Vernichtungsgedanke, literally meaning "concept of annihilation" in German and generally taken to mean "the concept of fast annihilation of enemy forces" is a Prussian/German tactical doctrine, dating to
Frederick the Great. It emphasizes rapid, fluid movement to unbalance an enemy, allowing the attacker to impose his will upon the defender and avoid stalemate. It relies on uncommonly rigorous training and discipline and thoroughly professional leadership. Much of "Vernichtungsgedanke" can be seen in Clausewitz’ classic treatise "Vom Kriege" (" On War").
This doctrine was used successfully in the
War of Austrian Succession, The Seven Years' War, The Napoleonic Wars, The Austro-Prussian War, and The Franco-Prussian War(1870-1871). The military success of Kingdom of Prussia/ Germanywas the catalyst of the alliance systems of 19th century Europe.
arms races of this period produced the military equipment which eroded the attacker’s advantage during Europe's " Long Peace". It gave decisive advantage to the defender and set the stage for the catastrophic stalemate of the First World War. "Vernichtungsgedanke"’s long reign as the prime tactical doctrine of modern warfareended on the Western Front.
When the antebellum concluded and
Europewent again to war, many of the officers in high command in Germany(chief among them General Heinz Guderian) were all too aware of this doctrinal failure and had specific ideas for its replacement. They had, however, to fight prewar battles to overcome bureaucratic inertia. They mostly won those battles, bringing forth a doctrinal evolution during the Second World Warwhich included the methodology now known as Blitzkrieg. Early enthusiasm for the opportunities provided by armored mobile units was referred to in the 1930s as the armored idea.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Invasion of Poland (1939) — Infobox Military Conflict partof=World War II caption=German battleship Schleswig Holstein , shelling Westerplatte, 1 September 1939. date=1 September – 6 October 1939 place=Poland result=Decisive Axis and Soviet victory; Polish territory split… … Wikipedia
Blitzkrieg — Para la banda de metal, véase Blitzkrieg (banda). Tropas de la Wehrmacht junto a un carro de combate Tiger I en junio de 1943. La … Wikipedia Español
Invasion of Poland — Part of World War II … Wikipedia
Blitzkrieg — (German for lightning war Audio|De blitzkrieg.ogg|listen) is a popular name for an offensive operational level military doctrine which involves an initial bombardment followed by the employment of motorized mobile forces attacking with speed and… … Wikipedia
List of German expressions in English — This is a list of German expressions used in English; some relatively common (e.g. hamburger ), most comparatively rare. In many cases, the German borrowing in English has assumed a meaning substantially different from its German forebear.English … Wikipedia
History of Poland (1939–1945) — History of Poland This article is part of a series Chronology List of Polish monarchs … Wikipedia
Opposing forces in the Polish September Campaign — Polish troops mobilised on horseback in Sochaczew, September 1939. Germany and Poland were the main opposing forces in the Polish September Campaign. Tactics and military hardware used in the Invasion of Poland varied between the two sides; The… … Wikipedia
Mission-type tactics — (German: Auftragstaktik, from Auftrag and Taktik; also known as Mission Command in the US and UK), have (arguably) been a central component of the tactics of German armed forces since the 19th century. The term Auftragstaktik was coined by… … Wikipedia
Deutsche Frühjahrsoffensive 1918 — Teil von: Erster Weltkrieg Karte der Offensive … Deutsch Wikipedia
Frühjahrsoffensive — Deutsche Frühjahrsoffensive 1918 Teil von: Erster Weltkrieg Karte der Offensive … Deutsch Wikipedia