Tuesday, August 23, 2011

German Tactical Doctrine

The personal influence of the commander upon his troops is of the greatest significance. He must be located where he can most effectively lead. On the march he should be as far forward as security permits, and his location should be definitely known by the members of his staff so that all reports may reach him promptly. In the attack his command post should be located as far forward as possible, yet protected from hostile fire so as to insure undisturbed operation; for tactical reasons, the post is placed near the main effort, facilitating control at the most important point of the battlefield. The movement of the command post is influenced by the location of existing wire lines, and the divisional signal officer is kept constantly informed so that communication requirements may be better anticipated. In a delaying action, the commander remains in the forward position until lie is convinced that his order for withdrawal is being successfully carried out; then, with Iiis artillery commander, he goes back to the new position. In very difficult or dangerous situations, often present while withdrawals are being executed, the commander will remain with his troops.