- Aug 25, 2009
NINE-POINT REPORT ON GERMAN REARMAMENT
In light of the German rearmament program, it is the belief of the CCGG that we should prepare to re-fight the Great War.
Point the first, above all, we must recognize that the modern war is a trench war, fought from cover due to the nature of rifles, machine guns, grenades, and artillery. Therefore all engagements should be undertaken by forces which are fortified or dug in, and well-supported with artillery. Further, care should be taken to include snipers, grenades, anti-tank rifles, and machine-gun emplacements. After the horrors of the Great War, we must do our all to avoid squandering the lives of our soldiers.
Point the second, where defense from fortification is impossible (i.e., on the advance), we must employ rolling fortresses, which is to say, tanks. Any unit expected to advance should include infantry tank support. There may be room for a small number of specialist anti-tank tanks. It is also possible to speculate on the feasibility of detachments mostly or entirely made up of tanks in a dedicated advance role. The most critical aspect of the tank is of course the thickness of armor, for a slow and steady advance that pushes the enemy back while minimizing our losses.
Point the third, having a considerable mountain front and a tradition of mountaineers in the soldiery, a substantial number of mountaineers should be maintained.
Point the fourth, though reserves may fill out an army in times of war, they should be deployed in conjunction with professional army units, not as independent formations, in order to best benefit from new scientific approaches to war.
Point the fifth, we do not expect the Germans to significantly revise the Schlieffen Plan, and therefore provision should be made for the situation which eventuated in the Great War, a defense of Paris from attack through the Low Countries. At the same time, of course the direct front cannot be neglected.
Point the sixth, the war shall be a matter of alliances. A restored Entente of Britain, France, Japan, Spain, Portugal, the United States, Brazil, etc., will have little to fear.
Point the seventh, due to the combined power of the Entente, it is unlikely that our shipments of war materiel from the colonies will be seriously threatened. Britain's Royal Navy will do nearly all of our convoy protection. It is possible that there will be a use for a small naval taskforce intended for precision coordination with ground forces and/or U-boat hunting.
Point the eighth, having seen the "aeroplane fever" in modern planning staff meetings, we must denounce it. The aeroplane is a marvellous invention at fairs and parade grounds, but in war its precise utility is reconnaissance, particularly by photography from the air. The very idea that an aircraft could carry the armor and guns necessary to be as effective as a tank or artillery piece is absurd. Any powers wasting their money on combat aeroplanes will run up against a shortage of dare-devil personalities willing to fly them, and then come to ruin as the flimsy things are shot down by anti-aircraft fire from ground batteries. Combat dirigibles are an even poorer idea, being larger targets and predisposed to catch fire.
Point the ninth, the most demanding area of the war will surely be the tanks, in construction, operation, innovation, maintenance, and so on. All other aspects are long-proven technologies and procedures, such as fortification, but tanks remain inadequately developed for our purposes. Wherever research can be done, tanks should be the first priority, and classes for officers should focus first (after the basics of trench warfare) on the tactics and strategy of tanks, and production should privilege tanks and their fuel, and the support system their fuel and their parts. The journey to the point of invincible armor will be considerable.