Essay The German Army During the Interwar Period

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Possibly one of the most asked questions in military history is how was the German Army able to decisively defeat a numerically equivalent Allied Army in France during May and June 1940? One of the primary reasons for Germany’s success was their innovation in armored warfare, particularly at the tactical and operational levels during the interwar period. The study of the German Army during a period of prolonged peace and constrained resources reveals that one of the most important qualities that a military should possess to innovate effectively is the ability to learn as an organization. A learning organization creates knowledge internally, externally acquires knowledge, and diffuses knowledge throughout the organization . …show more content…
Additionally, the Germans gained an understanding of how armor might be employed against them . The Germans adapted what they observed and began their rearmament efforts in 1933 with the basis for armored warfare doctrine to build their formations around . Internally developed or externally gained knowledge is useless unless diffused throughout all levels of the organization . Learning organizations have systems in place to ensure shared knowledge. Professional military education and attendance in the Kriegsakadamie was central to the German Army’s approach to diffusing knowledge during the interwar period. Every junior officer competed for admittance by taking the comprehensive entrance exam that required a fundamental understanding of doctrine. This competitive system allowed the leadership of the German Army to identify the most intellectually promising officers and place them on the General Staff. Even if an officer didn’t get accepted in the Kriegsakadamie, the learning experience grounded them in doctrine, prepared them to overcome challenges on the battlefield, and empowered to take the initiative required for tactical success . During the interwar period, the German Army effectively developed armored warfare doctrine, especially at the tactical and