Atomic Weapons and Armies

Atomic Weapons and Armies

Atomic Weapons and Armies

Atomic Weapons and Armies

Excerpt

'And when ye shall hear of wars and tumults, be not terrified; for these things must needs come to pass first, but the end is not immediately...and there shall be great earthquakes, and in divers places famines and pestilences, and there shall be terrors and great signs from heaven.' (St. Luke xxi, 9-11)

I n February 1954 extensive winter manœuvres were held by the Soviet Army. The area selected, the Western Ukraine, is situated north-east of the Carpathians, once so heroically defended by Austro-Hungarian troops, the army of my forefathers. As reliable information recorded, the Soviet High Command presumed that an attacker had succeeded in penetrating over the high mountain passes, into the region of Bukovina's capital city, Czernowitz. Here the defence had brought the offensive to a standstill. Both sides were assumed to be using atomic weapons, and their air forces to be approximately equal in strength. Each side concentrated its main effort on the lines of communication and supply centres of its opponent. And the result was, according to the umpires, that operations ground to a standstill. Because of strong air opposition, troops could be only partially supplied by air.

This verdict of the Soviet umpires stimulates thought, which we also attempt to do in the following pages. Of course, in order to achieve a projection from the past, through the present into the future, the first chapters have to deal with the evolution of tactics and techniques during the First and Second World Wars. In this historical part of the book special care has been taken to analyse both allied and German records as objectively as . . .

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