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Riders of the Apocalypse

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  • 336 Seiten
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Despite the enduring popular image of the blitzkrieg of World War II, the German Army always depended on horses. It could not have... Weiterlesen
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Despite the enduring popular image of the blitzkrieg of World War II, the German Army always depended on horses. It could not have waged war without them. While the Armys reliance on draft horses to pull artillery, supply wagons, and field kitchens is now generally acknowledged, D. R. Dorondos Riders of the Apocalypse examines the history of the German cavalry, a combat arm that not only survived World War I but also rode to war again in 1939. Though concentrating on the period between 1939 and 1945, the book places that history firmly within the larger context of the mounted arms development from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 to the Third Reichs surrender.Driven by both internal and external constraints to retain mounted forces after 1918, the German Army effectively did nothing to reduce, much less eliminate, the preponderance of non-mechanized formations during its breakneck expansion under the Nazis after 1933. Instead, politicized command decisions, technical insufficiency, industrial bottlenecks, and, finally, wartime attrition meant that Army leaders were compelled to rely on a steadily growing number of combat horsemen throughout World War II. These horsemen were best represented by the 1st Cavalry Brigade (later Division) which saw combat in Poland, the Netherlands, France, Russia, and Hungary. Their service, however, came to be cruelly dishonored by the horsemen of the 8th Waffen-SS Cavalry Division, a unit whose troopers spent more time killing civilians than fighting enemy soldiers.Throughout the story of these formations, and drawing extensively on both primary and secondary sources, Dorondo shows how the cavalrys tradition carried on in a German and European world undergoing rapid military industrialization after the mid-nineteenth century. And though Riders of the Apocalypse focuses on the German element of this tradition, it also notes other countries continuing (and, in the case of Russia, much more extensive) use of combat horsemen after 1900. However, precisely because the Nazi regime devoted so much effort to portray Germanys armed forces as fully modern and mechanized, the combat effectiveness of so many German horsemen on the battlefields of Europe until 1945 remains a story that deserves to be more widely known. Dorondos work does much to tell that story.


D. R. Dorondo holds the degree of D.Phil. from the University of Oxford. He is professor of modern German and European military history at Western Carolina University.


Titel: Riders of the Apocalypse
Untertitel: German Cavalry and Modern Warfare, 1870 1945
EAN: 9781612510873
ISBN: 978-1-61251-087-3
Digitaler Kopierschutz: Adobe-DRM
Format: E-Book (epub)
Herausgeber: Naval Institute Press
Genre: Geschichte
Anzahl Seiten: 336
Veröffentlichung: 15.05.2012
Jahr: 2012
Untertitel: Englisch
Dateigrösse: 3.8 MB