RO UB LI N G Q UE S T I ON S Any consideration of Frederick’s actions at Kunersdorf in particular faces certain troubling questions. As we have seen, he violated several of his own tactical theorems, as was evident in his failure to properly reconnoiter the terrain, failure to concentrate his forces, and a gross misuse of cavalry. In fact, Frederick contributed to his own defeat as much as his enemies did, if not more. Second, although he acknowledged he had learned from the Austrians, his blind contempt for the Russians had not changed.

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