The Great Offensive: The Strategy of Coalition Warfare

The Great Offensive: The Strategy of Coalition Warfare

The Great Offensive: The Strategy of Coalition Warfare

The Great Offensive: The Strategy of Coalition Warfare

Excerpt

The course of the Second World War is determined by two laws: the extension of the fighting and its intensification. The campaigns of 1939-40 were successively localized to Poland, Norway, Western Europe, and the Balkans. The war waged by the German-Italian coalition against England was limited to aerial operations in the British skies, and to battles in the Mediterranean and Africa. But with Germany's attack upon Russia the war came back to the European continent and finally became the Great War; with the participation of the United States and Japan the struggle became global. The beaten nations get out of the ring, and the new belligerents enter. This war is characterized by a renversement des alliances--old coalitions are dissolved and new ones formed. Vichy France becomes a Third Reich satellite, and the Soviet Union becomes allied with Britain and the United States.

The intensification of the war runs parallel to its extension. The law of total war becomes compulsory for all belligerents. Limited warfare is now clearly a thing of the past. The campaigns of 1939-40 were only preliminaries to the great battles of 1941-42. The campaigns in . . .

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