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Loving The German War Machine: America’s Infatuation With Blitzkrieg, Warfighters, And Militarism

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Chapter Summary

American idolization of German methods and techniques, even "warrior" codes of thinking and behaving, has come at high cost. It often comes as a shock to Americans, but the U.S. Army was not the world's best in the field either in World War I or in World War II. German warriors and their leaders knew no limitations until it was too late for them to recover from ceaseless combat, imperial overstretch, and economic collapse. There is a mystique that surrounds the German military (the Wehrmacht) that remains quite powerful in the United States. In seeking to create the world's most effective military, the U.S. military and its civilian overseers aped German methods and modes of thinking, trumpeted Blitzkrieg as a fail-safe strategy for victory rather than as one among many operational approaches to war, selectively (mis) read Clausewitz, and embraced militarism to a degree heretofore unparalleled in American society.

Keywords: Blitzkrieg; American society; Clausewitz; German warriors; militarism; World War II



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