Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside The German Army and the Defence of the Reich

The German Army and the Defence of the Reich
Military Doctrine and the Conduct of the Defensive Battle 1918–1939


Part of Cambridge Military Histories

  • Date Published: February 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316633694

£ 22.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Historical research on the German army of the interwar period has concentrated on the development of the so-called 'Blitzkrieg'. However, Matthias Strohn shows that for most of the time the German army, restricted by the terms of the Versailles Treaty, was too weak to launch an offensive war or even effectively repel an invader. Accordingly, the army focused instead primarily on planning a defensive war against superior enemies, especially France and Poland. Making extensive use of German archival sources, Strohn explores the development of military thought and doctrine for the defence of Germany and shows how these ideas were tested in war games and staff rides. His findings comprehensively revise our understanding of the German army in this period, shedding new light on the ideas of leading figures in the German military and how events, such as the occupation of the Ruhr in 1923, influenced military planning.

    • Extensive use of German sources opens up areas of German war planning previously inaccessible to English-speaking readership
    • Takes a chronological approach to the study of the period showing how German defence theories developed over time
    • Most studies of the subject examine the development of German defence theory through the lens of the concept of 'blitzkreig', but this book challenges such a narrow view of the period
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Strohn's stimulating study of German military thought during the interwar period ably tracks the development of a defensive doctrine in which the offensive remained paramount at the tactical level. It will appeal not only to military historians interested in the nuts and bolts of the tactical defensive but also to scholars more generally interested in military decision making and diplomacy during the interwar period.' Journal of Contemporary History

    'Matthias Strohn's work is complex, detailed, and well situated. Moreover, the author deserves a great deal of credit for managing a huge cast of officers and politicians.' H-Soz-u-Kult

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316633694
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 150 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction and definitions
    Part I. The Foundations of Defensive Warfare in the Inter-War Period:
    1. Defence doctrine before the First World War
    2. The lessons of the First World War
    3. Military planning in the aftermath of the First World War
    Part II. The Seeckt Era: Years of Ignorance:
    4. Hans von Seeckt and the rebirth of the offensive
    5. The manual Führung und Gefecht der verbundenen Waffen and the conduct of the defensive battle
    Part III. Adapting to Reality 1923–33:
    6. Military thought after the occupation of the Ruhr
    7. Civil-military co-operation
    8. The manual Truppenführung and the increased importance of defence
    Part IV. Defensive Warfare in the Third Reich 1933–9:
    9. Political ideology versus military reality: defensive warfare 1933–6
    10. The rebirth of offensive warfare 1936–9
    Conclusion: the defensive battle in the Second World War and beyond.

  • Author

    Matthias Strohn, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst
    Matthias Strohn was educated at the Universities of Münster, Germany, and Oxford where he obtained a Masters degree and a Doctorate. He teaches military history to British army officer cadets and officers at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He currently holds the rank of Captain in the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) reserve and is attached to the German staff college where he lectures on military history to international staff and German general staff officers.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.